The Karnataka government has released the draft biotechnology, and Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, Comics, and Extended Reality (AVGC-XR) policy, at the Bengaluru Tech Summit, aimed at fostering development in the particular sectors and growing the state’s economy. 

The core focus of the new Biotechnology Policy is on ‘Transformation through impactful Implementation’ aiming to elevate growth from a linear trajectory to an exponential one that quadruples the overall bioeconomy of the state. 

Currently, Karnataka, recognized as the ‘Biotechnology Capital of India’, with a bioeconomy that reached $27.1 billion in 2022. Karnataka has also invested over $200 million in biotech R&D and stands as the third-largest ethanol producer in India, housing more than 60 producers. India aspires to reach a $150 billion Bioeconomy by 2025 and further elevate it to $300 billion by 2030.

Existing policies

This new Biotechnology Policy aligns seamlessly with existing state policies, including the Industrial Policy, R&D and Innovation Policy, ER&D Policy, and Start-up Policy, while maintaining distinct measures to support the biotech sector’s growth in the state, said the government. 

Few of the initiatives proposed in the new draft Karnataka Policy includes - Support for the concept of High-Tech Biotech Clusters (5 – 10 acres), setting up a green-field Bio Foundry in PPP mode, promoting Karnataka as next Global Clinical Trials Hub, build strong and skilled workforce by developing IBAB and CHG together as a university of global standing by providing enhanced infrastructure and financial support.

Further, in a bid to encourage graduating students or professionals with experience to pursue entrepreneurship related to biotechnology business idea, a fellowship of Rs.50,000/- per month for a period of 12 months will be given. A Rural Biotechnological Innovation & Application Centre promote the concept of“Bio-Village” will be established. 

AVGC-XR Policy 3.0 (2023-28)

The initiative aims to foster the growth of the AVGC-XR sector. Recognizing the global and national surge in these industries, the policy aims to leverage Karnataka’s existing strengths in IT and BPM to establish the state as a global leader in AVGC-XR.

Policy envisions to position Karnataka as a global innovation leader in AVGC-XR technologies, create a robust talent pool by transforming the state into a center of excellence for AVGC-related skills, generate 30,000 new high-quality jobs in the sector by 2028, ensure that exports constitute at least 80 per cent of the sector’s total revenue, and foster sustainability and inclusivity within the AVGC industry. 

The government notes that the  policy is built around six strategic pillars, each focusing on a different aspect of the AVGC-XR sectors which include skill development for a future-ready workforce, creation of sustainable infrastructure, empowering startups and MSMEs, provision for global market access and business development, Incentives, Concessions, and Financial Support, and focus on ‘Mobile First’ AVGC products.