NBEC is organized every year by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms under the BIRAC Regional Entrepreneurship Centre (BREC), a C-CAMP – BIRAC joint initiative, to attract, identify and nurture year game-changing deep science-driven ideas with business potential. Over the years, it has emerged as the largest and most exciting event in the Indian bio startup calendar, generating a tremendous response from India’s vibrant innovation community and an enviable geographical footprint. The trajectory of NBEC’s growth is nowhere more apparent than in industry participation. This year it chalked up 29 national and international partners with some of the biggest names in the biotech industry, from India, USA, and France.
Even though severely restricted by prevalent challenging conditions of COVID-19 pandemic, NBEC has truly set an example in its cross-country geographical reach. 3100+ registrations across 33 States/UTs including metros, Tier II and Tier III cities/towns were received for NBEC 2020. Moreover, submitted business ideas represented all sub-domains of Life Sciences, including healthcare, medical devices, drug discovery, digital health, agri-biotech, animal health, water and sanitation, renewable energy and clean tech, industrial biotech and personal care. In a year that has underlined the need for greater indigenous technologies, a platform like NBEC has assumed crucial significance in unlocking India’s vastly untapped bio entrepreneurial talent towards the common goal of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat.
Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Govt of India and Chairperson, BIRAC, in a deeply inspirational message to all NBEC 2020 finalists said, "The ecosystem wants you to grow bigger and become global leaders. That's how we'll realize our ambition of a self-reliant Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, not just for India but for the greater world as well.”
NBEC’s signature Boot Camp and Mentoring Sessions that have nurtured many a rising star in India’s startup ecosystem, had a cohort of 54 startups and 19 student teams with mentorship support from scientific, investment, regulatory and legal experts. Of these 18 startups and 10 student teams were selected by the Pre-Finals Jury to pitch at the Grand Finale. The Grand Jury at the Finale consisted of eminent experts representing the entire spectrum of biotech industry and investment sector.
Asking NBEC 2020 finalists to keep the biotech flag flying higher than ever before, Guest of Honour Dr. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw in her Special Address said, “COVID-19 has opened up a world of opportunities for the biotech world. The pandemic has in fact, seen biotech leapfrogging into the most sought-after sector by venture capitalists looking to invest. NBEC is an exciting platform to capitalize on this.”
Dr. Taslimarif Saiyed, CEO & Director, C-CAMP said, “For an innovation-led, knowledge-based society, efforts like NBEC are crucial because they connect academia, entrepreneurs and industry to build together a strong and dynamic ecosystem. COVID-19 has underlined how critical such an ecosystem would be for India & beyond.”