- Oct. 28, 2014
-- The Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE) conducted the 6th edition of Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Student Team (BEST) event, in collaboration with the Department of Biotechnology (Government of India) in Bangalore from October 14th to 16th. Successfully held for the past five years, this popular forum for young B.E./B.Tech postgraduate and doctoral life sciences students infuses and triggers an entrepreneurial spirit. Budding entrepreneurs are trained over 3 days on various aspects of creating and running start-ups. The 6th edition witnessed 120 student teams across India vying for top honors with 20 of them converging to the Biotech Capital of India. Of the 20, five succeeded in bagging the three top spots. With their “ Point of Care (POC) device for rapid detection of antibiotic sensitivity of pathogenic organisms found in human urine in cases of Urinary Tract Infection”, Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani - Hyderabad Campus was declared the top team whereas two separate teams from the Institute of Chemical Technology won the two second prizes. A combo team from Central University of Gujarat and IIT Bombay and another team from - Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, Powai, Mumbai, bagged the two third prizes. Dr P M Murali, President – Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE) said, “BEST is in its 6th year. From the past 5 years young groups have successfully emerged as entrepreneurs. Each year the quality of presentations and new ideas emerging are very encouraging and we feel the $ 100 billion dollar target set by the industry is on track. This year some of the ideas leveraging the strengths of Biology and electronics were very evident and students are now offering solutions using a multi-disciplinary approach.” According to Dr. K Vijay Raghavan (Secretary DBT & DST), “BEST is a unique pan India annual event that encourages students to think of innovative solutions to address important problems. DBT initiated the program in 2009 and over the past 6 years, six start-ups have been formed by teams who have been BEST winners or participants. Going forward India will need thousands of startups to reach the ambitious biotech sector target of 100 Billion dollars by 2025. The Government of India has allocated funds to support start-ups and programs like BEST help in identifying them.” All the 20 teams attended ABLE's BioInvest Conference on 17th October arguably the largest and most prestigious Life Sciences Investment Forum and presented their business plans to Venture Capitalists, Private Equity Fund Managers and other investors. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (CMD Biocon) presented a keynote on ‘Enabling an Efficient & Effective research & development ecosystem in India’ and recommended a close working between the Industry, Government and Academia to nurture Innovation. The five winning teams were excited to receive the BEST awards from Ms. Kiran Shaw.