The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has moved a cabinet note and suggestion that the maximum age for classifying a biotechnology or a medical devices firm as a startup be raised to 8-10 years from the current five years.

The DIPP has suggested these changes to be incorporated under Startup India Action Plan, a Narendra Modi led flagship programme to nurture startups and entrepreneurship in the country.

This suggestion note to increase the age of Biotechnology and Medical Devices companies to consider as startups is made on the very fact that the companies in these two sectors take long development process to mature. To promote biotech firms, the government already offers Rs 1 crore to bio-incubators under the Biotech Equity Fund. A total of 20 bio-incubators have been supported by the department of biotechnology so far. Nearly 350 startups have received benefits from these bio-incubators under programmes such as Biotechnology Ignition Grant, Industry Innovation Programme on Medical Electronics (IIPME), Sparsh, Grand Challenges and BioNEST.

Related Reading - A Glimpse of Indian Bio-Technology Industry And Its Hottest Startups

Notably, in a recent study called "India's Biotech Startup Ecosystem" by Association of Biotechnology Led enterprises (ABLE) revealed that Indian biotech startup ecosystem is booming with 1022 bio-technology startups and it has managed to fetch investments of over $2.8 billion (Rs 18,700 crore) in five years i.e from 2012 to 2016. Bengaluru, with 190 Biotech Startups, is the capital of India's biotechnology industry.

Additionally, in order to ease processes for startups, the DIPP has also written to the corporate affairs ministry to notify startups as ‘fast track’ firms, which will allow them to wind up their business within 90 days. So far, the DIPP has recognized 713 startups out of 1,835 applications it received.

[Top Image - Shutterstock]

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