Prof. Shamil Akhmedov, Chairman of the BRICS-Biomed, Cardiology Research Institute, Tomsk NRMC, Tomshk, Russia, said that the main aim of creation of the BRICS-Biomed Consortium is the development of new biomedical technologies for diagnosis and treatment of human diseases, development of domestic demand and export of biotech products, creation of technological base for new biotech areas of industrial sector. While addressing the country seminar ‘BRICS-Biomed Consortium: The First Results and Prospects of Future Development’ at the BRICS Trade Fair, Prof.
Akhmedov said that the objectives of the consortium were promotion of expertise on innovative projects with respect to the technological feasibility and commercial potential of R&D; conductance of marketing studies, accumulation of information on market demands in particular innovative technological solutions; preparation of proposals for The New Development Bank on possible financing of particular innovative projects by the fund; search for co-investors; implementation of collaborative R&D and engineering; assistance in business organisation; assistance in patenting; and assistance in creation of spin-off companies. Prof. Akhmedov said that accumulation of biomedical projects from nine Federal Districts of the Russian Federation and other BRICS countries is ongoing for creation of the international database and for search for co-financing of the proposed projects.
Dr. S G Prakash Vincent, Chairman Associate BRICS-Biomed (India- Academic), said that the aim of theconsortium is to provide affordable and novel medicines. The BRICS Biomed Cooperation aims to augment innovation and product development in biomedical areas. The consortium is also looking at promoting traditional herbal medicine from BRICS. By 2025, BRICS Biomed Centre in India will be established in Kanyakumari, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi. He added that there are global opportunities in Biomed and it will witness an investment of USD 5 billion and USD 50 billion returns are expected between 2015 to 2021. Speaking about BRICS Biomed Informatics Network, Prof. Moni Madaswamy, Program Director, Centre for Agricultural Informatics & e-Governance Research Studies, Shobhit University, said that BRICS has about 6573 universities. Strategies of Networking of Biomedical Scientists and Biomedical Projects in BRICS and strategies of electronic operations of BRICS Biomed projects were needed. Prof. said that information security is an important aspect in this area and the National Knowledge Network of the local country needed to be connected with the Biomed consortium. He added that a website and working groups could be set up for sharing of knowledge. Ms. Harpreet Sandhu of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Government of India, said that the ICMR was working in line with the priority of the nation which was to focus on non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart diseases. ICMR has come up with the Health Technology Assessment Board, which would review standards for medicines, vaccines and devices to determine the most cost-effective solutions.
Ms. Sandhu added that ICMR with its chain of national and regional research centres looks forward to contribute towards the BRICS-Biomed Consortium effectively. Mr. Praveen Kumar Vemula, Self-Assembled Biomaterials Laboratory, inStem, NCBS, said he believes that laboratory innovations should not only remain at lab-bench, but should be translatable into the clinic to help people. Hence, funding should be provided to innovative projects by the Biomed consortium. The funding could be for projects at the ideation stage and developmental phase. Also, formal education needs to be imparted and workshops should be held for entrepreneurs and innovators in the field about how to seek funding and IPR.
He added that Biomed should also look at transfer of technology as Indian institutes lack the technique. Speaking on the issue of funding, Mr. Agnideep Mukherjee, Assistant Vice President, Life Sciences & IT Knowledge Banking, said that India was witnessing a startup revolution and to capitalize the potential of innovators and entrepreneurs a vibrant financial ecosystem was essential. Getting funding is a crucial element to flag off any start-up; there are various methods of funding that are popular in the start-up community such as traditional angel investors, venture capital, incubators, public investment (equity funding), financial assistance from government grants, business loans from banks, mergers and acquisitions and corporate partnering.