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Heidelberg, IFC keen to support AP biotech rush

Our Bureau

HYDERABAD, June 21

THE Andhra Pradesh Government, which has taken up the Genome Valley project to bring in an integrated development of the biotech and pharma sectors, has received encouraging response from IFC, Washington and Heidelberg Technology Park, Germany, which have agreed to partner and promote the emerging biotech sector.

The Chief Minister, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu, who released the Ernst & Young report `Beyond borders - the global biotechnology report 2002' on Friday, said that IFC had agreed to provide project funding to biotech companies looking to set up their units in the Biotech Park near here.

The State Government is establishing a world-class animal house in phase-II of the Biotech Park, which will make the park a one-stop shop for all research activities.

Earlier this year, the world's largest biotech park - North Carolina Research Park - had entered into an agreement with the State biotech park and efforts are on to forge more linkages to make this a favoured destination, he said.

The Chief Minister said biotechnology, in conjugation with the conventional breeding technology, can help in increasing cattle yields dramatically through new plant varieties resistant to environmental stress and pests, in lowering the cost of labour and agricultural inputs, in improving nutritional values of crops, and in producing environmentally benign weed and insect pest management.

The Government is committed to providing biotech companies hassle-free environment and efforts are on to create the necessary global class infrastructure for biotech firms.

The phase-I of the ICICI Knowledge Park has received overwhelming response and the company is keen to develop the second phase. The proposed animal house will compliment the existing research infrastructure of the ICICI Park and the Biotech Park, Mr Naidu said.

Earlier, the Chairman of Ernst & Young, Mr.Kashi Memani, said "We are committed to development of the biotech industry. This is the first global report that expands upon our successful US and European focussed reports to include an analysis of Canada, Asia-Pacific and emerging markets like India.''

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