Biotechnologists and technocrats — several of whom were once part of the Union Department of Biotechnology — launched a non-profit organisation called the Society of Biotechnology of India (SBPI) on Friday.

At a function organised at the India International Centre, Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT, said she welcomed the formation of such a society and that she looked forward to ideas from it on how to better engage with individuals and industry to advance biotechnology in the country.

The founding members of SBPI include Dr. P.K. Ghosh, president; Dr. George John, vice-president; Divya Rajput, treasurer; Dr. Bindu Dey, general secretary; Dr. B.M. Gandhi, SL Govindwar and T.V. Ramanaiah.

In a press statement, the organisation said it would promote transformation changes and approaches towards core research in modern biotechnology so that the outcome could lead to more products and technologies for economic and social gain. The SBPI would complement the country’s efforts to enhance research funding towards “gap areas” that impede India’s progress in the life-sciences.

These are in infrastructure, human resources, regulatory frameworks and converting research and development leads into applications.

Members of the SBPI have experience in promoting biotechnology in areas such as Bt cotton, introduction of recombinant therapeutic proteins and vaccines and fostering international collaborations.