BTS 2023 Explores the Next Frontier for Biotech, Pharma, & Gaming



It's curtains to the Bengaluru Tech Summit 2023, which the Bengaluru IT Department, Karnataka Department, and India Software Technology Parks Department successfully organized. The theme of the event, Breaking Boundaries, provided a platform for dynamic access by technology leaders, start-ups, investors, and research laboratories from more than 30 countries. Several start-ups have received financial support through the government and start-up funding programs. 

“Breaking boundaries creates new life, innovations, and new history. There would be no life if chicks didn't break their shells. There would be no life if babies didn't break the water. We wouldn't have women in our workforce today if they hadn't broken the glass ceiling. It's about breaking boundaries,” says Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, DK Shivakumar.

Revised Biotech Policy 

At the Tech Summit in Bengaluru, Karnataka formulated the first biotechnology policy, being one of the first states in the country to formulate a policy and a new Animation, Visual Effects, Games, Comics, and Augmented Reality (AVGC-XR) policy to promote economic development in these sectors. The biotech policy aims for exponential growth based on Karnataka's status as the biotech capital of India. The AVGC-XR policy aims to leverage the country's IT and BPM strengths to achieve global leadership with a focus on talent development, job creation, exports, and sustainability.

Information and Biotechnology Minister Priyank Kharge says, “The new biotechnology policy would be synergistic with other state policies, including industry, RandD and Innovation, Engineering Research and Development (ER&D). This combination of synergies will support the growth of Karnataka's biotech sector. The focus of the new biotechnology policy is change through effective implementation to bring growth from linear to exponential levels.”


The draft policy proposes several initiatives, such as setting up biotechnology clusters of 5 to 10 hectares for start-ups, plug-and-play facilities for SMEs, and established industries seeking to set up production units. It is also proposed to establish a Greenfield bio-smelter in a public-private partnership to meet the growing demands of growth-stage companies and to meet their GMP pilot plant and scale-up facility requirements.

The policy aims to provide an investment subsidy of up to Rs.10 crore per bio-manufacturing unit and reimburse up to 50 percent of the cost of procurement of state-of-the-art equipment (up to Rs.10 lakh) to a unit, state-of-the-art company R&D), rent compensation for start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises and employment incentives. It also plans to increase Karnataka's share in clinical research and elevate the state to become both the next global hub for clinical research and the next big thing in genomics.

Regarding rural initiatives, the draft proposes the creation of rural biotechnology innovation and application centers to promote the "biovillage" concept and support socially effective innovation and its expansion in the areas of health, agriculture, and environmental sustainability.

New Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, Comics and Extended Reality (AVGC-XR) Policy

The AVGC-XR policy aims to create 30,000 new high-quality jobs in the respective sectors by 2028. It aims to leverage Karnataka's existing IT and business process management strengths to establish the state as a global leader in AVGC-XR. 

Inaugurating the 26th summit, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah called for bridging the digital divide to enjoy the benefits of technology in all sections of society. 

“Yet, even as we celebrate these achievements, we recognize that challenges persist. The digital divide is a reality we must address, ensuring that the benefits of technology reach every citizen, regardless of their background. We aim to bridge this gap through targeted initiatives, utilizing the power of data and analytics to drive informed decision-making in governance. Beyond Bengaluru is a unique initiative in this direction that focuses on developing and improving ecosystems in areas outside Bengaluru and bridging the digital divide,” CM adds.

Bangalore a Versatile Hub of Innovation

There was an interesting panel discussion moderated by Nikhil Kamath, CEO of Zerodha, discussing the topic 'Legend, Legacy and Leadership' between Infosys Founder Shri N.M Narayana Murthy. Shri N.M Narayana Murthy described Bengaluru as a versatile hub of innovation and highlighted the transition from socialism to compassionate capitalism. He recommended ethical business practices and demanded the simplification of regulations, increased foreign investment, and emphasized the importance of infrastructure and education. Murthy expressed his belief that India will surpass China's GDP through innovation and called for joint efforts for a prosperous future.

Green BTS Initiative

Another notable step was the Green BTS initiative, which demonstrated the summit's commitment to achieving Net Zero in the coming years. This ambitious goal includes the integration of environmentally conscious practices, including sustainable procurement and the creation of a sustainability advisor, emphasizing key pillars such as carbon, water, energy, waste, food, and experience. This year, BTS is going green with the slogan "Green BTS," achieving zero landfill, reducing plastic use by 95 percent compared to last year, and setting new sustainability standards with partners EcoMorphosys by sorting 6,400 kilograms of waste, carbon footprint assessment, 0.65 kilograms per person, estimating a water footprint of 3.4 liters per inhabitant and producing 90 kilograms of biogas from food waste. Thus, the 2023 summit not only showcased technological advancements but also highlighted its pioneering commitment to sustainability, making it the first of its kind in India.

The Bengaluru Tech Summit 2023 concludes that the echoes of innovation and collaboration will reverberate long after the event. Shared understandings, partnerships, and proven technologies have laid the foundation for a future where India continues to be at the forefront of global technological development. After the end of the BTS 2023 chapter, the dates of the 27th and 28th editions organized in 2024 and 2025 were also announced on the 19th and 21st of November.