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DoP Allocates INR 243 Cr for Establishing Centers of Excellence in NIPERs

Written by : Jayati Dubey

July 3, 2024

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The steering committee approved CoE proposals from all National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPERs) and sanctioned a budget of INR 700 Cr for the next five years.

The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) has approved a funding of INR 243 Cr for setting up of Centers of Excellence (CoEs) in the National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPERs) for the fiscal year 2024-25.

Per the scheme, CoEs will be set up in the seven existing NIPERs, each specializing in a different priority area, such as medical devices, novel drug delivery systems, flow chemistry, and continuous manufacturing.

These specialized CoEs will enhance research infrastructure and provide advanced facilities for conducting high-quality research. This effort is expected to foster significant advancements in India's pharmaceutical and MedTech sectors.

Additionally, the establishment is a part of the Promotion of Research and Innovation in Pharma-MedTech Sector (PRIP) scheme, which was announced last year. The scheme aims to support research and development (R&D) and innovation in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and animal health segments.

Steering Committee Endorsement

In a recent meeting chaired by the secretary of the DoP, the steering committee approved the CoE proposals from all the NIPERs and endorsed a total budget of INR 700 Cr for setting up these CoEs over the next five years.

The approved funding of INR 243 Cr for 2024-25 is part of this larger budget.

An official from the DoP, speaking on the condition of anonymity, highlighted the scheme's potential, saying, "This initiative will build specific research capacities in key priority areas through a focused and time-bound program. It will also facilitate industry-academia linkages, essential for nurturing talent and advancing research in India."

This initiative is a step towards bolstering research and innovation in the pharmaceutical and medical technology sectors in India.

Addressing India's R&D Gap

The Indian pharmaceutical industry has traditionally focused on generic drugs, where it holds a global leadership position. However, the DoP's notification highlighted the need to shift towards new, innovative areas to ensure future growth and competitiveness.

It pointed out that while the United States spends approximately $50-60 billion on pharma R&D annually, and China spends $15-20 billion, India's expenditure is only around $3 billion.

"In the financial year 2021, investments in R&D by the top ten Indian pharma companies amounted to around 7.2 percent of their sales. There is an urgent need to increase R&D expenditure and focus on new areas to drive the future trajectory of the pharma industry," the DoP noted.

Incentives for Industry Participation

Under Component B of the PRIP scheme, financial assistance will be provided to promote research in six key priority areas: new chemical and biological entities, natural products, complex generics and biosimilars, precision medicines, medical devices, orphan drugs, and drug development for antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Further, nine established pharmaceutical companies will be selected to conduct research in these priority areas in collaboration with government institutes of national repute.

These companies will have access to the research infrastructure at national institutes and will be required to provide training to students and scientists.


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