Government of Telangana and Flanders Investment & Trade to enter a partnership for the promotion of the Lifesciences industry

In continuation with its focus on strengthening its growing stature in the global Lifesciences ecosystem, the Government of Telangana is taking one more step towards forging key global alliances. The government has announced that it is partnering with Flanders a vibrant and dynamic region of Belgium, to explore multiple opportunities in the Lifesciences sector aimed at Vaccines and mRNA technological platforms, Immunotherapy, Life Sciences university partnership and Cluster-to-Cluster collaborations (VIB and Genome Valley in particular). Currently, the Flanders’ Lifescienes industry is estimated to be at over 350 companies employing over 200,00 people including indirect jobs. The region has attracted in the Life Sciences & Pharma segment more than a quarter of the total record investment of Euros 5.2 Bn in 2022 into Flanders from across the globe. The total estimated Life Sciences business in Belgium is estimated around US$ 44 Bn.

As the first step of this partnership, Flanders will be participating as International Region Partners for the next 3 editions of BioAsia starting with the forthcoming 20th edition of BioAsia – the marquee healthcare and life sciences event, organized by the Government of Telangana. At BioAsia 2023, Flanders Investment & Trade will bring a key delegation of senior officials from Flanders and also participate in multiple B2B, G2B, and other meetings. A task force with members including industry, academia and Government from both sides have been formed and the group will discuss and implement the partnership. BioAsia in Telangana and Knowledge for Growth in Flanders shall be the two anchor events on either side in which both ecosystems shall participate in these events to steer the Flanders Telangana Lifesciences Cooperation in the next 3 to 4 years.

Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) is the Flemish public agency under the Flanders Government and advises supports and stimulates Flemish companies in their exports of products & services. It also encourages & supports overseas companies to set up business in Europe based out of Flanders, Belgium. In India, FIT has been active for the last 25 years and has played a key role in promoting economic cooperation between Flanders and India over the past two decades. With Belgium being the nerve center of Europe, Flanders in Belgium has a combination of a strongly focused research and innovation ecosystem, a highly educated and productive workforce with fluency in languages, and a highly developed transport and communication infrastructure to ensure sustainable, profitable growth.

While announcing the partnership with Flanders Investment & Trade, Mr. K.T. Rama Rao, Hon’ble Minister for Industries & Commerce, IT & MAUD said, “A region equally headstrong in innovation, growth, and R&D, Flanders’ partnership with Telangana will boost both parties to share the latest developments in the Lifesciences Industry. The industry landscape of Flanders and Telangana is very similar with focus on lifesciences (more specifically vaccines), technology and engineering, and this partnership will allow us to explore Flanders’ robust technology landscape and the sectoral strengths it possesses to provide an ideal environment for industries in both regions. We are proud to have an extensive relationship with Flanders Investment & Trade and look forward to many more years of knowledge sharing and innovation.”

Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary of the Industries & Commerce and Information Technology, Govt of Telangana said “We are delighted to enter into a partnership with Flanders Investment and Trade that will pave the way to leverage multiple synergies between both regions. Telangana-based companies will be able to get access to the potential business opportunities, R&D facilities, and the high-quality know-how of Flanders-based organizations. This will play a significant role in the faster growth of both regions and their participation in BioAsia 2023 will certainly lead to many collaborations.”

Mr. Jayant Nadiger – Trade & Investment Commissioner of Flanders, Belgium for South India, said, “Flanders’ Life Sciences ecosystem is very diverse and ranges from young start-ups to established local firms and multinationals – the entire value chain – from research and discovery to development and commercialization. It is also characterized by the fertile cross-pollination between BioTech, MedTech, Pharmaceuticals, and Healthcare. We engage with companies, industry associations, and other stakeholders in the economic ecosystem. As part of this, we have been engaging with our esteemed partner Government of Telangana extensively and are proud of our association and have jointly embarked on a long-term Flanders – Telangana Life Sciences Cooperation, and we look forward further to engaging and consolidating our interaction.”

Mr. Shakthi Nagappan, Director (Life Sciences and Pharma), Govt of Telangana and CEO – BioAsia, said, “BioAsia 2023 will attract the participation of globally eminent leaders from over 50 countries. Having Flanders, Belgium as an International Regional Partner will help accelerate connect businesses and budding enterprises through platforms like the BioAsia forum. This partnership is a testimony of two similar regions with a similar ecosystems coming together, increasing connectivity and paving a path for tomorrow that’s driven by robust research, innovation and excellence.”

With the theme of – “Advancing for ONE: Shaping the next generation of humanized healthcare”, BioAsia 2023 is all set to be held between 24th to 26th February 2023 in Hyderabad. Over the course of the three days, prominent industry leaders, distinguished scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs will come together to discuss humanizing healthcare and will hold constructive discussions on how cross-sectional ecosystems can be integrated, how disruptive technologies can be best utilized, and how we can drive quality healthcare with accessibility and affordability at the forefront in the near future.

Areas of cooperation between Telangana and Flanders Investment Trade:

•	Cluster to Cluster cooperation – Clusters in Flanders like FlanderBIO, VIB, would engage with the identified clusters in Hyderabad, including Genome Valley (one of Asia's largest lifesciences R&D clusters with more than 200 companies), Medtech Park (more than 50 companies) in Telangana, to help companies explore market access, technology partnerships, joint venture opportunities, testing / CRO engagement, etc.

•	Vaccines and mRNA technological platform: Hyderabad is known as the vaccine capital of the world producing about 9 bn doses of vaccines each year. Another 5 Bn doses capacity is currently being added. Also, WHO's mRNA vaccine hub will also be housed in Hyderabad. Hyderabad's vaccine manufacturing legacy would be another key aspect that the partners would leverage.

•	Immunotherapy - The Government of Telangana intends to establish an Institute of Curative Medicine in Hyderabad that aims to develop and commercialize the latest age-appropriate therapies for diseases prevalent in this region. Government's and global players' preliminary interest in this initiative would be an area of discussion between the partners.

•	HPC and Lifesciences University: Hyderabad Pharma City (HPC) will be the world's largest pharmaceutical cluster being developed as a new global benchmark for sustainable industrial clusters with its extraordinary and efficient infrastructure networks. HPC will also house a global university embedded in the industrial ecosystem with a focus on driving innovation. Flanders' knowledge in the area will be leveraged through this partnership.

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