Goa investment policy 2014 had identified biotechnology as one interest area but the thrust of investments has been in the tourism and pharmaceuticals sector.
Declining foreign tourist footfalls and the recent COVID-19 lockdown also beg the question if tourism can continue to play the same role in the long term. While IT investment policy is a welcome step in that direction, IT investments are small ticket and do not create employment at the base of the pyramid (primary employment).
It is in this context that the state can look to support development of greenfield biotechnology and nutraceuticals industry in the state.
Biotechnology and Nutraceuticals are, in many ways, ideally suited to the state as they are knowledge intensive, low on resource consumption (low land/water/material input requirements), linked closely to value-added agriculture and marine culture.
The Biotechnology Policy of Goa notified in 2006, clearly identified focus areas like agriculture based biotech (organic farming, medicinal plant cultivation, mushroom cultivation), Industrial Biotechnology (Nutraceuticals, Fermented processes, Functional Foods), bio-services (contract research) and marine biotechnology.
Further with ICAR Goa , recognized as a centre for excellence and innovation in biotechnology by the Government of India, NIO, Goa as one of the leading expert institute in marine biotechnology, and , strong presence of dairy, beverages, food processing and pharmaceuticals, the state can draw great synergies by utilizing the expertise of these local institutions and industries.
Some industry bodies and publishing houses who are working in this space would be interested in hand-holding and supporting the state to develop a vision and investment support strategy if the state leadership is interested in pursuing opportunities in these spaces.