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Chennai, Jan 15 : Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (Tidco)signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Cornell University, USA,on Monday, in the presence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M Karunanidhi,for setting up a biotechnology park in Chennai. The initial investment forthe basic infrastructure in the park is estimated to be Rs 100 crore andit is expected to bring investments worth over Rs 1,000 crore from Indiancompanies and non-resident Indian entrepreneurs abroad, especially in theUS, within a few years. Tidco already has enquiries from six or sevenindividual companies. State Industries Secretary Shaktikanta Das termedthe MoU as a major milestone, in the process of implementation of thebiotechnology policy of Tamil Nadu, announced in September 2000. ``It isalso a big leap into the area of life-science based industries, in whichTamil Nadu is far ahead of other states'', he said.The biotech park is expected to facilitate research and enablebio-entrepreneurs to commercialise their research findings, validateproducts, contract sequence services and provide other services liketraining on commercial basis. The initial capital for building theinfrastructure in the park is expected to come from Technology DevelopmentBoard, Department of Biotechnology, Venture Capital Funds, EmergingTechnologies Fund etc, Mr N Madhavan Nambiar, chairman and managingdirector of Tidco, said after signing of the MoU. The proposed park wouldinclude a bio-resource centre, with an incubator and a common tenancy areawith required facilities. It will provide complete technical and otherservices, technology networking, contract research work, productvalidation, patent rights documentation, commercialistion etc.Cornell University, a world leader in life-sciences area, conductsresearch programmes in agriculture, veterinary and human healthcaresciences. Various wings of the university are engaged in the management ofbiotechnology park, incubator services, technology transfer etc. Dr KVRaman, who signed the MoU on behalf of the Cornell, said the ``universitywill provide technical support and collaboration for establishment of thebiotechnology park in Chennai and also subsequent support to it intechnology transfer, mentoring, collaborative and contract researchinitiatives, human resource training etc.Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.



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