Biotechnology: A Research Career with unlimited growth potential


Dr Kaustav Bandyopadhyay,
Assistant Professor,
Amity Institute of Biotechnology,
Amity University Haryana

Biotechnology is a huge part of our everyday lives. You probably even do not know how many biotechnological innovations you are using right now like clothes you are wearing, the food you are eating, or drugs you are taking can all have a contribution from a biotechnologist. Name any field where mankind uses technology and is planning to thrive in the next thirty years, biotechnology has a role to play in it. From space research (plant-based food in space) to automobile industries (biofuel), biotech is everywhere. No other discipline of science is playing or will continue to play a bigger role to enhance the quality of life. Biotech is spearheading the fight with global obstacles to humankind, namely climate change and increasing pollution, food security, and energy crisis. The ever-increasing global population is facing healthcare problems every day, and biotech is here to deal with drug discovery to diagnostics. Agriculture, under the ever-harsher conditions, is possible because of biotechnological innovations. In other words, economic and intellectual investment in biotechnology is sure to yield dividends in terms of economy and quality of life.

The biotech industry, which has just started to gain momentum, is already totaling billions of dollars and providing millions of jobs around the globe. More than 350 million patients worldwide are benefitting from this industry. As of today, more than 50% of the medicines and procedures in the healthcare industry are obtained in the biotech era.

Apart from the healthcare, agricultural and industrial biotech are the two other sectors which are already leading the market. Beer fermentation to vitamin production, biotech industries are serving the cause for the last 30 years. With climate-resilient rice, pest-resistant crops, healthier potato chips and, apples that will not turn brown after cutting, agricultural biotechnologists are playing God.

Biotech is one of the most exciting sectors at the moment. No other sector has the same promise of extraordinary rewards for investors as biotech stocks. Globally, from Google to Microsoft, Gates Foundation to Wellcome Trust, everyone has invested in this market. In India, Reliance Jio, Tata, and Biocon are few names who have made ambitious jumps into this ocean of opportunity. The biotech industry requires Governmental policy decisions that support innovation and risk–taking as well as a public that is well informed about how biotech is creating a healthier, greener, more productive and more sustainable economy. Truly speaking, at present, the cause is well-backed by almost every Government on Earth.

For biotech to truly reach its full potential, the industry needs experienced personnel with technical know-how. This is the perfect time we build the human resource and expertise required to run this industry. With such a broad spectrum of companies and roles within the sector from development to manufacturing,from protection of intellectual property and legal affairs to commercial release and ethical laws, you can’t go wrong with a move into or developing your skillset within biotech if you are looking for a long-term career path. This industry will require millions of professionals in the next thirty years.

Apart from the industry, academic researchers, and scientists, like myself, are the pillars of the platform on which the industry is standing. This is also a fascinating career. If you are young and feel a passion for science and biology, enjoy what you are doing, academic research is also a good career for you. As a scientist in biotech, you can choose your direction, can participate in a great era of discovery, can travel worldwide with respect, can have flexibility in working hours, and finally, have a feeling that you gave something back to the society where your parents and children breathe. The future of biotechnology will be stronger with people like you.

Amity Institute of Biotechnology