Karnataka is well on its path to grow and contribute 50% to the national bio-economy which is expected to cross a $100 billion mark by 2025, said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairperson of Biocon.Speaking at the opening session of the State’s annual tech event, Bengaluru Technology Summit, she said Karnataka’s bio-economy is estimated to have contributed $22.6 billion to the country’s bio-economy in 2019, accounting for 10.2% of Gross State Domestic Product.“This is of immense importance when compared to the valuation of national bioeconomy, which has been estimated at $62.5 billion currently. That means, Karnataka already accounts for 1/3 of national bio-economy. We want to rapidly scale this and aim to be 50% of the $100 billion bio-economy by 2025,’’ she said.In her commentary on the State’s bio-economy landscape, Ms. Mazumdar-Shaw said, Karnataka, in fact, was the first State in the country to introduce a policy on biotechnology at the turn of the millennium, when the sector was still in its infancy.Within a span of two decades, she said, the State has emerged as the preferred destination for bio-tech investments in India. Today, it hosts about 60% of the bio-tech companies in the country and employs about 54% of the country’s total bio-tech workforce. The State is home to as many as 380 bio-tech companies and over 200 start-ups, representing 18% of the total registered biotech start-ups in India.“We have been at the forefront of several innovations that are helping reimagine the future of healthcare. Innovators in the State are leveraging exciting, cutting-edge opportunities such as Artificial Intelligence, data analysis and CRISPR gene editing technology to address growing global diseases challenges,’’ she elaborated.According to Ms. Mazumdar-Shaw, who is also chairperson, Vision Group on Biotechnology, the State’s emergence as a frontrunner in biotech-led innovation is a fruition of the plans laid out by the Karnataka Vision Group on Biotechnology some 20 years ago.“Whether it is diagnostics, vaccines, therapies or tele-health, technology has acted as a saviour for us in this pandemic,’’ she said.The tech summit was taking place at a time when COVID-19 has highlighted the transformative power of biotechnology and information technology in providing solutions to rapidly and effectively address this global pandemic, according to her.