Coimbatore: Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore, has established a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Biotechnology at an estimated cost of 430 crore.
In a statement, the university’s vice-chancellor V Geethalakshmi said that TNAU has collaborated with the state government and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to establish the CoE as a 10-year project.
The CoE will focus on developing novel bio-inputs to promote agriculture in the state. Besides, the centre plans to house startups involved in the production and distribution of agri-biologicals.
The Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology (CoEB) building has been constructed over an area of 1.13 lakh square feet, which includes knowledge and cabin spaces that can be occupied by startups, student entrepreneurs, and established companies for research and development activities.
State-of-the-art facilities have been established at the Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology to initiate high-end research in proteomics and metabolomics.
CoEB supports and plays a vital role in transforming the landscape of startups in the agri and biotech sectors with StartupTN, she said.
Nine startup companies have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) for the cabin space, and the requests of five more companies are under process. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), StartupTN, and Green Tamil Nadu Mission companies have been requested to occupy the floor space in the CoE in Biotechnology to extend their research activities.
The companies that signed the MoA for cabin space will take possession of their cabins by the month of July, the vice-chancellor said.
Research and development activities will be carried out in CoEB under a public-private partnership mode to develop bio-based products, hormones for fruit ripening, plant growth stimulants, similar bio-inputs, agri inputs, and farm machinery for the commercial benefit of farmers. Besides, there is significant scope in biopharma, bioinformatics, and other related areas, said N Senthil, director, Centre for Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, TNAU.
Geethalakshmi said TNAU is seeking to open satellite campuses in two African nations, Ghana and Nigeria, to attract more international students to study in Tamil Nadu and make TNAU truly international.
TNAU has established its first solar-powered green office building. The vision is to make TNAU a Net Zero Energy Campus. Initiatives are being taken to commercialize TNAU inventions through retail outlets on all campuses and e-marketing platforms. TNAU launched its online marketing platform, www.tnauagricart.com, in 2023, she said.

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