The designing and development of real estate that aims to promote the advancement of healthcare and medicine come under the umbrella term of Life Sciences. The sector of life sciences spans various industries including – pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, genomes, medical devices companies, and many more.
There are several factors contributing to increased occupiers’ demand for life sciences real estate in the country. Some of these factors include the progression in the demand for pharma products by the country’s senior population, the introduction of policies by the government that promotes the growth of the industry, and an increase in the research & development capabilities of the industry.
In recent times, the life sciences sector played a major role in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic battle. Its significant role in the Covid-19 pandemic placed an increased burden on real estate to test, store, and produce vaccines and medicines. According to the estimation of Savills India, the life sciences industry can generate the demand for 96 million square feet of commercial real estate by the year 2030.
Life sciences companies mostly engage in medical research and the development of medical equipment, and regulations. Due to the same, the lease arrangements in life science real estate are straightforward and interchangeable. The reason behind this is that once the space is designed for a life science industry tenant with lab utilities, hazardous waste disposal, HVAC requirements, and mechanical systems, it will have to undergo months of renovation and modification to suit the needs of other tenants.
Here are the top 5 clusters of life sciences real estate in the country:
- Genome Valley – Hyderabad
- Electronic city – Bengaluru
- Patancheru – Hyderabad
- Taramani – Chennai
- Parawada – Visakhapatnam
1. Genome Valley (Hyderabad) – Focusing mainly on vaccine clinical research, pre-clinical research, agri-research, and biotech/pharma, Genome Valley is one of the largest and earliest clusters of R&D in India. It shelters a diverse and vibrant mix of life sciences companies engaged in manufacturing & R&D.
Genome Valley has spread across an area of 10,000 acres approximately. It is systematically built to feature world-class infrastructural facilities like Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Industrial/knowledge parks. A dedicated space of 25sq km in the Genome Valley is built as a ‘Pollution Free Zone’ to provide a special R&D environment to the companies.
2. Electronic City (Bengaluru) – Sheltering nearly half of Bengaluru biotechnology companies, the Electronic City or the Electronic City-Jigani-Bommasandra cluster is one of the primary zones for life sciences in the city. Some of the well-known facilities in this cluster are Biocon Park and Syngene International. Biocon Park is one of the largest integrated biotechnology hubs in India. It is spread across 90 acres and features manufacturing facilities and research laboratories. Syngene International, on the other hand, is the largest Clinical Research Outsourcing (CRO) company in India.
The Electronic City cluster is also home to two best-in-class life sciences education and incubation centers namely Bengaluru Bioinnovation Center(BBC), and the Institute of Bioinformatics & Applied Biotechnology (IBAB).
3. Patancheru (Hyderabad) – This cluster is located northwest of Hyderabad and is a well-established industrial region.
This cluster houses the campus of ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics). The existence of ICRISAT in this cluster is a key driver of growth for life sciences companies in the region as ICRISAT provides support to new and old life sciences ventures in furthering their R&D activities and capabilities.
This cluster is an established base for over 40 life sciences companies. These companies are mainly focused on Bioagri, APIs/Bulk drugs, and CRAMS (Contract Research & Manufacturing Services) segments.
4. Taramani (Chennai) – Taramani is located in the south-central part of Chennai city and is one of the key commercial and industrial zones in the city. Some of the major industrial developments in this cluster are – TIDEL Park, TIDCO and ELCOT, Ramanujam IT park, and World Bank.
One prime life science facility in this cluster is TICEL Bio Park. TICEL features world-class laboratory infrastructure for R&D and biotech companies. The life sciences companies with a focus on nutraceuticals, CRO, medical biotechnology, bioinformatics, and agricultural biotechnology gain benefit from the strategic location of TICEL Bio Park in this cluster.
5. Parwada (Vishakhapatnam) – This life science real estate cluster is one of the prime industrial areas in Andhra Pradesh. It is also home to pharma SEZ, Jawahar Lal Nehru Pharma City (JNPC)
JNPC is a special pharma SEZ that is spread across 2,400 acres and features more than 63 companies from the life sciences sector. Some of the factors that make Parwada a suitable pharma SEZ and a strong base for the Life Sciences industry are –
- Availability of large portions of land for expansion
- Central and state governments support
- Port facilities in the vicinity for export
- Growth opportunities
At present, life sciences companies in India are entering into a collaborative era of research and development. This is resulting in greater demand for integrated and flexible Life Sciences Buildings. The Real Estate agents are also broadening their catalogs and are open to offering diverse infrastructure to suit the needs of Life Sciences tenants.