The Chief Minister of India’s State of Andhra Pradesh wants to promote future cooperation between Indian and North Carolina biotechnology companies and State efforts on a short visit to the Triangle, Monday, Feb. 4.

And the trip could lead to the opening of offices for Indian biotech companies in the state, according to those familiar with the trip.

Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, one of India’s best-known political figures, plans to sign a joint declaration of intent to cooperate in the field of biotechnology with North Carolina state and Biotech Center officials.

The New York Times recently singled out Naidu as one the Indian leaders who are “at the vanguard of efforts to modernized local economies and integrate them into the global marketplace.”

The event, called “Biotechnology Bridges Continents,” is sponsored by Bio-Technology International, the NC Biotech Center, NC Department of Commerce World Trade Division, and the World Trade Center, will be held at the Biotech Center.

Dr. Veeraindar Goli, speaking on behalf of Bio-Technology International, says, “With its existing research and development infrastructure, presence of world-class biotechnology companies, and centers of excellence, Andhra Pradesh has a competitive edge in biotechnology in India.

“With the recent establishment of Biotech Park and the Genome Valley, Andhra Pradesh is likely to become a major center for bioinformatics and post-genome discovery and development in India.”

Indian companies may open offices here

Vipin K. Garg, president and chief executive officer of Birmingham, Al. based Tranzyme Inc. and advisor to the Bio-Technology International, tells Local Tech Wire that Andhra Pradesh is “one of the most progressive states in India.”

Garg was instrumental in arranging the Minister’s visit to the Triangle. “I was in India a month ago,” he says, “and found out the Minister was coming to the United States. I said he has to come to North Carolina.”

Garg says both states have similar profiles in the way they combine government and private economic initiatives such as the state-supported Biotech Center and Research Triangle Park itself.

“The Research Triangle is the only place the Minister will visit other than New York City,” Garg says.

The cooperation agreement is a first step that may eventually lead to Indian companies considering the Triangle as a place to open offices and marketing and technology alliances between companies in the two states, Garg says.

Garg says the visit was not a hard sell because, “Anyone following biotechnology, particularly looking at models of state supported industry, is familiar with the Research Triangle and the Biotechnology Center.”

The event takes place at the NC Biotechnology Center from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4. Naidu and his delegation will also tour area biotechnology firms. He also is scheduled to visit IBM.

More information about the event is available from Christy_Russell@ncbiotech.org.