Novozymes are in the process of setting up their fifth foreign research and development centre – in Bangalore, India. The centre will develop enzymes for local products and strengthen the company’s international research projects.

According to Per Falholt, Novozymes R&D, the main reason for setting up research in Bangalore is the number of highly trained bioengineers.

The company are in the process of purchasing a building plot in the vicinity of the planned airport in Bangalore. A local architectural and construction firm have been contracted to build a research and development centre near the Indian Institute of Science.

This is the country’s leading university in the area of biotechnology with around 6,000 PhD students carrying out research. The Institute has already conducted several research projects for Novozymes, and the company are keen to develop the relationship.

Novozymes’ own research and development centre will start up with 20 Indian bioengineers. However, unlike Novozymes’ other international research centres, no Danish researchers will be posted permanently in India.

Instead Novozymes will be bringing Indian researchers to Denmark and posting foreign researchers in Bangalore for short periods only. ‘This is a new way of organising our research’, says Falholt, who hopes that the Indian base will bring some fresh angles to the research.

The Indian researchers will also be working on local research projects based on local products. The food sector, among others, is facing industrialisation in keeping with India’s rising prosperity, which is being driven by a rapidly growing economy.

Although Novozymes’ annual sales in India are still relatively low, turnover has grown strongly in recent years.

‘We have had really good experiences establishing international research groups comprising researchers from our various research centres.’

Novozymes have existing international research centres in the USA, Japan and China.

Per Falholt predicts that India will become an important market. Their investment confirms this belief.