Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has conceptualized and put in place a plan to kick off the development of Knowledge, Healthcare, Innovation and Research (KHIR) City in the outskirts of Bengaluru. The government aims to attract Rs. 40,000 crore investments in the areas of healthcare, innovation and knowledge sectors besides creating 80,000 jobs. The KHIR City is spread over 2,000 acres within 60 kms from Bengaluru and to be developed in a phased manner.

Noting that the state is embarking on a transformative journey to progress, Minister for large and medium industries and infrastructure development M B Patil said that the KHIR City goes beyond conventional boundaries.

The state is already a healthcare hub housing the best of medical care centres. “Today, we have a diverse and influential group from the government, medical institutes, private companies, research centers, and academia, to the strategic investment committee of Karnataka. It is a convergence of minds that holds tremendous potential to create not just a city but a hub of excellence, Patil added.

Apart from ensuring job creation and attracting investments, the initiative has the potential to contribute towards the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) due to increased economic activity. Besides attracting investments, it is aimed at contributing at least Rs. 1 lakh crore to the state GDP, he said.

The proposed KHIR City is being developed to attract investments and will help in strengthening Bengaluru’s position as a hub of medical tourism, providing employment to local people, and also help in attracting skill sets from across the globe.

“Bengaluru has the largest skilled talent pool in India and is best suited for development of KHIR City. Karnataka has a strong innovation ecosystem with many global companies’ R&D units established here. There is a strong healthcare presence. About 60 per cent of India’s biotech companies are in Karnataka,” said Patil.

With Karnataka being home to 60 per cent of India’s biotech companies and over 350 medical devices and supplies manufacturers across categories, the development of KHIR near Bengaluru, the fastest-growing innovation cluster globally, augurs as an ideal location.

KHIR City is poised to redefine the city’s global position by fostering the growth of cutting-edge knowledge institutions, healthcare facilities, innovation hubs, and research centres, said Patil.

Karnataka is already among top five states in India in terms of economic value and contributes about 8.7 per cent to the National GDP. Such initiatives further strengthen the state’s position in the country.

KHIR City will be the first such centre of knowledge which will have innovators coming together in one place. “Bengaluru will transform from being a call centre of the world to global centre of research and innovation,” said Minister for IT/BT, and S&T Priyank Kharge.

The government is planning to come out with a separate policy to promote the medical tourism. The state is home to 350 medical device and suppliers across categories and multiple institutes of excellence are present providing collaboration opportunity. The KHIR City will be a global reference point aiming to bring it in line with Singapore’s Biopolis Cluster or Japan’s Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster, said Minister Kharge.

For this, the Karnataka government will offer land and special-project-vehicle. The collaboration for KHIR City would involve a comprehensive plan and a clear objective from the interested entity along with timelines. The establishment of subgroups for strategic approach is also part of the collaboration along with commercial viability to ensure balanced private and government participation, he said.