Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, CEO of Biocon, announced on Tuesday that she has backed Ignite Life Science Foundation (Ignite LSF), a non-profit scientific research institute founded last year by Nobel Laureate Venki Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is a billionaire entrepreneur from India. She is the former chairperson of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, and the executive chairperson and founder of Biocon Limited and Biocon Biologics Limited, both of which are based in Bangalore, India.

According to a press release from the foundation, Shaw has committed an initial fund of Rs 5 crore for a pool of funding to carry out scientific projects on “pandemic preparedness.” Projects funded by Biocon's CEO are expected to aid efforts to prepare for and respond to future pandemics.

In response to funding, Venki Ramakrishnan stated that it was time for India to significantly invest in science and innovation, an area in which the country lags behind the West and some Asian countries.

“No country can prosper in the 21st century without being technologically advanced and knowledge-based society. Most advanced countries have significant private investments in science which is lacking in India,” he said.

Appreciating Shaw’s gesture, Ramakrishnan hoped it would encourage other donors to contribute. “Ignite Life Science Foundation has a crucial role to play in catalysing change,” he said.

Shaw said she was hopeful about the Ignite LSF funded researchers' work and that it will “become an integral part of the global ecosystem of innovative and advanced healthcare solutions.” “I have always committed a large part of my philanthropy to back biomedical research,” she said.

The non-profit organisation is an initiative to fund scientific projects that have the potential to positively impact issues important to India. It is led by a group of experts from various fields, including scientific research, academia, and management.