Alok Anil is a co-founder of Next Big Innovation Labs. This platform is looking to be a major player in terms of healthcare technology and bioprinting within the world. He has a large amount of experience within the technical world as well as the public policy realm.
How did you get to where you are today?
In 2008 I was first exposed to 3D printing at Boston University in the US. I was a member of the Boston University Rocket Team. We were looking into making homemade rockets for the team. Throughout my four years of engineering at Boston I had a lot of projects and experience. After undergrad I went to the UK and did work with the Automotive Industry. I did stuff with Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover. We did a lot of work focused on reducing the drag of the vehicle and helping fuel efficiency. Once I came back to India I focused on how we could use this technology for social impact. I then started working on building a larger team for the biotech sector and specifically the bioprinting sector. We started building our own bioprinter.
Can you explain what you do for the World Economic Forum?
I am the head of the global shapers community in Bangalore. People under the age of 30 help to make a larger impact within our society. I am in the Expert Network for 3D Printing. I try to help others think about the impact.
How does one get involved with the World Economic Forum?
Someone within the network must recommend you to the committee. Particularly I was part of the global shapers community and then I was nominated by people through this. I was able to hold events at the World Economic Forum on 3D printing.
You seem to have an interesting intersectionality of policy and engineering. Can you explain how this occurred?
I grew up with a family of politicians. I realize the impact politics does go hand and hand with what I do. I think it is important to realize that a lot of technology is ahead of the policy. It is important to realize that I have the ability to think through how my technology knowledge base can be beneficial to build effective policy. I also assist my state in terms of technology and science initiatives in terms of programs that they want to build in the future. I think it is beneficial to have a problem solved with both technology and policy skill.
You are the Director of Next Big Innovation Labs. What does it do?
We are a deep tech life sciences bioprinting company. We are focused on using bioprinting for disruptive tech. We are first focusing on 3D bioprinting for skin. We want to eradicate animal testing. It allows us to scale up production. We are doing organ on a chip technology as well. We are building out a strong amount of expertise. It allows us to think about disrupting the drug testing industry. We are also focusing on the clean meat industry as well. Being able to have a large platform allows us to build out a large amount of expertise.
How do you see 3D Printing being of use within India?
I would say the dental community is really leveraging 3D printing a lot. I think the future lies within the ability for us to have larger access to healthcare. We are working on using CT scans and sending them over to our own platform. This allows patients to interact remotely and have a consultation in terms of basic healthcare needs. We are looking to enable a primary healthcare center with a secondary and tertiary center. Technology may bridge the gap of having less doctors within certain areas. India is growing vastly as a pharmaceutical market. This allows Indian companies to have a strong presence with lab on a chip.
Where do you see the future of innovation within the world in terms of 3D printing?
I was able to recently to go to a global conference and I was having a conversation on interplanetary travel. This includes the thoughts on clean meat. We also think about muscle regeneration. 3D printing may allow certain organs and medical needs to be beneficial to allow the expansion of space travel.
Where do you see yourself within the next 5 years?
We want to grow as a strong player within the field of bioprinting. We are only doing a small drop within the vast ocean. We want to be a common bridge. We want to be a key initiator to enabling large stakeholders. We want to continuously build a large team of expertise. We will be a global company that is tying all of the industry.
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