The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and its PSU BIRAC today announced its participation in the Bharat Innovation Fund, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the ‘Startup Konnect’ event in California last year and said it will support innovation and innovative startups under this programme.
The DBT will engage with the Bharat Fund and invest Rs 50 crore over the next three years, as part of DBT’s efforts under the Startup India initiative, to help commercialise technologies from its labs and facilities, while also mentoring startups in the healthcare, agri-tech, and other biotech-related areas.
“Productive innovations from the DBT can make a huge impact in people’s lives, as has been seen in the advances of medicine in recent years. The DBT is committed to doing citizen-oriented research and to commercialising its research, especially through new startups that can identify market opportunities to serve the masses.
“We think the IIM A-CIIE’s initiative in setting up Bharat Innovation Fund will provide crucial support for innovative startups that can bring the benefits of innovation to the broader populations. We hope this partnership will lead to rapid commercialization of Indian science for Indian citizens, through Indian startups. These efforts will leverage the experience of BIRAC and will foster exciting innovations,” VijayRaghvan, Secretary DBT said.
The Bharat Fund is a public-private-academia partnership set up by IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE).
The objective of the fund is to support and provide funding (grants, seed capital, venture capital) and business support to innovation-driven start-ups that solve real problems faced by the masses of India through technology-enabled and rapidly scalable solutions and will focus on healthcare and life-sciences (including biotech, medical devises), sustainability (energy, agriculture, environment, water), and digital technologies (especially in manufacturing, design).
CEO of CIIE, Kunal Upadhyay, said “Its experience since 2007 in nurturing Indian startups will be critical to the next phase of Indian entrepreneurship, when entrepreneurs identify needs of the both rural and urban Indian citizens, and provide products and services in critical sectors such as healthcare, sustainability, and digital services.
“The Bharat Innovation Fund will use important tools such as labs, mentorship, funding, and networking to support entrepreneurs who take on hard challenges of an ever-broadening Indian market.”
Since its launch in the Startup Konnect event, the Bharat Fund has received pledges from several government and corporate entities, such as the Department of Industrial Promotion and Policy (DIPP), Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Tata Trusts, and others. It is expected to be operational later this year, and provide a range of support to Indian startups tackling real challenges.