Innovation by Department of Biotechnology


The Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT), along with the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), today announced its participation in the Bharat Innovation Fund. This fund, launched by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in September 2015 during the Startup Konnect event in California, will support innovation and innovative startups in areas of healthcare and life-sciences, sustainability, and digital technologies.

The DBT will engage with the Bharat Fund, as part of DBT’s efforts under the Startup India initiative, to help commercialize technologies from its labs and facilities, while also mentoring startups in the healthcare, agri-tech, and other biotech-related areas. The DBT will also invest Rs. 50 crore over the next 3 years to support startups through this Fund.

Secretary of the DBT, Dr K. Vijay Raghavan, said “Productive innovations from the department of biotechnology 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 commercializing 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”

CEO of CIIE, Shri Kunal Upadhyay, noted that “CIIE’s 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.”

Vice-president at CIIE, Shri Mudit Narain, mentioned that “Innovation-led economic development in a modern knowledge economy requires equal and consistent support from the public and private sectors. This Fund is an effort by one of India’s leading academic institutes to bring together public and private resources, such as experts, finances and labs, to provide the fertile ground for innovation that will seed the Indian multinationals of the next few decades.

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.

About The Bharat Innovation Fund: The Bharat Fund is a public-private-academia partnership set up by Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE). The objective of the fund, inter-alia, 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).

The Bharat Fund shall be managed and coordinated by CIIE at the IIM, Ahmedabad.

About the Department of Biotechnology: Biotechnology is a frontline area of science with immense potential for the benefit of the human kind. The Department shall devote wholly to achieve excellence in the promotion of biotechnology in the country in the areas of research, infrastructure, generation of human resource, popularization of biotechnology, promotion of industries, creation of centers of excellence, implementation of biosafety guidelines for genetically modified organisms and recombinant DNA products and biotechnology based programs for societal benefits. It also supports BIRAC as independent not for profit company.

About CIIE: Set up under the aegis of IIM Ahmedabad, Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) helps entrepreneurs turn ideas into viable businesses. In partnership with our mentors, corporates, development agencies, IIMA community and investors, CIIE nurtures entrepreneurs by incubating, accelerating, mentoring and funding innovative start-ups. CIIE believes that entrepreneurship has an unmatched ability to bring about disruptive change in India and engages with ventures across technology and impact areas like energy, environment, agriculture, healthcare and affordable technology.

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