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Futuristic biotechnology industry partnership programme for SMEs

Updated: Jun 15, 2013 02:49:03pm
New Delhi, Jun 15 (KNN) The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has planned to launch a biotechnology industry partnership programme (BIPP) to promote break-through research and futuristic ideas.

Coming under the purview of the Ministry of Science and Technology,  the Advanced Technology Scheme (ATS), is envisaged as a government partnership programme with industries for support on cost sharing basis for high risk discovery and innovation, accelerated technology development, especially for futuristic areas.

The programme would support viability gap funding and enhance existing R&D capacities of small industries with an aim to increase global competitiveness of the Indian industry.

The scheme provides for a government contribution of 30-50 per cent to the industry for discovery linked innovation. Under this advanced technology scheme, support would be provided only for futuristic areas, transformational technology and product development for public good.

Grant in aid support would also be provided for evaluation and validation of biotechnology products that are based on indigenous discovery and innovation. The scheme will support major research facilities and platform technology centres as core facilities that are readily accessible to SME’s and public sector scientists.
The uniqueness of this scheme is that it is for "Break through research" which enables product and process development and is patentable, with IP ownership rights resting with industry.
BIPP also supports high risk, highly innovative accelerated technology development especially in futuristic technologies as well as nationally and socially relevant areas, with no assured market.  It would be more of translational research in such cases.  It is envisaged that public institutes would be useful partners, so that the basic R&D leads can be translated to product development by the industry. 
BIPP also provides for product evaluation and validation through support for limited and large scale field trial for agriculture products and clinical trials for health care products.
The programme has been supporting the research project for novel IP generation.

Indian Biotech companies regulated under the Indian Company Act 1956 with 51 per cent Indian shareholding (including NRI's) who have DSIR recognized R&D are entitled for BIPP funding, either independently or in collaboration with companies, not for Profit organisation or academics partners. 

So far 88 agreements have been signed with 72 companies involving approximately 50 start-ups and SMEs. Scheme provides for both soft loan and grant. A total of investment of USD 141 million has been committed with USD 50 million by Government of India with a matching contribution of USD 91 million coming in as private sector contribution.

DBT is operating this scheme through BIRAC, a not-for-profit company set up by Department of Biotechnology to promote and nurture innovation research in Biotech Enterprises specially start-ups and SMEs.

Major thrust of the programme is towards funding technologies which address a major national problem and/or involves high level of innovation. The proposals spanning across the spectrum of pre-proof-of-concept to validation of established technologies are considered for support in the form of grant and/or loan. (KNN)


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