BIRAC believes that the “bio-innovation capital” of the nation would come from novel ideas which have a commercialization potential and that evolve out from start-ups or academic spin-offs. BIRAC’s strategy is therefore to support the numerous exciting ideas which have an unmet need for funding and mentorship. This strategy is fulfilled through a grant funding scheme called Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG) which is available to scientist entrepreneurs from research institutes, academia and start ups. The Applicant must be either an Incubatee or have a registered company with a functional R&D laboratory to be eligible for this grant. The scheme is designed to stimulate commercialization of research discoveries by providing very early stage grants to help bridge the gap between discovery and invention.
The purpose of the BIG Scheme is to:
- Foster generation of ideas with commercialisation potential
- Upscale and validate of proof of concept
- Encourage researchers to take technology closer to market through a start up
- Stimulate enterprise formation
As part of this scheme, successful BIG Innovators receive up to INR 50 lakh (appox. $100K) for research projects with commercialization potential with duration of up to 18 months.
Call announcement calendar:
The call for proposal is announced twice a year, i.e. on 1st January and 1st July. Call for proposals typically remains open for about 45 days.
The BIG Scheme is currently managed through 6 BIG Partners across the country who works with the Ignition grantees (BIG Innovators) to provide mentoring, monitoring, networking and other business development related activities.
Current BIG Partners
- Nos. of Total Calls Launched – 10
- Total Applications – 2005 till 10th call
- Selected Proposals – 216 up to 9th call (13.23% Selection rate)
- No. of Completed Projects till Dec, 2016 – 110
- No. of Ongoing Projects – 116 (including 9th call)
- 50 Women Entrepreneurs supported
- 185 start-ups supported (including 65 I to C conversions)
- Total Funding – INR 74.16 crores
- Employment support to more than 600 skilled resources
- 46 Grantees availed follow-on funds. INR 101.86 cr. generated