Vaccine development is a lengthy, expensive process, typically taking an average of 10-15 years. But the current emergency does not provide this luxury of time. While the government efforts have helped quickly put together the best groups and encouraged them to accelerate the COVID vaccine development, it is now imperative that the COVID vaccine development and manufacturing are taken up in a Mission mode and not in a project mode.
As a part of the Government of India’s response to Covid -19 pandemic, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, has been working with all stakeholders to address the urgent need for a COVID Vaccine.
To ensure a steady supply of vaccines in the next 12-18 months, DBT has established Mission COVID Suraksha. The focus of this mission is to consolidate and streamline available resources towards a warpath for accelerated vaccine development. This will be a National Mission working to bring to the citizens of the country a safe, efficacious, affordable, and accessible COVID vaccine at the earliest with a focus on Atma Nirbhar Bharat, and fulfil our commitment of serving not just the country but the entire globe.
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) as a Government Enterprise has been identified by DBT to effectively implement Mission COVID Suraksha by setting up a Mission Implementation Unit (MIU).
To ensure all vaccines being introduced through the Mission have preferred characteristics applicable for India it was proposed to be achieved by strengthening the following functional domains:
In December 2020, Request for Expression of Interests (REOI) on Enhancement of Capacity to support COVID-19 vaccine development was announced. A total of 8 applications were received out of which 6 have been recommended for financial support. To establish sufficient facilities that conduct animal challenge studies and immunogenicity assays for vaccine efficacy studies, this Follow on Request for Expression of Interest (REOI) is announced to seek application for:
Enhancement of Capacity to support COVID-19 vaccine development.
To upgrade /strengthen Service Facilities for conduct of animal studies and immunological assays that is available to COVID-19 vaccine developers. It will help in accelerating development of COVID-19 vaccines in the pipeline.
Proposals are thus invited for (i) conducting animal challenge studies and/or (ii) assessing the clinical immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates
The process for submitting the proposals online is detailed below:
i. Go to BIRAC's website https://www.birac.nic.in
ii. Click on the Call for Proposal and then-current call tab in order to view the call detailed description.
iii. Click on the active call against which you wish to submit the Proposal.
iv. Further details on 'How to Submit a Proposal' would also be available in BIRAC 3i Portal.
v. If you are already a registered user, then kindly enter your login credential at the below link in order to submit proposal: https://birac.nic.in/login.php
vi. if you are a new user and your company/organization is not listed in the drop-down on the registration page, then you need to register your company/organization by clicking on link: https://birac.nic.in/desc_new.php?id=327
vii. Once you register your company/organization, then your organization will be activated within 24 hrs. After activation, please create your login credential by browsing the same link : https://birac.nic.in/desc_new.php?id=327 .
After registration, you will receive an auto-generated link on the registered email id entered at the time of registration.
viii. Once you login into https://birac.nic.in by using login credentials, then kindly click on "COVID Suraksha" on the dashboard to submit the proposal.
ix. Applicants are advised to fill-up and submit their applications early without waiting for the last date in order to avoid any last-minute contingencies. The system stops accepting applications automatically after last date and time of submission.
x. In case of any query may please drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org without any delay.
Announcement Date: 01-06-2021
Last Submission Date: 15-06-2021 05:00 PM