Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a Public Sector Undertaking, of Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India, has been set up to nurture the Biotech Innovation Ecosystem, support Start-ups and SME’s for innovation research and promote affordable product development through public-private partnership
Under the present call, proposals are invited ONLY in the following PRIORITY AREAS:
A. IMPORT SUBSTITUTES
BIRAC through its programmes has been playing a pivotal role in strengthening the biotech sector across the entire product development chain. BIRAC through its flagship schemes has been supporting projects from industries and academia across various field of biotechnology such as devices, diagnostics, drug, drug delivery, biotherapeutics, stem cells and regenerative medicine, vaccines, industrial biotechnology, veterinary sciences, aquaculture, agriculture and secondary agriculture.
Efforts were concentrated towards enabling the industry and academia to develop and validate the products/technologies to reach pre-commercialization stage. Recent pandemic has further pushed the ever rising need for self-reliance and self-sustainability in the field of biotechnology to meet the country specific needs and fill the gaps. The same has been emphasized by the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India.
In order to boost the Indian Biotechnology sector and promote the research and development in key areas of biotechnology, through this call, emphasis is being laid on development of indigenous technologies and products. Keeping up with the mandate of “Atmanirbhar Bharat” and realizing the potential of Indian Biotech Ecosystem in making India self-reliant and self-sustainable, proposals are invited from eligible companies, LLPs and academia in the following areas:
Components of diagnostic kits including reagents, probes, primers and other components needed for diagnostics
Development of novel technologies for production of monoclonal antibodies for therapeutic applications and diagnostics
New methods/technologies for Vaccine delivery and Cold chain distribution of Vaccines
Cost effective production technologies for Industrially relevant bio-based import substitutes
NGS based workflows for high volume screening including mutation detection
Technologies to enhance shelf life of packaged foods
Field usable diagnostic kits for disease and algal toxins relevant to aquaculture
Microfluidics based diagnostics relevant to Veterinary Sciences
Cost effective production technologies for APIs, intermediates, high value products, polymers, surfactants, fine chemicals, dyes, pigments, flavors and fragrances
Repurposing of Drugs
B. PLANT AND SOIL HEALTH MANAGEMENT
Agriculture plays a vital role in the Indian economy with over 70 per cent of the rural households depending on agriculture for their livelihoods. Agriculture contributes to around 17-18% of the country’s GDP and provides employment to around 60% of the population. Though important, the sector hasn’t been able to perform to its potential. To meet the forthcoming demand and challenges, there is an urgent need to develop and adopt new eco-friendly technologies for increasing our crop productivity.
Since long, it has been recognized that crops and soils are not uniform within a given field. Over the last decade, various technical methods have been developed utilizing modern electronics to respond to field variability. This includes geographic positioning system (GPS)-based agriculture, site-specific and precision farming (precision agriculture) which includes computer-oriented technologies, agricultural decision support software, sensors and monitoring systems, GPS and mapping systems, predictive modelling technologies, and unmanned aerial surveillance (UAS) and imaging, etc. Application of these modern technologies would not only bring about considerable reduction in use of agricultural inputs such as water, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, etc. but would also provide opportunity to automate and simplify the collection and analysis of information. This in turn is expected to help the farmers to take more informed and precise decisions for judicious use of various agricultural inputs.
The Government of India has also launched a number of Initiatives in this direction. The Soil Health Card Scheme is one such major initiative under which soil samples of individual farmers are tested and analysed in various soil testing labs to determine nutritional status and make crop-wise recommendations of fertilisers to enable them to achieve higher productivity. While government is doing it’s utmost to assist the farmers to improve farm productivity through efficient use of agricultural inputs, academia and start-ups too can play a pivotal role in this national endeavor by developing and commercializing low cost, easy to use devices and diagnostics for on the spot soil and plant health assessment. It is in this background that the present Call for Proposals has been announced in the field of Plant diagnostics and Soil Health Management. The specific topics covered under the call are as below:
(i) Soil Health Appraisal
Development of efficient and low cost sensors for
estimation of moisture, macro and micronutrients, organic
matter, etc. for assessing and analyzing soil fertility at farmers’ field to decide on soil amendments and suitability of crops for that particular site
Use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning System (GPS), and Remote Sensing (RS) techniques for capturing variability in physical properties and soil fertility in specific fields
Application of Big data analytics tools and techniques, IOT, etc. for soil health monitoring.
Tools/techniques for estimation and diagnostics of both pathogenic as well as beneficial organisms in the soil
(ii) Plant Health Assessment & Monitoring
Development of sensors/simple tools for assessing nutritional status/ deficiencies in plants for proper fertilizer application
Rapid, specific and low cost diagnostic kits for on-site detection of various plant diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, nematodes, etc. to minimize production losses
Use of remote sensing, AI, Drones, etc. for Real-time monitoring and forecasting of crop-specific pests and diseases
Use and development of DNA probes/DNA chips/Nano sensors and other plant diagnostics methods for detection of diseases in the field
Development of Tools and Technologies for preventing Post Harvest Losses
Other related activities
1) The proposals can be submitted:
* An Indian Company is defined as one which is registered under the Indian Companies Act, 2013 and minimum 51% of the shares of the Company should be held by Indian Citizens holding Indian passport (Indian Citizens do not include Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) holders
2) The Applicant Company should either:
Proposals are required to be submitted online only. For submission of proposals, applicants need to register with BIRAC through “User Registration”. Additional information on user registration and proposal submission are available online at BIRAC website at www.birac.nic.in.
No Hard Copy to be submitted. Proposals submitted online only would be considered.
Last date for Submission of Proposals: 31st March 2021 5:30 p.m.
BIRAC will ensure maintenance of strict confidentiality of the proposals as per DBT norms.
For any queries, please contact:
Head – Investment: firstname.lastname@example.org
Announcement Date: 15-02-2021
Last Submission Date: 31-03-2021 05:30 PM