BIRAC-Call For Proposal

BIRAC Announces Special Call For Proposals Under PACE Scheme 15th February - 31st March, 2022

Biotechnological research and development in India is largely carried out by academic institutions (universities/research organizations) and to some extent by industry (mostly large companies). By virtue of their strong infrastructure & technical capability academic/ research establishments are mandated to research on variety of problems of national importance and societal relevance. Also, unlike industry, research by academia is not governed by commercial gains alone thus allowing them to work on problems involving even high degree of risk.

To encourage/support academia to develop technology/product (up to PoC stage) of societal/ national importance and its subsequent validation by an industrial partner, BIRAC has launched PACE (Promoting Academic Research Conversion to Enterprise).  

The scheme has two components as below:

1. Academic Innovation Research (AIR): 

The objective of Academic Innovation Research (AIR) scheme is to promote development of Proof-of-concept (PoC) for a process/product by academia with or without the involvement of industry 

2.Contract Research Scheme (CRS):

Contract Research Scheme (CRS) aims at validation of a process or prototype (developed by the academia) by the industrial partner

Proposals are invited under following areas:

Healthcare- Devices and Diagnostics

a. Solutions to tackle mental health problems: The COVID-19 induced lockdown and the related stress has created an increase in mental health problems and associated disorders. Diagnostic and screening, point of care customized solutions are required for neurological disorders and diseases. Some examples include but are not limited to; devices that track emotions, EEG and Brain Stimulation for Depression, wireless devices that change the brain's response to stress, Smart devices for Chronic Nerve Pain and Insomnia, Apps and algorithms for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) etc.

b. Digital Health and Telemedicine solutions using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) based systems to accurately predict chronic diseases in their early stages, respiratory diseases, delivery of health services and drug discovery
  • Augmented reality-based tools and systems for healthcare professionals
  • Digital solutions for diagnosis of Rare diseases and Genetic disorders
  • Robotics in Healthcare: Surgical Assistance Robots, Sanitation and Disinfection Robots, robots enabling lab automation & Robotic exoskeletons
  • Smart assistive technologies
  • NGS based workflows for high volume screening including mutation detection
  • Remote health monitoring solutions

c. Innovative Technologies for diagnosis and management of respiratory illness including post-COVID pulmonary rehabilitation

  • Non-invasive, biomarker-based, rapid diagnostics for respiratory diseases including
  • respiratory infections (excluding RT-PCR, Antigen, Antibody kits for SARS CoV-2 detection)
  • Medical devices for interventional pulmonary diagnosis and procedures
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation devices for COPD and Post-COVID recovery
  • Ventilation and critical care accessories
  • Diagnostic Imaging modalities for respiratory medicine

d. Devices to strengthen Anganwadi workers: Innovative devices are required to strengthen the decision making at the bedside or point of care. Solutions to measure nutritional and health status of children, Immunization records, New-born Growth Monitoring devices (infantometer), solutions for training and capacity building of Anganwadi workers, dental health monitoring solutions for children etc. are the need of the Indian health care system.

e. Import Substitution - To promote the manufacturing capacity of India, proposals are invited for scale-up and facility creation of below-mentioned equipments and raw materials:

  • Development and scale-up of Medical Equipments such as Ophthalmic Appliances, Endoscopes/ Gastroscopes/ camera-based imaging devices, Surgical Equipments & Devices, Anesthetic Equipment, CT, MRI, X-ray, Hemodialysis machine etc
  • Development and scale-up for Drug Eluting Stents (DES), Auditory Implants, Artificial valves, I.V. Cannulae, Catheters, Surgical Knives, Scissors and Blades
  • Development and scale-up of raw material for dental, orthopedic, ophthalmologic, cardiac and neurological implant

Healthcare- Drugs including Drug Delivery and Biopharmaceuticals, Biosimilars and Regenerative Medicine, Vaccines and Clinical Trials

  • Drugs including drug repurposing for Neglected Diseases, Genetic diseases & Rare Diseases, Nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) & nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) & neurological disorders.
  • Vaccines for neglected diseases and neurological diseases.
  • New methods/technologies of drug delivery (Example- Nano crystalline solid dispersion, drug polymer/peptide conjugate, enabling technologies to improve oral bioavailability), complex generics.
  • New methods/technologies for Vaccine delivery and Cold chain distribution of Vaccines
  • PAN corona vaccine and variant-specific product characterization assays (e.g., potency, identity) may need to be validated with appropriate testing plans and data.
  • Scalable Organ-on-a-chip models or platform for disease modelling and drug testing
  • Media Development for different Biosimilars
  • Stem cell-based therapies for treatment of various diseases-:
    • Technologies towards design and development of CAR-T cell therapy against cancer and other diseases
    • Technologies for manufacturing of clinical grade material for cell therapy
    • Methods of delivery of cell therapy products

Energy, Environment & Secondary Agriculture:

  • Strain engineering/process development/Cost effective production technologies for the production of
    • Enzymes
    • Speciality chemicals
    • API
    • Bulk molecules and high value products
    • Industrially relevant bio-based import substitutes (intermediates, polymers, surfactants, fine chemicals, dyes, pigments, flavors and fragrances)
    • Efficient and Sustainable Biofuels/energy/blended fuels/drop-in fuels
    • Enhance methane production from biodegradable biomass dumped in the landfills
    • Biotechnological routes for decomposition of plastics/microplastics to value added products
    • Site-specific remediation of xenobiotics from the environment
  • Biotechnological means for River surface cleaning/water body restoration/ restoration of degraded lands
  • Development of Plant polysaccharides as a new source for coagulant – surfactant – flocculant aid
  • Biotechnological intervention for Air Pollution Management (like CO2 sequestration, development of biofilters etc.)
  • Development of Plant based meat products/artificial meat/cultured meat
  • Bioactive compounds from medicinal plants having phytopharmaceutical applications
  • To establish value addition with infrastructural facilities like sorting, grading, packaging and processing for horticulture including organic produce, marine, dairy, poultry, etc
  • Technologies to enhance shelf life of packaged foods/exotic fruits
  • Probiotic products for lactose intolerant population
  • Technologies for production of traditional drinks (beverages/dry powder based form)
  • Waste management (animal farm waste and slaughterhouse waste) through biotechnological means.

Agriculture (including veterinary sciences and aquaculture):


  • Application of Digitally Enabled / Disruptive technologies e.g., Sensors, IoT, 3D printing, Robotics, AI/ Machine learning, UAV/Drones, GIS, GPS, Remote sensing for smart agriculture and disease management
  • Accelerating the productivity/yield enhancement of oilseeds and pulses
  • Gene editing technologies to improve traits like yield, quality, disease resistance, etc. in crops
  • Marker assisted heterosis breeding for development of improved crop varieties
  • 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
  • Smart pest management using Nano sensors, Nano-pesticides, pheromone, etc
  • Post-Harvest interventions with special reference to storage, grading, standardization and quality control of agricultural produce to enhance their market value

Veterinary Sciences:

  • Vaccines for small ruminants and pet animals.
  • Platform technology for vaccine development for veterinary use
  • Development of diagnostics for zoonotic diseases particularly point of care tests.
  • Rapid and cost-effective meat Species identification and quality testing.Ethno veterinary medicine.
  • Food development for pet animals
  • Improved or novel techniques of semen sexing in farmed ruminants
  • Use of Biotechnological tools to enhance the digestion and bioavailability of the fibers for ruminants and other livestocks
  • Early detection of Heat and Pregnancy in cattle


  • Field usable diagnostic kits for disease and algal toxins relevant to aquaculture
  • Aquaculture Development through Integrated approach and Aquaponics through Biotechnology interventions

The proposals can be submitted under PACE scheme of BIRAC.

The scheme has two components as below:

1. Academic Innovation Research (AIR):

The objective of Academic Innovation Research (AIR) scheme is to promote development of Proof-of-concept (PoC) for a process/product by academia with or without the involvement of industry 

Eligibility Criteria for Academic Innovation Research (AIR):

  1. Types of projects to be supported :

Projects with well-established proof-of-principle leading to development of prototype of a product /technology of national relevance or commercial potential

(Basic/exploratory research, projects without well-established Proof of principle or   with no or low commercial potential will not be supported)

  1. Duration of project :  up to 24 months (BIRAC’s Technical Expert Committee at its discretion may recommend for increased duration of the project depending upon the nature of the research study)                   
  2. Funding Support (Grant): Total cost of the project must not exceed Rs. 50 lakhs (Non-recurring cost must not exceed 10% of the total cost)
  3. IPR :        IP rights may be with academia alone, or jointly shared between academia and industry (if academia establishes PoC with industry) as per the understanding between the two partners   



B.      Contract Research Scheme (CRS):


Contract Research Scheme (CRS) aims at validation of a process or prototype (developed by the academia) by the industrial partner

Eligibility Criteria for Contract Research Scheme (CRS):

  1. Academia must have an established Proof-of-Concept (PoC) as evident by scientific data ready for validation by the industry in contract research mode

       2.  Duration of the project : No time limit

  1. Funding Support (Grant):  Funding in the form of grant is provided to both academic as well as industrial partners. While funding is provided to the academia for In-House research which forms a part of validation of the Proof of Concept, funds are provided to the industrial partner for validation. There is no ceiling to the funding 
  2. IPR :  Although the IP rights reside with the academia, the industry partner has first right of refusal for commercial exploitation of the New IP

View RFP

A.         Academic Innovation Research (AIR):

(a)   Under the scheme, academia (Public or Private Institute, University, NGO, or Research Foundation) having a well-established support system for research shall be the primary applicant. It can apply either:

                 (1)  Individually, or

                 (2) Jointly with academic* and/or industrial** partner

*        For Public or Private Institute, University, NGO, or Research Foundation, proper registration/accreditation from a government body is mandatory

**      Participating company (if any) should be registered under the Indian Companies Act, 2013 with at least 51% Indian shareholding i.e., 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)

(b). The applicant Company should have adequate in-house facility to address the project implementation or incubated with any of the recognized incubation facility.


B.      Contract Research Scheme (CRS):

(a) Academia* has to be the Primary Applicant with one or more partners of which at least one is a company** 

(b). The applicant Company should have adequate in-house facility to address the project implementation (which shall be evaluated during the site visit) or incubated with any of the recognized incubation facility.

Announcement Date: 15-02-2022
Last Submission Date: 31-03-2022 05:30 PM

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