Promoting Academic Research Conversion to Enterprise (PACE)

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/LLP


 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/LLP


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)

 2. 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)   

 3. 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) 

 4.   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.   


 5.  Technical criteria for applicants under AIR:


  • Applicant must have completed at least one extramural funded project in India (with minimum project duration of 3 years& in the same research area of the project proposed), project must have been funded by Govt. funding agencies or Industry. Related Sanction order or funding note to be uploaded as a proof.

  • Applicant must have authored one publication (indexed in Scopus/web of science) as first or lead author, or patents (filed) in the same research area of the project proposed for AIR. Applicant must upload the published paper or filing documents related to IP at the time of submission of application

  • Evidence of proof of principle (POP) and preliminary data, already gathered by the applicant, supporting the proposal is compulsory and must be submitted in the AIR application. Absence of which can result in disqualification of the proposal.

  • Proposals involving agriculture should have viable product/technology as an outcome that can be considered for advanced trials by the industry/authorized national agencies.

  • The final technical milestone of the AIR proposal should reflect technology/result that is near to industry readiness.




 1. Types of projects to be supported:

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

 3. 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.

 4. IPR :  Although the IP rights reside with the academia, the industry partner has first right of refusal for commercial exploitation of the New IP 


Technical criteria for applicants under CRS:

  • Evidence of proof of Concept (PoC) i.e., TRL-3 and validation ready data supporting the proposal is compulsory and must be submitted in the CRS application. Absence of which can result in disqualification of the proposal
  • Proposals that have received AIR funding should have the same industrial partner who collaborated for AIR project. Any deviation must be duly justified with clarity on IP governance.
  • The CRS proposal should be accompanied by the Commitment Letter by the industrial partner to exercise the first right for monetizing the product/technology.

5. Eligibility:

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.

For Public or Private Institute, University, NGO, or Research Foundation, submission of proper registration/ accreditation from a government body is mandatory like UGC affiliation certification AICTE, CSIR /DSIR/SIRO certificate/Bye laws of society/Trust Deed etc whichever is applicable.

Involvement of industry/LLP is optional for AIR Scheme, it is mandatory to have an industrial partner/LLP for CRS


  • 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)
  • Minimum half of the persons who subscribed their names to the LLP document as its Partners should be Indian citizens.
  • The collaborating Company/LLP should have adequate in-house facility to address the project implementation  or incubated with any of the recognized incubation facility.


Proposals under AIR or CRS are required to be submitted online only. For submission of proposals, Institutions need to register with BIRAC through “Institution User Registration”. Additional information on user registration and proposal submission are available online at BIRAC website at

Call for proposals

There are three call for proposals in a year.

  • 15th February – 31st March
  • 15th June – 31st July
  • 15th October – 30th November

Click here to view PACE Scheme document

Format-Board Resolution

Format-No lien Account

Format-Letter of Authorization

Format-GLA Institute Only

Format-GLA Institute + Company

Format-GLA Institute +Company No Grant Issued by Company

Format-GLA Institute + Institute