The government will soon launch a Special Incentives scheme to support 75 Start-Ups in areas of Telemedicine, Digital Health and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to coincide with the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ being celebrated from 15th August this year.
The scheme will be launched by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a Public Sector Enterprise under the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.
This was disclosed here today by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh who said that instructions to this effect had been conveyed to the members of BIRAC led by its Chairperson Dr. Renu Swarup, who is also Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology.
Interacting with the Board of Directors of BIRAC, the Minister said the grand challenge to identify the top 75 innovations is the most appropriate task in the 75th Year of India’s Independence that will promote R&D in the health sector at a time when humanity the world over is dealing with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Jitendra Singh exhorted the senior officers to make efforts to reduce the turnaround time while supporting the Startups so as to retain the edge over the private sector. He also called upon the Board of Directors of BIRAC to also give Startup applicants particular themes so as to focus on different aspects of tackling Covid-19.
BIRAC has been promoting and supporting new ventures under the Startup India and Make in India programmes in the areas of Biotechnology ecosystem growth. The BIRAC has lent funding support of over Rs.2,128 crores to more than 1,500 Startups, Enterprises and SMEs. From supporting less than 50 Biotechnology Startups in 2012 with Innovative Funding of less than Rs. 10 crore, the BIRAC is now funding over 5,000 BT Startups with over 2,500 crore. By the year 2024, the BIRAC targets to support more than 10,000 BT Startups.
Earlier, Dr. Jitendra Singh launched the e-office of BIRAC and the BIRAC e-Office software was made live today. BIRAC e-Office Lite software has been deployed on NICSI server in testing mode from 1st August 2021. The Union Minister of State said that the Digital India Mission is an ambitious project that will promote the country’s prosperity by encouraging transparency and good governance.
BIRAC has an in-house BIRAC 3i portal to its credit, where all the applications and proposals are submitted online. This portal was launched in February 2010 and is a dynamic, robust, scalable application for Science and Innovative Research Fund Management wherein various stakeholders like Companies, Institutes and Individuals submit their proposals online.
Ms. Anju Bhalla, Joint Secretary, DST and Managing Director, BIRAC and Senior Officers of BIRAC and DBT were also present at this event.