The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) celebrated its 6th Foundation Day on Tuesday in New Delhi. Themed as ‘Sustaining Innovation – A Market-Driven Pathway’, the event was attended by a large number of dignitaries from the scientific and industry sectors both from within the country and overseas.
Through the course of six years, BIRAC has supported over 650 projects, more than 500 start-ups, & entrepreneurs, and 30 incubators across the country, resulting in over 100 products and technologies and 150 Intellectual property rights being generated.
BIRAC implements its mandate through a wide range of high impact initiatives, providing access to risk capital through targeted funding, facilitating technology transfer, and supporting intellectual property management and handholding schemes for biotech firms to make them globally competitive.
BIRAC has over 10 flagship schemes that are supported by funding from the Department of Biotechnology and manages 7 collaboratively funded programs with international partners, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Nesta, the Wellcome Trust and USAID, among others. BIRAC tries to galvanize the social impact by piloting research and extension services within a series of thematic calls and other global definite initiatives to improve public health and beyond.
The event also saw the announcement of the preliminary winners of the SoCH (Solutions for Community Health) awards. This award is an innovation challenge award which was launched on the MyGov portal in September 2017. This challenge has two themes, platform technologies for reducing disease burden (communicable and noncommunicable diseases) and sanitation and waste recycling. The winners will now have 6 months and rupees 15 lakhs to develop a minimally viable prototype and will then compete for the larger rupees 50 lakh award within their categories.
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a not-for-profit Public Sector Enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology Government of India, to empower the emerging biotech industry to undertake strategic research and innovation. BIRAC is a new industry-academia interface and implements its mandate through a wide range of impact initiatives, be it providing access to risk capital through targeted funding, technology transfer, IP management and handholding schemes that help bring innovation excellence to Indian biotech firms and make them globally competitive. BIRAC has initiated several schemes, networks and platforms that help to bridge the existing gap between industry-academia research and facilitate novel, high quality and cost-effective affordable technologies. BIRAC has initiated partnerships with several national and global partners to collaborate and deliver the salient features of its mandate.