BIRAC seeks research proposals under ‘2nd Grand Challenges Explorations India’

The awardee will be eligible for an award of INR 50 Lakh for 18 months, and a prize of INR 10 Lakh for timely completion of milestones

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New Delhi: The Program Management Unit –Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) initiative in partnership with the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and IKP Knowledge Park, announced the second call for proposals under the Grand Challenges Explorations India programme.

GCE- India is a unique funding opportunity where the partnership seeks to fund ideas that have the potential to change the way we look at healthcare in the country and beyond. We are looking at ideas to create new medical devices, drug delivery systems, diagnostics and technology-enabled service models for health, and for the first time, have also expanded our focus to look at clean energy for health, to address some of the greatest challenges that we face today in these areas,” said Dr Renu Swarup, Senior Advisor, Department of Biotechnology and Managing Director, BIRAC.

The awardee will be eligible for an award of INR 50 Lakh for 18 months, and a prize of INR 10 Lakh for timely completion of milestones. Successful projects will also have the opportunity to apply for follow-on funds from BIRAC through the Biotechnology Industry Partnership Programme (BIPP), Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI) or even the GCE Phase II programme of the DBT, BIRAC and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“GCE-India is an opportunity to put yourself on the same platform as Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) awardees from all over the world, while also leveraging the mentorship, resources and network that all the partners offer. This PMU-BIRAC initiative will give successful applicants the chance to work with some of the best networks and mentors offered by our partners to help change the way global health challenges are addressed,” said Dr Shirshendu Mukherjee, Mission Director, PMU-BIRAC.

Apart from the funding them, BIRAC and IKP Knowledge Park will work closely with the chosen candidates, providing them technical and business strategy advice, factors that would be critical to making an innovation a medical and commercial success.

“GCE-India was created with the goal of fostering entrepreneurship in India and IKP Knowledge Park is delighted to have partnered with the DBT, BIRAC, and the Gates Foundation to create this unique platform. The programme aims to empower potentially life-changing ideas and enable scale-up. As the implementing partner IKP Knowledge Park will mentor, provide technical consulting & access to synergistic national and international networks of highly-qualified individuals to work with successful applicants, and help them refine their strategies” said Ms Deepanwita Chattopadhyay, Chairman & CEO at IKP Knowledge Park.

This Call for Proposals is open to anyone from within India across any discipline – from researchers and faculty in colleges, universities, government laboratories and academic institutions, to start-ups and SMEs as well as non-profit organizations. The proposals could be sent until February 28, 2017. For information on eligibility, application process and selection criteria, one can visit the website of the Grand Challenges India.