C-CAMP launches nationwide Agriculture Grand Challenges backed by Karnataka govt

Agriculture and healthcare take centre stage at launch & showcase of several high-impact C-CAMP innovation programs with Government of Karnataka

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Bengaluru: The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), India’s premier biosciences technology and innovation hub has announced the first nation-wide call for Agriculture Grand Challenges under its K-Tech Centre for Excellence for Agri Innovation. The program which is supported by the Govt of Karnataka was launched formally by Dr Ashwathnarayan C.N., Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka at C-CAMP premises today.
The launch event also saw the 1) formalizing of Indo Israel Innovation Bridge, a C-CAMP collaboration with Consulate General of Israel to South India to drive deep science driven entrepreneurships in Indian and Israel ecosystems with a Karnataka focus, the 2) unveiling of C-CAMP COVID-19 Innovations Compendium and the 3) official hand-over of a C-CAMP supported indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine cold chain technology to the State Government.
Welcoming these four crucial announcements and stressing upon the need for agri innovation, Dr Ashwathnarayan said ”I congratulate C-CCAMP on the occasion of the launch Agriculture Grand Challenge, Indo Israel Innovation Bridge, COVID vaccine carrier technology as well as the unveiling of the C-CAMP COVID-19 innovation compendium. We need to take Agri-tech more seriously. Even though we are recognised as an agrarian economy, progress has largely stalled for want of a new revolution. To see better living standards, better economy and better future for our country, we need to probe agriculture and biotechnology together. The C-CAMP Agriculture Grand Challenges is a road we must take for securing our future. Collaboration and integration is the way forward. From Karnataka State Government, I promise support and close collaboration from all departments such as education, health to see that technologies developed at C-CAMP are passed on to the people.”
Dr. Taslimarif Saiyed, CEO & Director, C-CAMP said “In agriculture, identifying gaps on ground, articulating and creating focused problem statements are very crucial. The Centre of excellence in Agri-tech innovations supported by IT-BT department in collaboration with the Agriculture Department in Govt of Karnataka has identified over 100 problems from which we are launching this Grand Challenge for top three statements. The impact is not just for Karnataka but for entire India.”
Dr Jonathan Zadka, Consul General of Israel to South India, Bengaluru said “We are very proud in establishing cooperation by building an “Innovation Bridge” between Israel and India, bringing closer together the startups ecosystems in Life Sciences and Agritech of both countries. The potential of this initiative is enormous, and it has already generated tangible cooperation between startups from Israel and India. By doing so we will be consolidating existing islands of excellence spread across the two nations to create a collaborative environment for cutting-edge R&D. We look forward for support from Government of Karnataka to build this bridge of innovation. This new initiative will further strengthen the links between Israel and India.”
About the Agri Grand Challenge Program – The program instituted by the K-Tech Centre of Excellence for Agri Innovation at C-CAMP aims to identify promising innovations to address major problem areas in Indian agriculture. 3 problem statements have been selected for the 2021 call by C-CAMP and the Core Committee of the Centre post a rigorous 6-month, Karnataka-wide Agri Immersion conducted for identification of key sectors/gaps in agriculture and their commercialization/innovation potential.
The 3 problem statements under 2021 Agri Grand Challenge are –
  • A quick, accurate and affordable PoC method for testing a) macro/micro nutrient density in soil and/or plant tissue and b) soil microbial diversity
  • A technology to enhance the shelf life of produce and minimization of post-harvest losses through chemical/biological/IR methods
  • A technology for detection and treatment of white stem borer infestation in Coffee crop
C-CAMP will provide investment support to winning startups through: Funding of up to 25L per startup, Incubation, mentorship and handholding support. Through the Grand Challenge program, C-CAMP will thus introduce economically viable, problem-focused, deep-science and deep-technology driven entrepreneurship in the agri-sector. The program in the next five years is envisaged to identify and support at least 8-10 path-breaking innovations with impact in agriculture at the national scale and facilitate their validation and deployment.