Government Announces 75 Amrit Grants For Biotech Startups Worth INR 10-15 Crore

Union minister Dr Jitendra Singh said that under this initiative, ambitious research ideas, high-risk, milestone-driven collaborative research for knowledge-based discoveries with broad demonstrable application from both academia and industry will be considered for support

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Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union minister, on Monday announced the 75 Amrit grants for biotech ecosystem which includes startups, industry, academia and research bodies in integrated collaboration. As per minister's statement, DBT-BIRAC75 Amrit team grant initiative will give a boost to Prime minister's call for'Jai Anusandhan'. Under this initiative, ambitious research ideas, high-risk, milestone-driven collaborative research for knowledge-based discoveries with broad demonstrable application from both academia and industry will be considered for support and it also aims to propel India to a position of global leadership.

Dr Jitendra Sigh Twitter handle

"75 inter-disciplinary, multi-institutional grants would be supported for high-risk, ambitious research ideas, milestone-driven collaborative research in all domain specific areas of the biotech sector. Startups, industries, academia and research bodies can form Team Science Grant in a public-private partnership mode to avail grant of INR 10 to 15 crore over a period of two to three years of inter-disciplinary, high-quality research. In order to address the national priorities to propel India as a global leader in the biotechnology sector, the grants would be broadly provided in the areas of health, agri-biotech, climate change, synthetic biology and sustainable bioresource management," said Singh, in a statement.

The knowledge-based discovery solutions for societal needs, transformational advances of scientific value and impact contribute towards India's emergence as an equal global partner.

India's bioeconomy is expected to grow from $70 billion to $150 billion by 2025. The minister said that this growth is possible only with the active participation of all the stakeholders in biotechnology sector. In his words, "The biotechnology sector has been recognized as one of the key drivers growing exponentially and it will be the main torch bearer of India's developed economic status in the Amrit Kaal period of next 25 years."

While commenting on this government's initiative, Ankit Alok Bagaria, co-founder of Loopworm, a biotech startup, has shared his viewpoints with Entrepreneur India that, "We are delighted to note that the DBT-BIRAC 75 Amrit Team Grant is an excellent and much-needed initiative to bolster the biotechnology and life spaces in India. Unlike other domains, biotech R&D takes a much longer gestation period ad significantly higher resources to convert idea to PoC to commercial product. But with an INR 10 to 15 crore grant, there is a greater probability to overcome the commercialization barriers."

The minister also mentioned about some co-creative programs by government on mental health and pre-term birth, bioenergy and INSACOG and he said that they are amongst the many cross-disciplinary, multi-institutional initiatives supported by the department of biotechnology.