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Government announced 75 collaborative grants worth INR 10-15 crore for biotech startups & academia

On August 22, 2022, Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of Science and Technology, announced 75 Amrit grants for joint biotech initiatives involving businesses, academic institutions, and research organisations working together.

The DBT-BIRAC75 Amrit team grant programme will assist the Prime Minister’s appeal for Jai Anusandhan, which is Hindi for “Hail Research,” according to the minister’s statement. According to Singh, 75 inter-disciplinary, multi-institutional grants would be sponsored for high-risk, ambitious research concepts and collaborative research that was motivated by milestones in all domain-specific sectors of the biotech industry.

The minister added that assistance under this programme would be explored for startups and other stakeholders. These organisations will be allowed to create teams through public-private partnerships (PPPs) and be awarded funding totaling INR 10-15 crore over the course of two to three years in order to do top-notch research that will advance India’s standing in the world.

In order to address “national priorities to promote India as a worldwide leader” in biotechnology, the awards will be made available for research in the fields of health, agribiotech, climate change, synthetic biology, and sustainable bioresource management.

“Under this initiative, ambitious research ideas, high-risk, milestone-driven collaborative research for knowledge-based discoveries with broad demonstrable application from academia and industry will be considered for support,” said MoS Singh.

“This initiative builds on the deep foundation of partnerships to support new and innovative research programs, which aims to propel India to a position of global leadership,” added Singh.

The grants are timed to correspond with the government’s recent refocus on the domain. A two-day Biotech Startup Expo 2022 was conducted in New Delhi earlier this year to give investors and entrepreneurs a shared platform to connect. The country saw the emergence of roughly 1,100 biotech firms last year, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who spoke at the event.

Additionally, Singh introduced a solitary national portal in May for businesses and academics looking to obtain regulatory approval for biological research and development in the nation. The Covid-19 epidemic and rising demand for biotechnology goods are predicted to boost the Indian biotechnology industry’s growth, which was valued at $63 billion in 2019 and is anticipated to reach $150 billion by 2025.

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