BIRAC believes that the “bio-innovation capital” of the nation would come from novel ideas which have a commercialisation potential and that evolve out from start-ups or academic spin-offs. BIRAC’s strategy is therefore to support the numerous exciting ideas which have an unmet need for funding and mentorship. This strategy is fulfilled through a grant funding scheme called Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG) which is available to scientist entrepreneurs from research institutes, academia and start ups. The Applicant must be either an Incubatee or have a registered company with a functional R&D laboratory to be eligible for this grant. The scheme is designed to stimulate commercialization of research discoveries by providing very early stage grants to help bridge the gap between discovery and invention.
Click here to view guidelines (BIG Scheme)
Click here to view Process of Flow (BIG Scheme)
The purpose of the BIG Scheme is to:
- Foster generation of ideas with commercialisation potential
- Upscale and validate of proof of concept
- Encourage researchers to take technology closer to market through a start up
- Stimulate enterprise formation
The call for proposal is announced twice every year, on 1st January and 1st July. As part of this scheme, successful BIG Innovators receive up to INR 50 lakh (appox. $100K) for research projects with commercialisation potential with duration of up to 18 months.
The BIG Scheme is currently managed through 5 BIG Partners across the country who works with the Ignition grantees (BIG Innovators) to provide mentoring, monitoring, networking and other business development related activities.
The current BIG Partners are:
18 Innovators have been awarded the BIG Grant out of which 12 are start-up companies and 6 are individual entrepreneurs. Grant money amounting to Rs. 821.96 lakhs (USD $ 1.6m) has been approved. Several exciting ideas from novel methods of extracting Butanol from sea algae to aptamer based detection of TB were selected.