BIRAC has collaborated with Nesta, a UK based innovation charity organization, for creating a pipeline of innovators for the Longitude Prize, in the area of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). Longitude Prize is an initiative of Nesta focused at finding solutions to help tackle the problems in the AMR domain. Longitude Prize is a £10 million prize fund to be awarded for creating an affordable, accurate and rapid point of care test that will allow health professionals worldwide in decision making for the use of right antibiotics at the right time. There are 78 teams from 14 countries competing for Nesta’s Longitude Prize.
This partnership is in line with BIRAC’s support towards healthcare and contributing towards the battle against AMR. Under the ambit of BIRAC-Nesta partnership, 2 calls (2016-17 & 2017-18) have been organised for BIRAC- Discovery Award Fund (DAF). BIRAC has allocated £200,000 towards the BIRAC-DAF till now to 9 winners who were awarded £15,000-20.000 each.
BIRAC and Nesta recently announced Boost Grants sponsored by BIRAC. A three-day accelerator programme from 10 to 12 Dec 2018 was conducted by BIRAC in collaboration with Nesta at the Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), IIT Bombay. The accelerator aimed to help Indian participant teams for Longitude Prize to become industry ready with guidance from business, technical, regulatory and clinical experts, and advice for overcoming hurdles in the development of their diagnostic tests. Following a competitive pitch, top 3 startups were awarded up to £100,000 each (equivalent in INR 90 Lakhs).