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The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and IKP Knowledge Park (IKP), a science park and start-up incubator announced the first call for proposals under the Grand Challenges Explorations India (GCE-India) programme.
"The GCE-India programme aims to address challenges that are faced by the Indian healthcare system by encouraging innovative solutions to tackle the same. We are looking for ideas that have the potential to change how people look access healthcare in India. GCE-India looks to foster entrepreneurship in India. Our goal is the search for drug delivery systems, diagnostics, and technology enabled service models and medical devices that can potentially be made accessible to all," said Prof K VijayRaghavan, Secretary, DBT.
The programme is seeking ideas in the following areas: contraceptive discovery platforms; new therapies for childhood cryptosporidium infection; preservation of stool samples for room-temperature transport and remote-analysis; global burden of antimicrobial resistance; point-of-care nucleic acid diagnostics below $2 per test; and self-testing for cervical cancer and malaria diagnostics.
The awardee will be eligible for an award of INR 50 Lakh for 18 months, and a prize of INR 10 Lakh for successful completion of milestones.
Successful projects will also have the opportunity to apply for follow-on funds from BIRAC through the Biotechnology Industry Partnership Programme (BIPP), Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI) and/or the GCE Phase II program of the DBT, BIRAC and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.