The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), Department of Biotechnology, Government of India and Nesta, a United Kingdom based Charity managing the Longitude Prize, organized an outreach event on Thursday in New Delhi to promote the Discovery Awards, which aim to create a pipeline of innovations in the Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) diagnostics.
BIRAC has committed a funding of GBP 100,000 for the Discovery Awards, to support Indian participants.
The Discovery Awards are seed grants to support teams and individuals to further develop their ideas for the Longitude Prize. The British government introduced the Longitude Award in 1714 to support scientists to solve the most pertinent challenges affecting the globe.
The current call under the Longitude Prize aims to create a cost-effective, accurate, rapid, and easy-to-use diagnostic test for bacterial infections that will allow health professionals worldwide to choose the right antibiotics for the right bacteria thereby preventing antibiotic misuse and resulting resistance.
"AMR is a serious and rising threat to global public health that requires a concerted effort from different sectors. There is an urgent need to develop rapid and affordable diagnostic tools to enable early diagnosis and identification of drug resistant strains of infection. Partnerships are crucial for technology development and we believe our collaboration with Nesta on the Discovery Awards will provide the necessary impetus and mentorship to our Indian innovators as they solve the pressing problem posed by AMR," said Prof. K. VijayRaghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology and Chairman, BIRAC.