The Pfizer IIT-Delhi Innovation and IP Program', an incubation accelerator initiative co-created by Pfizer and the Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-Delhi), has announced the first round of grant awardees.
The projects selected under this platform aim to address India's enormous need for healthcare innovations that are not only unique in tackling the current healthcare challenges but also cost effective, scalable and easy to deploy. The innovators/start-ups will develop prototypes, which when scaled up, aims to improve the quality of lives of millions of people across the country.
Through these innovations, the start-ups would focus on providing solutions to air pollution, stroke-led disability and infectious diseases. The innovations are:
I. Healthcare Innovation from Idea to IP (Resident Incubation Program)
a) Early stage diagnosis & antibiotic susceptibility test of typhoid in 7 hours by Saurabh Singh
b) Wearable nasal air purification device with minimal air flow resistance by Debayan Saha
II. Healthcare Innovation only at IP stage
c) Bioactive nanofiber for bone regeneration by Dr. Shilpa Dev, Virtisbiolabs
d) Multiboard- an upper extremity workstation for rural India by Dr. Harpreet Sachdeva, AIIMS
e) Green manufacturing of pharmaceutical intermediates using novel enzyme by Dr. Raj Kumar, Cellzyme Biotech
Resident incubation awardee Debayan Saha says, "We believe our solution is a breakthrough that is both current and forward-looking, aimed at serving large populations in the long run and will equip India to reduce burden of diseases that impede its economic development. We think discovering cures are significant scientific achievements for public health, however it is even more effective to prevent disease in the first place. It is important for innovations like ours to be encouraged and rewarded. The Pfizer IIT Delhi Innovation and IP program has really pushed us into a promising environment that aims to provide healthcare solutions to millions in the country."
Eager to address a major health challenge in India, Saurabh Singh, Co-founder of Valetude Primus Healthcare Pvt Ltd. and the second innovator to receive the Pfizer IIT Delhi grant says, "Bacterial infections continue to be a major cause of deaths globally, particularly in resource-poor settings. In the absence of rapid and affordable diagnostic solutions, patients are mostly administered a broad spectrum of antibiotics leading to antibiotic resistance and poor recovery. At present, typhoid diagnosis takes up to three days, but our portable and cost-effective innovation will help expedite diagnosis to seven hours and ensure treatment."
"We are excited to announce and give the first set of grants to the selected innovators under our flagship project - Pfizer IIT Delhi Innovation and IP Program," said S. Sridhar, Executive Director, Pfizer India, "With the winners of our program identified, the stage is set for advancements in healthcare that are born and brought up in India for the benefit of our people. Given this promising start, we want to maintain the momentum and work closely with FITT at IIT Delhi to help the innovators integrate and thrive in this new era of entrepreneurship and innovation in India. In doing so, this program falls right into the basket of the Government's Start Up India Stand up India campaign that creates a vibrant innovation ecosystem in the country and enhances the creation of intellectual property."
"Looking at the phenomenal response from the industry, we cannot wait to get started with the next phase of the Program. We look forward to more and more innovators seeking inspiration reach out to us" Sridhar added. Pfizer is set to launch the second phase of the Program in October 2016, wherein another set of healthcare innovations with be identified for resident incubation and IP support.