2 Jun 2012

Biotechnology Ignition Grant (Big) Scheme For Igniting New Ideas

The Secretary,Department of Biotechnology  Shri M K Bhan today invited the attention of all stakeholders in the field of Biotechnology Research to the ambitious scheme called BIG.Addressing mediapersons in the national capital today Mr. Bhansaid that BIRAC(Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council) endeavours to extend its support to entrepreneurs who have an exciting idea which may be in the nascent and planning stage in the form of Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG). He further stated that this scheme is designed to stimulate commercialization of research discoveries by providing very early stage grants for the development and maturation of those discoveries into marketable product or intellectual property (IP), in particular to help bridge the gap between discovery and invention.
The Secretary narrated the following information about the scheme:
The main aim of BIG Scheme is:
a.         To establish and validate proof of concept
b.        To enable creation of spin-offs.

i.           Biotechnology start-ups* / entrepreneurs;
Incubatee; Students, Academician and Scientists with industry research experience and/or Researcher from Academia (Research Institute/University/Public and Private funded, (Not for profit Organization),
with an exciting idea which may be in the nascent and planning stage are eligible to apply.
             ii.     The Applicant must be either an Incubatee located in a incubator or have a registered company with a functional R&D laboratory
Start-up Company: Only Indian companies incorporated in the last 5 years with a functional laboratory will be eligible. 51% shares of the company have to be held by Indian/NRI.

Scope & Support:
i.      BIG provides for high level of discovery and innovation in the Biotechnology sector
ii.    BIG scheme supports only up-to Proof-of-Concept stage
iii.  Funding will be in the form of grant-in-aid limited up-to Rs 50 lakhs
iv.  The period for the study would generally not exceed 18 months
v.    Funding may also be used for conducting limited market research, patenting costs, working capital during the period, travel, salary etc.

Modalities of Implementation:
BIRAC would invite proposals for Ignition grant at least twice a year. The BIG Scheme would be implemented through BIG Partners across the country.  The BIG Partners would provide mentoring and hand-holding for activities related to mobilizing resources, IP management, legal and contracts and other business development related activities for the BIG innovators. They will monitor targeted milestone and disbursement of funds and also organize workshops, meeting, travel etc.

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