Chennai: Start ups with ideas related to biotechnology in Chennai will now get funding and facilities to expand their research and innovation with IIT-M’s bio-incubator that was inaugurated by its director, Bhaskar Ramamurthy, here on Thursday. Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a body of the Central government, supports this initiative with IIT. “Even existing and less used technologies can be uplifted and rebranded to utilise it more,” encouraged Mr Bhaskar, addressing the start-ups.
According to Ashok Jhunjhunwala, co-chairman, IIT incubation cell, the government has allocated Rs10,000 crore for the development of entrepreneurship in India. These start-ups that sign up with IIT-M for research in biotechnology will be assisted with a seed funding of `10 lakh along with the mentorship and training programme. They would also be equipped with space and equipment with centralised utilities for process and product development. “These entrepreneurs will be advised to apply and obtain legal patents for their research,” he added.
Presently, four companies, screened by the IIT faculties based on their determination and content for research, are enrolled for this programme. Of these, three of the founders are alumni of IIT. Vital Bioscientific Solutions is into creating a tool for measuring the permeability and effect of the drug in the human body. Pirius Nanosystems Pvt Ltd manufactures devices for single tests for TB and various diseases. Fib-sol Life Technologies works for development of low-cost bio-fertilisers and Yaathum Biotech develops diagnostic kits for multidrug TB and extensive TB.
“The innovation space in biotechnology has expanded considerably in the last few years in the areas of computational and synthetic biology,” said Guhan Jayaraman, coordinator, IIT-M, Bio-incubator, throwing light on the fact that there is wider scope for bio-entrepreneurship in the years to come. “Biotechnology, being a research-oriented subject requires a lot of time to emerge and is in its infancy yet. This incubator will enable more people to get on the right track with proper guidance in the field,” said D. Karunagaran, head of the department, Biotechnology.