The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) under its Promoting Academic Research Conversion to Enterprise (PACE) scheme has invited research proposals from academic institutes and universities for supporting affordable technology/product development from discovery to pre-commercialisation stage.
Under the scheme, BIRAC supports academia to develop technologies/products (upto proof of concept stage) of national importance and their subsequent validation towards commercialization through Academic Innovation Research (AIR) and Contract Research Scheme (CRS) schemes. While the AIR scheme aims at development of POC by academia with or without the involvement of the industry, the CRS aims at validation of prototype/technology by the industrial partner.
In order to boost the Indian biotechnology sector and promote the research and development in key areas of biotechnology, through this call, emphasis is being laid on development of indigenous technologies and products. The recent pandemic has further pushed the ever rising need for self-reliance and self-sustainability in the field of biotechnology to meet the country specific needs and fill the gaps.
The thrust areas of these proposals focus on development of novel technologies for production of monoclonal antibodies for therapeutic applications and diagnostics, new methods/technologies for vaccine delivery and cold chain distribution of vaccines, cost effective production technologies for industrially relevant bio-based import substitutes and NGS based workflows for high volume screening including mutation detection
It also includes microfluidics based diagnostics relevant to veterinary sciences and repurposing of drugs.
Academic institute, university, NGO, or research foundation having proper registration/accreditation from a government body are eligible to apply either alone or in partnership with academia or industry (while involvement of industry is optional for AIR scheme, it is mandatory to have an industrial partner for CRS). The last date for submitting the proposal is March 31, 2021.
Biotechnological research and development in India is largely carried out by academic institutions such as universities and research organizations and to some extent by industry, mostly large companies. Also, unlike industry, research by academia is not governed by commercial gains alone thus allowing them to work on problems involving even high degree of risk.