COVID 2.0 FUNDING

ICMR invites expression of interest for validation of rapid antigen detection assays for COVID-19

ICMR invites applications for validation of rapid antigen detection tests for COVID-19 from all manufacturers who have developed rapid antigen test (RAT) kits. Requirements for validations are based on various categories, like first-time validation, revalidation, and validation with alternate sample types..

The gold standard RT-PCR diagnostic test for COVID-19 has limitations in terms of widespread availability. In view of this, there is urgent requirement of reliable and convenient rapid point-of-care antigen detection assays with high sensitivity and specificity. Such assays could be used as potential diagnostic tests in all possible public and private healthcare settings and made available for mass testing. .

Deadline: Open till next announcement
Contact Info: Contact Info:guptanivedita.hq@icmr.gov.in, drneetu.vijay@icmr.gov.in
Website Link: "https://www.icmr.gov.in/pdf/tender/Revised_EOI_for_Ag_kit_validation_220...

ICMR calls for research proposals to support innovative research ideas

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to major loss of lives and livelihood. Despite intense efforts of the global scientific community, there is scanty knowledge related to the functional aspects ofthe virus, its transmission dynamics, immunological response to natural infection, and vaccines. In addition, it is important to understand the drivers of vaccine hesitancy and reduced uptake,clinical spectrum of the disease and its progression. Also, there is a need to formulate the clinical management protocols in line with the emerging global evidence.

ICMR had initiated research on COVID-19 in Task Force and intramural mode. These projects were formulated to address the most pressing research questions in the following domains: Clinical Research; Diagnostics & Biomarkers; Epidemiology & Surveillance; and Operations Research.

ICMR now invites independent researchers all across the country to contribute to the scientific knowledge related to COVID-19 by submitting their innovative research ideas as brief concept proposals in Epidemiological and surveillance studies, Laboratory studies, Immunological aspect and vaccine efficacy research, Clinical research, Socio-behavioural research, and Policy studies. All concept proposals will be screened at ICMR. If approved by the screening committee, selected investigators will be requested to submit full proposals.

The user manual of e-PMS is available at https://epms.icmr.org.in

Deadline: 30th June 2021
Contact Info:po.epms@icmr.gov.in
Website Link:https://main.icmr.nic.in/sites/default/files/whats_new/ICMR_Call_for_Pro...

SERB and TDB jointly announce special call on critical components and innovations in oxygen concentrators

 

Considering emerging healthcare requirements to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, SERB announces special call to catalyse R&D on critical components and innovations concerning Make-in-India oxygen concentrators.

The call seeks investigation and innovation in the development of (individual/portable) oxygen concentrators in the domains of alternate materials and mechanisms for oxygen separation; design, development, and manufacturing of critical components such as valves and oil-less compressors; design improvements for greater performance; AI-optimized oxygen flow devices and oxygen-level IoT sensors; etc.

Scientist in regular service from educational and research institutes/laboratories, universities, and medical institutions, start-ups, and industries can submit a proposal. The scientistsfrom industries should align with investigators from academic/research institutions as co-investigators. Funding for industry partner(s), with respect to R&D leading to commercialization, will be forwarded to TDB, DST, for their consideration.

Deadline: 15th June 2021
Proposals should be submitted in the prescribed format through SERB online portal:
https://www.serbonline.in/SERB/HomePage
Website link: http://serb.gov.in/pdfs/what-new/Call%20announcement-O2%20Concentrators.pdf

Joint projects under UK-INDIA COVID-19 Partnership Initiative for better understanding of COVID-19 severity in South Asian population of India and the UK

UK Research and Innovation and Department of Biotechnology and Ministry of Science and Technology have joined forces to support four collaborative bilateral research partnerships worth £5 million, aimed at providing deeper understanding of COVID-19 severity in South Asian populations located in India and the UK. Projects will be funded in partnership between DBT and UKRI’s Fund for International Collaboration.

Through the UK-India COVID-19 Partnership Initiative, DBT and UKRI will support worldleading UK-India research teams. The successful projects aim to understand the pandemic through the study of related ethnic groups in different environments in both countries. These projects have the potential to deliver public health impacts in mitigating the severity of COVID-19 in both the UK and India.

Deadline: 5th May 2022
Website link: http://dbtindia.gov.in/latest-announcement/announcement-joint-projects-under-uk-india-covid-19-partnership-initiative
Press release on the UK-India C-19 call 4May2021.pdf (dbtindia.gov.in): http://dbtindia.gov.in/sites/default/files/Press%20release%20on%20the%20UK-India%20C-19%20call%204May2021.pdf

Invest India calls start-ups and entrepreneurs to strengthen India’s fight against COVID-19, including supply of Medical Oxygen

Aspiring entrepreneurs and young innovators today are at the forefront of COVID relief efforts. In the midst of the pandemic, the Indian start-up ecosystem has shown its resilience and unparalleled growth. Invest India has been contributing towards COVID relief efforts since the onset of the pandemic last year. The Business Immunity Platform as well as the Exclusive Investment Forum webinar series, which focused on notification of government’s emergency and economic relief measures, provision of crisis support services, and contribution to national COVID-19 business response effort, were recognized by the United Nations as one of the best performing Investment Promotion Agencies with respect to response to the pandemic.

As part of on-going efforts in fight against COVID-19, Invest India is working on mapping innovations to the different challenges the pandemic has caused. Invest India has rolled out a form to collect information on the solutions that the start-up ecosystem has to offer. The form collects information such as a brief of the solution, the problem it solves, its financial implication along with contact details of the innovator/start-up, etc. The following are the categories listed on the form:

  • Testing and diagnostics technologies
  • Telemedicine
  • Medical devices
  • Oxygen supplies
  • Mental health technologies
  • Cold chain and last-mile delivery
  • Bio-medical waste treatment
  • Technology solutions for last rites
  • Others

 

The information submitted shall be used for listing purposes on the Invest India platform and shall be circulated throughout its network across the government departments as well as private sector. In case there is an expression of interest from the ecosystem the relevant solution will be mapped on the best effort basis.
Deadline: Open till next announcement Contact Info: contact@investindia.org.in Website link: https://www.investindia.gov.in/bip/resources/startup-innovations-during-covid-19

ICMR invites expression of interest for validation of rapid antigen detection assays for COVID-19

ICMR invites applications for validation of rapid antigen detection tests for COVID-19 from all manufacturers who have developed rapid antigen test (RAT) kits. Requirements for validations are based on various categories, like first-time validation, revalidation, and validation with alternate sample types.

The gold standard RT-PCR diagnostic test for COVID-19 has limitations in terms of widespread availability. In view of this, there is urgent requirement of reliable and convenient rapid point-of-care antigen detection assays with high sensitivity and specificity. Such assays could be used as potential diagnostic tests in all possible public and private healthcare settings and made available for mass testing.

Deadline: Open till next announcement
Contact Info: guptanivedita.hq@icmr.gov.in, drneetu.vijay@icmr.gov.in
Website Link: https://www.icmr.gov.in/pdf/tender/Revised_EOI_for_Ag_kit_validation_22052021_v1.pdf

Startup India Seed Fund Scheme aimed at financial assistance to start-ups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry and commercialization

Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) aims to provide financial assistance to startups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry, and commercialization. The initiative would enable these start-ups to graduate to a level where they will be able to raise investments from angel investors or venture capitalists or seek loans from commercial banks or financial institutions.

The Need for Startup India Seed Fund Scheme: Easy availability of capital is essential for entrepreneurs at the early stages of growth of an enterprise. Funding from angel investors and venture capital firms becomes available to start-ups only after the proof of concept has been provided. Similarly, banks provide loans only to asset-backed applicants. It is essential to provide seed funding to start-ups with an innovative idea to conduct proof-ofconcept trials.

Website Link: https://seedfund.startupindia.gov.in/

NSTEDB-DST is calling promising COVID-19 start-ups to apply for NIDHI4COVID 2.0

NIDHI4COVID2.0 initiative has been specially devised as a rapid response to support start-up driven solutions, which would be helpful in tackling the current challenging, second wave of COVID 2.0 in the country. NIDHI4COVID2.0 is a special drive of National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science & Technology, Government of India for supporting indigenous solutions and innovative products which would enable our country to fight against COVID-19 pandemic more strongly. This has been built based on NSTEDB's past experience of implementing Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH) and also through special calls through National Initiative For Developing And Harnessing Innovations - Seed Support System (NIDHI - SSS) from Technology business incubators (TBI) to support start-ups last year. In the current situation too, start-ups can play a major role in bringing new technologies and products in the market, thus making our country stronger at various fronts against the on-going war on COVID-19. Some of the start-ups already have promising technologies but need mentoring and financial and marketing support to go to the next level. Thus, DST's attempt through this new initiative is to scout and support deserving start-ups to scale up their technologies, helping them reach the product deployment stage as fast as possible.

Thrust Area to be supported: Oxygen Innovation, Portable Solution, Relevant Medical Accessories, Diagnostics, Informatics and Others.

Deadline: 31st May 2021
Contact Info: nidhitbi.91@gmail.com
Website link: https://dstnidhi4covid.in/

Joint projects under UK-INDIA COVID-19 Partnership Initiative for better understanding of COVID-19 severity in South Asian population of India and the UK

UK Research and Innovation and Department of Biotechnology and Ministry of Science and Technology have joined forces to support four collaborative bilateral research partnerships worth £5 million, aimed at providing deeper understanding on COVID-19 severity in South Asian populations located in India and the UK. Projects will be funded in partnership between DBT and UKRI’s Fund for International Collaboration.

Through the UK-India COVID-19 Partnership Initiative, DBT and UKRI will support world leading UK-India research teams. The successful projects aim to understand the pandemic through the study of related ethnic groups in different environments in both countries. These projects have the potential to deliver public health impacts in mitigating the severity of the COVID-19 in both the UK and India.

Deadline: 5th May 2022
Website link: http://dbtindia.gov.in/latest-announcement/announcement-joint-projects-u...
http://dbtindia.gov.in/sites/default/files/Press%20release%20on%20the%20...

SERB and TDB jointly announce special call on critical components and innovations in oxygen concentrators

Considering emerging healthcare requirements to combat the COVID-19 epidemic, SERB announces special call to catalyse R&D on critical components and innovations concerning Make-in-India oxygen concentrators. The call seeks investigation and innovation in the development of (individual/portable) oxygen concentrators in the domains of alternate materials and mechanisms for oxygen separation; design, development, and manufacturing of critical components such as valves and oil-less compressors; design improvements for greater performance; AI-optimized oxygen flow devices and oxygen-level IoT sensors etc.

Scientist in regular service from educational and research institutes/laboratories, universities, and medical institutions, start-ups and industries can submit a proposal. The scientists from industries should align with investigators from academic/research institutions as co-investigators. Funding for industry partner(s), with respect to R&D leading to commercialization, will be forwarded to TDB, DST, for their consideration.

Deadline: 15 June 2021

Proposals should be submitted in the prescribed format through SERB online portal: https://www.serbonline.in/SERB/HomePage
Website link: http://serb.gov.in/pdfs/what-new/Call%20announcement-O2%20Concentrators.pdf

Give INDIA Fundraiser – for COVID response in India by NCBS

National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru has started a platform – give INDIA – to launch a crowd-funding campaign to ensure that the wheels of research & development keep churning for the larger good of mankind. COVID-19 relief activities are of various kinds ranging VIGYAN PRASAR 10 from immediate set up of hospitals to procurement and supply of breathing aids across the country to the needy and ailing patients. However, a long-term relief would be the invention and availability of effective vaccines for every strain or mutation of the virus for everyone from a newborn to a senior citizen just like the BCG vaccine.

The critical research studies aimed at tracking vaccine-induced immune responses in real time are required to identify the vaccines which are most effective against the many variants of COVID-19, currently circulating in India and across the globe. It is crucial that these studies are continued for better protection and immunity development against such viruses in future. The time to get prepared is NOW for any similar incidents and pandemics. The constant high level studies by prominent scientists from National Center of Biological Sciences-inStem, CMC Vellore, and Pune Knowledge Cluster will ensure a better future for our children, protect our elderly, and avoid further negative economic impact. Donations through this platform are tax exempted under 80G & 501(c).

Website Link: https://fundraisers.giveindia.org/fundraisers/fundraiser-for-covid-19-re...

Office of PSA calls for philanthropic funding for National Consortium of OXYGEN

Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India calls for private sector companies, donor organizations and individuals to join India’s fight against COVID-19 by providing philanthropic funding to support the National Consortium of OXYGEN (O2 TO INDIA). The consortium is looking forward to providing immediate to short-term relief and working on building the manufacturing ecosystem and healthcare infrastructure for the long run. These funds may be used for producing medical oxygen for various health facilities in India, including Army hospitals, Government hospitals and Charity hospitals through an initiative called ‘Project O2’. Medical oxygen is on high priority, so while companies are airlifting few supplies, we should be prepared for the pandemic that is expected to last for the next several years and 3rd and 4th waves are expected in the coming months. This needs immediate and short term ramp-up of our logistics as well as production capacities.

This entails manufacturing raw material currently being imported from China and other places; some are delayed, and costs are unaffordable. There is a need to support the fast-paced evaluation of quality manufacturers, scale up their capacity, address logistics challenges, enable supplies to extended/make-shift hospitals, and strengthen R&D and innovation for future pandemics. To execute this project, Office of the PSA is facilitating at the national level supply of critical raw materials such as zeolites, setting up small oxygen plants, manufacturing compressors and final products, quality oxygen cylinders, concentrators and ventilators. The manufacturing and supply consortium includes Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Electronic Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), Skanray Technologies, IIT Kanpur, C-CAMP Bengaluru, IIT Delhi, Venture Center Pune, IIT Bombay, IIT Hyderabad, IISER Bhopal and 40+ MSMEs. A committee of key experts has been evaluating from a pool of Indian manufacturers, start-ups and MSMEs (in partnership with FICCI, MESA, etc.) producing medical oxygen and other critical equipment such as oxygen concentrators, ventilators and oxygen cylinders.

A robust evaluation committee with both subject matter experts from IITs and manufacturing companies has been set up and it will be continuously evaluating the oxygen manufacturing companies on an on-going basis and adding to the consortium. Quality cannot be compromised, and hence this system has been put in place. Simultaneously, a TCS logistics and inventory management portal has been provided pro bono to the office of the PSA for managing quality covid relief will be used. VIGYAN PRASAR 14 Anyone could support the initiative by funding:

1) Research on variants and calibration of vaccines based on variants identified and
2) Start-ups, BEL, ECIL, MSMEs, Start-ups setting up and manufacturing oxygen equipment, extension hospitals by placing advance orders directly.
Office of the PSA aims to facilitate providing proposals approved by an expert committee and/ or one can also fund the PSUs directly as they have 45 MSMEs under their supply chain.
Please write back for any clarification:
Project Lead: Mr Vibhor Bansal, Vibhor.bansal@investindia.org.in
Project Lead CSR/Philanthropy: Mr Bhanu Prabhakar, bhanu.prabhakar@investindia.org.in