The Atal Incubation Centre –Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (AIC-CCMB), Hyderabad has been awarded the NIDHI-Seed Support System (NIDHI-SSS) grant of INR 5.25 crores by the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science and Technology (DST), GoI. The scheme aims to ensure timely availability of seed fund to deserving start-ups.Start-ups canget upto Rs. 25 lacs, and in exceptional cases, can be awarded Rs. 1 crore as seed support under this scheme. Seed fund is critical for start-ups in the early stages of their journey especially for market access and scale-up.
AIC-CCMB has successfully supported 40+ life science startups in the last three years, all working in the areas of human and animal health as well as industrial biotechnology. Start-ups at AIC-CCMB played a pivotal role in developing COVID-19 solutions for diagnostic, therapeutics and food supplements.
“Life-sciences is a very capital intensive field, especially because the development time is longer than any other sector. The time and money required for various validation and regulatory clearances for even bringing a product to the market puts a huge pressure of the entrepreneur. In the past 3 years of our operation, we have seen many life-sciences startups struggling to raise funds just to stay afloat. The NIDHI-SSS grant will support the productization efforts of the startups and ensure that their leads reach the market. A robust selection committee would assess the projects for their relevance, marketability and deep science before they are deemed eligible for the seed support. We hope that this grant will also promote interest among the ecosystem to take leads generated by CCMB scientists for translation. ”, says Dr N. Madhusudhana Rao, Chief Executive Officer, AIC-CCMB.
“It is very important that we set structures for funding the deep tech startups such as in life sciences. Their requirements are very different from those in IT. It is a very welcome step that NSTEDB sees the importance of this, and has launched the NIDHI-SSS. At CCMB, we are very hopeful that this will motivate many companies to work with us at AIC-CCMB. This will also help bridge the much lacking communication between academic researchers and industries”, says Dr Rakesh Mishra, Director, CCMB.
Dr. Anita Gupta, Head NSTEDB, DST added, “Funding has always been a stumbling block for startups during the initial phases. DST through NIDHI seed support initiative is attempting to bridge the gap by providing hassle free financial support. Emerging incubators like AIC-CCMB are now empowered with DST’s NIDHI SSS to further harness the true potential of Science, Technology and Innovation driven by new age innovators, entrepreneurs and startups.”