Indian Polity & Governance
Topic: General Studies 3:
- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment
Innovation in India- National Bio-Entrepreneurship Competition (NBEC)
India is home to the third-largest congregation of startups, after the US, and China with innovators coming up with bottom-up science-based solutions to challenges
India’s biggest deep science ideas platform that has succeeded in reaching 34 of 36 states/UTs – National Bio-Entrepreneurship Competition (NBEC)
- It is a national platform for bio-entrepreneurs to present their innovative business ideas with significant societal impact in the life sciences domain
- It is a joint initiative by BIRAC (a research assistance non-profit established by the government’s department of biotechnology) and C-CAMP (Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms, India’s premier life sciences innovation hub)
- Ideas are encouraged from all domains of life sciences, including healthcare, agriculture, food, nutraceuticals, environment, water, and animal health.
How does it help innovators?
- The framework of NBEC is designed such that competitors are judged solely on the merit of the idea and its societal impact.
- If the idea is good, supporting infrastructure is provided through a network of innovation hubs, industry, and mentorship.
- A big cohort of participants are invited to competition, which helps to form partnerships with industry leaders, and innovation hubs to operationalise their concepts.
- It thus helps idea to be translated into reality and enter the market in a sustainable manner.
The value proposition lies in three broad areas—
- A robust framework that democratises innovation access – many NBEC ideators are women, and from tier 2-3 cities/towns of India.
- Emphasis on ideas with national societal impact –
- connecting innovators up the idea-to-market value chain.
Some of the successful indigenous technologies which are being provided the support through this platform are:
- Biodegradable nano-fibre carriers – That can carry the same active fertiliser dosage in a 5 g pouch as a 5 kg bag today, thereby reducing logistics costs by 1000x and increasing shelf life by 2x. This solution simultaneously revolutionises the agriculture, fertiliser, environmental, and energy sectors
- Miniaturised Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) detection kit – A credit card-sized test platform that can detect four major UTI pathogens in 30-60 minutes compared to the 24-48 hours it takes today in a laboratory setup, at affordable prices
- Image-based screening solutions for eye diseases to overcome the challenge of unavailability of specialist doctors
- Compostable sanitary napkins made from banana fibres
Therefore, carefully structured ideas platforms like NBEC serve as ideal vehicles to effect socio-economic impact at scale across India
- It is this idea-first framework that India must implement across other verticals like cybersecurity, energy, defence, urban design, health, and water management to unlock greater innovation-led entrepreneurship.
- With deep science ideas platforms, India can position itself as a sustainable solutions innovator, and provider.
Connecting the dots!
- Atal Innovation Mission
- Challenges to Innovation – Inadequate Funding- from both private & Public, Lack of Academia-industry collaboration