Innovation in India-  National Bio-Entrepreneurship Competition (NBEC)

  • IASbaba
  • February 13, 2020
  • 0
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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)

About 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

Way Forward

  • 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

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