Govt To Provide Financial Support To Startups, Companies For Developing New COVID-Related Technologies, Products

by Swarajya Staff - May 21, 2021 01:14 PM +05:30 IST
Govt To Provide Financial Support To Startups, Companies For Developing New COVID-Related Technologies, ProductsA modern toaster-sized ventilator (Representative Image)

Amid the ongoing second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government will provide financial support to startups and companies to develop new technologies and products to tackle the crisis.

The development comes as India is battling the second wave of Covid-19 with over 30 lakh active cases ongoing in the country.

"As a rapid response to support startup-driven solutions for tackling the current challenging, second wave of COVID 2.0 in the country, Indian startups and companies have been invited to apply for developing new technologies and innovative products that can enable our country to fight the crisis," the Ministry of Science and Technology said in a statement on Friday (21 May).

"NIDHI4COVID2.0, a new initiative under which the companies can apply, will fund eligible startups and companies registered in India offering promising solutions in the thrust areas of oxygen innovation, portable solution, relevant medical accessories, diagnostic, informatics, or any other solution that addresses/mitigate various challenges faced by country/society due to the severe impact of COVID-19," the ministry said.

The initiative is a special drive of the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) under Department of Science and Technology (DST) for supporting indigenous solutions and innovative products to combat the crisis that the country is currently facing due to the pandemic, it added.

Development and manufacturing (import substitution) of the products parts currently being imported for the devices like Oxygen Concentrators and so on would also be considered for Seed Support through DST supported network of Technology Business Incubators (TBIs).

Promising startups will be provided with financial and mentoring support for scaling up their products and technologies to the next level and speeding up their processes, helping them reach the product deployment stage as fast as possible, the ministry said.

This initiative 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 Startups in 2020.

"In the current situation, startups can play a major role in bringing new technologies and products in the market, thus making our country stronger at various fronts against the ongoing war on COVID. Some of the startups already have promising technologies but need mentoring, financial, and marketing support to go to the next level," the ministry said.

According to the ministry, DST's attempt through this new initiative is to scout and support deserving startups with much-needed support to scale up their technologies, helping them reach the product deployment stage as fast as possible.

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