Centre invites applications from startups, companies for developing new tech to tackle Covid-19 wave

NEW DELHI: The Department of Science and Technology has invited applications from startups and companies for developing new technologies and innovative products to tackle the second wave of Covid-19.

“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,” read an official release by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

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

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/technologies to the next level and speeding up their processes, helping them reach the product deployment stage as fast as possible.

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.

“Supporting development of devices like Oxygen Concentrators also brings with it huge opportunities in the development and manufacturing of several critical components that are being imported such as specialized valves, zeolite materials, oil-less and noiseless miniaturized compressors, gas sensors, etc. which have wider applications in several sectors,” said Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST.

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. Thus, 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.