Ignition grant fund : Kapil Khandelwal, EquNev Capital, www.equnev.com
DBT may come out with 'Ignition Grant Policy' soon
Suja Nair Shirodkar, Mumbai, Thursday, October 20, 2011, 08:00 Hrs [IST]
The government is expected to be ready with the draft policy of the 'ignition grant' that was announced by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) during the last Bangalore Bio
soon. This grant was instituted by DBT to encourage new scientist and innovators to take up initiatives to do research and development (R&D) so as to develop India's own
The details of the policy is yet to be announced, but the industry is hopeful that the ignition fund will be operational soon after. A senior industry insider informed that the Rs.500 crore
ignition fund has four schemes, which is aimed at encouraging innovative ideas and research activities from scientists that will lead to more innovations.
According Dr Renu Swarup, adviser, Ministry of Science & Technology, Department of Biotechnology, the ignition grant is under approval and DBT should be able to announce it
Kapil Khandelwal, advisory board member – Grant Scheme at Biotech Industry Research Assistance Programme, informed that there have been lot of proactive steps taken by the
government to go ahead and initiate this policy at the latest.
He said, “Over 75 per cent of the start ups in this country are cash strapped and could not take their innovation ahead. Thus the timing is right for the DBT, to announce the much-
awaited ignition grant policy to boost angel investments in the country.”
Khandelwal who is also the director at EquNev Capital, a leading investment banking and advisory services firm, on investments in early stage bio-pharma innovations in India
stated, “I believe that the maturing biopharma venture capital funding in India could improve the key outcomes, by taking innovation to the market and creating market access that
will be beneficial for the patients and consumers.”
Further he added, “However, DBT should take the lead ahead in announcing the 'Ignition Grant Policy' to signal confidence amongst the investors who seems to be shying away
from the sector as echoed during the finance and investment track of the Bangalore India Bio 2011 which I had chaired.”
Through the 'ignition fund' DBT proposes to help start up companies to establish itself at a very early stage. At present it had the Small Business Innovative Research Initiative
(SBIRI) to lend or grant money to SMEs; and the Biotechnology Industry Partnership Programme (BIPP) to de-risk R&D projects of large established companies. All projects are
managed by the Biotech Consortium India.
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