Bengaluru, NFAPost: Reinforcing its innovation-led research approach, the fourth edition of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) organised National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition (NBEC) officially declared open on Monday in a virtual launch attended by many stakeholders of the Indian and global biotech innovation ecosystem.
Department of Biotechnology Secretary Dr Renu Swarup officially inaugurated the fourth edition of C-CAMP organised NBEC in a virtual event.
NBEC, India’s largest and most prestigious national competition for bio entrepreneurs is held by C-CAMP every year to attract, identify and nurture pathbreaking deep science-driven business ideas. The competition is a nationwide search for ideas with significant potential for societal impact in the life sciences domain.
Innovators and entrepreneurs
Conducted as a part of BREC – the BIRAC Regional Entrepreneurship Centre, established at C-CAMP in partnership with BIRAC, NBEC is entering its fourth consecutive year in 2020.
This year, NBEC is diving even deeper in search for innovators and entrepreneurs. It has added a special student vertical for NBEC 2020, in addition to start-ups and has instituted separate awards for student led teams.
Along with Department of Biotechnology Secretary Dr Renu Swarup, Biocon Executive Chairperson Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Joint Secretary – DST and MD BIRAC Ms. Anju Bhalla, Head of SPED, BIRAC Dr Manish Diwan and several eminent national and international dignitaries joined the virtually conducted event.
Department of Biotechnology Secretary Dr Renu Swarup in an inspiring message referred to India’s top 50 Global Innovation Index 2020 ranking and said to rise up further on the global innovation index and establish India as a global innovation hub, India cannot continue to be followers.
“Innovators in India need to take initiative and seize the day, make the best of opportunities such as NBEC. Together with our vibrant and strong ecosystem of enablers, industry, academia & investors, we can potentially leapfrog to the very top,” said Department of Biotechnology Secretary Dr Renu Swarup.
Biocon Executive Chairperson Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw lauded the role NBEC has played in catalyzing bio entrepreneurship in India.
“Translating science to business through entrepreneurial ventures is the biggest testimony to pathbreaking research. Innovators need to know what creates market demand and deliver to meet that demand. The mentorship opportunities that NBEC brings will help meet that crucial gap in market economics skills,” said Biocon Executive Chairperson Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.
The National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition 2020 has a total Rs 7.1 crore in cash prizes and investment opportunities in the startup category. Besides, winners will also get access to mentorship by key industry leaders and networking opportunities, seed funding and business acceleration networks. Student teams stand to win prizes of upto Rs 10 lakhs including mentorship by leading industry names and networking opportunities.
Over 25 national and international industry partners have joined forces with NBEC this year to reward, mentor and accelerate India’s top emerging bio ventures. They are Biocon Limited, WIN Foundations, Ankur Seeds, L’Oreal, Aurigene, Pfizer, Novozymes, Iqvia, Anthem Biosciences, K&S, Ideaspring, Bioneeds [Prize sponsors] Sangam VC, Social Alpha, Molecular Connections, Enzia Ventures, Villgro, IAN, 91Springboard [Investment partners] Kotak, Biocon, Molecular Connections [Mentorship Partners], HealthVenture, USA [Digital Health Boot Camp Partner], CIIE, ISBA [Associate partners] CII [Apex Industry Association Partner] YourStory [Online Media Partner] AWS [Cloud Partner] and Hello Tomorrow [Paris, France]
Speaking about NBEC’s emergence as a front runner of such pan-India competitions in terms of scale and impact Joint Secretary – DST and MD BIRAC Ms. Anju Bhalla said reaching out to all corners of the country is a remarkable achievement for NBEC as a platform.
“As is having the 4th edition in as many years. NBEC is not only about recognition but also about honing entrepreneurial skills and connecting to industry at an early stage,” said Joint Secretary – DST and MD BIRAC Ms. Anju Bhalla.
Speaking at the launch event, Head of SPED (BIRAC) Dr Manish Diwan said NBEC is a vibrant & strong initiative that is nationally recognized & looked forward to now.
National biotech ecosystem
“The industry partnerships it attracts regularly are testimony to the vibrancy of the congregation. Its success also lies in having created the vision for innovators across India, from under all banners, to be integrated into the larger national biotech ecosystem,” said Head of SPED (BIRAC) Dr Manish Diwan.
With over 6000 applications received from 34 States & UTs in the past 3 years, NBEC as competition has established a tremendous geographical footprint, unprecedented in Indian bio entrepreneurship landscape.
Business ideas received have spanned all sub-domains of Life Sciences, including healthcare, medical devices, digital health, agri-biotech, animal health, clean technology, and industrial biotech. NBEC as a platform identifies and nurtures promising bio-innovators and entrepreneurs from across all these domains.
A unique feature of NBEC is an Entrepreneurship Development Boot Camp that trains the shortlisted finalists in important aspects of Entrepreneurship and also provides them an opportunity to interact with mentors from industry and academia.
Synergy with industry
C-CAMP CEO and Director Dr.Taslimarif Saiyed said NBEC is about building entrepreneurship ground-up in India.
“With the right keenness to become innovators and an enabling ecosystem where industry and government work in synergy, our innovation quotient can only go higher. The position in top 10 of Global Innovation index is within reach!,” said C-CAMP CEO and Director Dr.Taslimarif Saiyed.
C-CAMP: Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) is India’s premier innovation and technology hub as well as one of the largest life science incubators in the country. A Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India supported initiative, C-CAMP’s mandate is to enable cutting-edge life science research and innovation, and promote life science entrepreneurship across the country. C-CAMP has funded, incubated and mentored over 160 start-ups over the last few years. Find more details on www.ccamp.res.in
BREC: The Biotechnology Industrial Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) in partnership with C-CAMP has set up the BIRAC Regional Entrepreneurship Centre (BREC) in C-CAMP, with an objective of encouraging the spirit of bio-entrepreneurship, facilitating the creation of life science start-ups and mentoring start-ups to increase their chances of success. Find more details on www.ccamp.res.in/brec
BIRAC: Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a not-for-profit Public Sector Enterprise, set up by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India as an interface agency to strengthen and empower emerging biotech enterprises to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs. Find more details on www.birac.nic.in