Coronavirus: DST to work closely with startups for innovative solutions
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) will closely engage with startups in India to come out with different kinds of innovative solutions to tackle the COVID-19 health crisis.
The DST has approved the setting up of a Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH) at a total cost of Rs 56 crore to scout, evaluate, and support innovations and startups that address COVID-19 challenges.
The Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), a technology business incubator at IIT Bombay supported by DST, has been identified as the implementing agency of the CAWACH.
According to DST, the need of the hour is to support R&D initiatives in this direction by boosting innovations offering comprehensive solutions like ventilators, diagnostics, therapeutics, informatics and other intervention for control and mitigation of COVID-19.
The support will be provided to startups at different stages for fast-tracking commercialisation process, journey, and scale-up across geographies, which will have a significant impact in the long term.
CAWACH’s mandate will be to extend timely support to startups by way of requisite financial assistance and fund deployment, targeting innovations deployable in the market within the next six months.
CAWACH will identify up to 50 innovations and startups that are in the area of novel, low cost, safe and effective ventilators, respiratory aids, protective gears, novel solutions for sanitisers, disinfectants, diagnostics, therapeutics, informatics, and any effective interventions to control COVID-19.
It will provide access to pan-India networks for testing, trial, and market deployment of these products and solutions in the identified areas of priority COVID-19 solutions. This will help to address various challenges faced by country due to severe impact of the novel coronavirus.
“CAWACH is focused on leveraging the youthful energy, intelligence, and extraordinary innovative potential of our tech incubators and startups, and empowering them for scale-up to speedily address the multi-dimensional challenges of COVID-19," said Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)