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Tackling Covid IKP Knowledge Park driving tech innovations – Telangana Today

Covid-19 Fund has supported 14 innovations in two rounds and aims to support 10 more in the third round

Hyderabad: IKP Knowledge Park, along with the Biotechnology Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), IKP Trust, has launched Call III of the ICO-Fund (IKP Covid-19 Fund), to nurture innovations that are ready for production to fight the pandemic situation. The fund has supported 14 innovations in the previous two rounds.

As part of the Call III drive, IKP and IKP Trust will be working with entrepreneurs, corporates, and government agencies to contribute to the management of the pandemic. It is aimed to drive technological innovations for strengthening health systems and managing efficiencies, and support solutions for patient management, clinical decision support, impact on the community, and futuristic innovations.

IKP will enable the selected entrepreneurs to fine-tune their solutions for manufacturing and connect them with manufacturing facilities and supply-chain networks to help in the production, deployment, and distribution of their innovations.

IKP plans to select candidates, who will be eligible for initial rapid funding of up to Rs 30 lakhs each for a maximum period of six months (up to 18 months for proposals under futuristic technologies) to develop a solution that is ready for manufacturing/deployment. IKP is also keen to support certain hospitals to scale-up facilities to meet the current surge in Covid.

Deepanwita Chattopadhyay, chairman, and CEO, IKP Knowledge Park, told Telangana Today in an exclusive interview, “We will be supporting several technology innovations, which are already in the market or ready to go to the market, which could be deployed to tackle the current phase of a pandemic or the future phases, and there will be one innovation which will be long-term in perspective. We want to make sure we are prepared to tackle future requirements.”

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“We have provided cumulative funding of about Rs 2.5-Rs 3 crores for 14 companies in the first two rounds of funding. We expect to provide funds to at least 10 companies/startups in the current/third call (with likely cumulative funding of about Rs 3 crore),” she added.

Backing innovators

The selected candidates will also receive support from the programme partner, Amazon Web Services in the form of cloud credits and technology stack mentorship. The initiative also has financial backing from companies such as Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices and Tynor Orthotics.

The financial assistance will be a combination of grants and/or a soft loan. The fund is open to Indian companies/companies registered in India, with production-ready solutions. IKP will help connect with large manufacturing companies that will help the innovations be produced and deployed at scale.

The ICO-Fund will enable the selected entrepreneurs to develop and refine their solutions for rapid deployment in the market through expert mentorship and connecting with relevant commercial partners to aid the accelerated development, scale-up, and distribution of their solutions.

The application deadline is set for May 25, 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be required to make an online presentation to the Selection Committee in the first week of June 2021 and the selection will be on the basis of alignment with the goals of the call, manufacturing readiness, affordability, execution capability.

In April 2020, the first call for proposals was launched. The immediate response to Covid-19 pandemic in terms of manufacturing of personal protective equipment (PPEs – masks, visors, PPE kits), diagnostic kits, treatment modalities such as affordable ventilators, step-up and step-down ICUs were supported under the first two calls of the program. The fund has so far supported 14 innovations to counter Covid, she informed.

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