Six start-ups in Oncology and Digital Health to receive grants of 65 lacs each under Pfizer’s INDovation Program

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Six start-ups in Oncology and Digital Health to receive grants of 65 lacs each under Pfizer’s INDovation Program

  • Program supported by Pfizer Limited (“Pfizer”), Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, Social Alpha, Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT), IIT-Delhi and AGNIi; with UN Health Innovation Exchange (UNHIEX) as knowledge partner
  • Customised incubation support across technology incubation centers like the IITs and other major technology institutes across India; grant upto Rs. 65 lacs per selected start-up

Delhi, September 12, 2022: Program partners Pfizer LimitedAtal Innovation Mission (AIM)NITI AayogSocial AlphaFoundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT), IIT-Delhi and AGNIi, with UN Health Innovation Exchange (UNHIEX) as the knowledge partner, today announced the six winners of the first edition of Pfizer INDovation incubation initiative for healthcare start-ups. The focus is on oncology and digital health, because of the increasing burden of cancer in India and the emerging use of digital health to ensure better patient outcomes.  The six winners who will be given a grant of Rs. 65 lacs each will receive incubation support from AIM, NITI Aayog and IIT Delhi. Pfizer will provide the grant as well as mentorship and technical assistance to the start-ups and Social Alpha will provide program acceleration support.

This incubation program, launched in April 2022, which will run for two years, will help to accelerate the lab-to-market journey of these winning startups. Apart from the grant, this support will include product engineering and development services, clinical validation guidance, regulatory advisory, identification of market access opportunities and catalytic cross-industrial collaborations.

Speaking about this program, Mr S. Sridhar, Managing Director, Pfizer Limited, said, “At Pfizer, we strongly believe in innovations and breakthroughs that change patients’ lives. I am very impressed by the ingenuity of the solutions proposed by the winning start-ups. Each one of these has the potential to significantly enhance healthcare delivery. I am confident that through the grants and the incubation support that each will receive from the program partners, the six winners will quickly and smoothly convert their brilliant ideas into commercially successful products and solutions that can help patients lead better lives.”

Commenting on the winning teams, Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, said, “I congratulate the winners of INDovation and wish them great success in the future. I am also pleased to note that the one thing all six winners have in common is that their solutions can contribute towards the National Digital Health Mission. The increased burden of cancer in India and poor prognosis because of delayed intervention, can be controlled through innovative digital health solutions.”

The winners under “Digital Health” category include BrainSight Technologies Pvt Ltd.’s Voxel Box that uses an AI-based computational engine to extract brain connectivity and activity patterns, and hard-to-understand structural features, as well as temporally dynamic symptoms. RAMJA Genosensor provides a rapid, easy, and cost-effective novel paper-based device to detect microbial infection and antimicrobial resistance in less than 2 hours. AI Health Highway India Pvt Ltd.’s Ai-Steth is a smart stethoscope to screen, detect and predict heart and lung disorders using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Under “Oncology”, Oncophenomics Life Sciences Pvt Ltd. has developed a tumour-informed liquid biopsy CGP test that helps circumvent the issues of non-approachable biopsy regions. Pragmatech Healthcare Solutions Pvt.’s CERVICHECK™ Kit provides a clinically conclusive and comprehensive solution for effective preventive cervical cancer screening implementation in a low resource setting, by addressing India-centric challenges of low-recall and drop-outs. Tera Lumen Solutions Pvt Ltd. has developed a non-invasive imaging device that can detect accurate cancer margins intraoperatively and rapidly (within ten minutes of surgery).

The INDovation program received applications from over 200 start-ups in the country. Each of these went through a rigorous vetting process by the jury before the final selection was made. The evaluation criteria was exhaustive and included the potential impact of the product/solution, technological innovation, unique value proposition, competitive advantage, financial and operational scalability and clarity on the future roadmap.

The esteemed jury included:

  • Dr Avinash Nanivadekar, Cluster Chief Operating Officer (Diagnostics), KIMSHEALTH
  • Dr Harpreet Singh, Head, Informatics, Systems and Research Management, ICMR
  • Mr. Jeyaseelan Jeyaraj, President, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
  • Dr. Moni Abraham Kuriakose, Medical Director and CEO, Karkinos and Former Director, Cochin Cancer Research Center
  • Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Professor and Surgeon, Tata Memorial Center
  • Mr. Rajib Kumar Sen, Sr. Adviser (Health), NITI Aayog
  • Mr. Sameer Kanwar, Director, Digital Health, PATH
  • Sharad Goswami, Senior Director – Emerging Markets Policy & Public Affairs, Pfizer Ltd
  • Dr Sonali Dighe, Senior Director, Medical, Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals Group
  • S. Sridhar, Managing Director, Pfizer Ltd
  • Dr Sudha Chandrashekhar, Executive Director, Health Policy & Hospital Engagement Assurance, National Health Authority
  • Mr. Suresh Ramu, Co-founder and CEO, CyteCare Hospitals
  • Dr Tony Raj, Dean, St Johns Research Institute

AIM and NITI Aayog will provide the six winners access to their entire network of incubators and facilities through co-incubation and will also give them technical and strategic advice. The winning start-ups will get customised incubation support across India, through IIT Delhi, the principal incubation partner, other major technology institutes and the incubation network of Atal Innovation Mission across India. 

Dr Anil Wali, Managing Director, FITT, said, “As one of the country’s leading healthcare incubators, The Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT) at IIT Delhi is pleased to provide access to our resources and help the six winners take the next steps in their start-up journey. Over the next 24 months, our faculty and experts will guide them to convert their products/ideas into sustainable healthcare solutions.”

Dr. Kshama Kothari, Director – Health and Wellness, Social Alpha, said, “In the pursuit of breakthrough innovations in healthcare, INDovation has identified six winning start-ups that have the potential to revolutionise healthcare delivery and improve health outcomes. Social Alpha will support these start-ups in navigating the critical aspects of clinical validation, regulatory roadmap, and raising investment. The cross-industry collaboration of partners will also enable pilots, market access, and business advisory for scale up.”

The program is also being supported by AGNIi (Accelerating Growth of New India’s Innovations), PATH, AHPI (Association of Healthcare Providers India), St. John’s Research Institute, HCG Hospitals, Cytecare Hospitals, FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry), UNHIEX (UN Health Innovation Exchange), Google for Startups, Design Alpha, HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society), Marico Innovation Foundation, and TenX2.

About INDovation:

INDovation is an incubation program supported by Pfizer Limited (“Pfizer”), Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, Social Alpha, Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT), IIT-Delhi and AGNIi; with UN Health Innovation Exchange (UNHIEX) as knowledge partner. A forerunner to INDovation was India’s pioneering healthcare-focused industry-academia collaborative program that FIIT and Pfizer created in 2015. This program has already incubated 9 startups and supported IP filing by 19 innovators. As part of INDovation, three winning start-ups each in the areas of Oncology and Digital Health, will receive a grant of up to INR 65 lakh each for product trials, pilot studies, and product market launches to accelerate the lab-to-market journey of their innovation. This is one of the largest such programs, both by grant value and partnerships, to focus on incubating and commercialising healthcare start-ups in the country. The program is also being supported by AGNIi, PATH, AHPI, St Johns Research Institute, HCG Hospitals, Cytecare Hospitals, FICCI, UNHIEX, Google for Startups, Design Alpha, HIMSS, Marico Innovation Foundation, and TenX2.

About Pfizer: Breakthroughs That Change Patients’ Lives

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development, and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments, and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments, and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 170 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at www.pfizer.co.in.

About Social Alpha:

Social Alpha is a multistage innovation curation and venture development platform for science and technology start-ups that address the most critical social, economic, and environmental challenges through the power of entrepreneurship and market-creating innovations. Since its inception in 2016, Social Alpha has supported more than 200+ start-ups including 60+ seed investments. For more information, please visit www.socialalpha.org

LinkedIn: Social Alpha |Twitter: @SocialAlphaIN | Facebook: SocialAlphaIN | Instagram: socialalpha_in

About FITT, IIT Delhi:

IIT Delhi created the Foundation for Innovation & Technology Transfer (FITT) as a special purpose vehicle to facilitate, inter alia, research translation, technology development, technology transfer & commercialization, industry engagement, project management, startup incubation & mentoring, etc.  One of the pioneering academic institution-based technology transfer offices and startup incubators in the country, FITT has strong Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer, Industry Consultancy, and startup incubator management experience. The organization has supported more than 250 startups and entrepreneurs through various funding and mentoring schemes. FITT is a nodal agency for various government and Industry funded programs for startups and brings in extensive experience in startup incubation and program management.

About Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog:

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is Government of India’s flagship initiative setup in 2016 to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. AIM’s objective is to develop new programmes and policies for fostering innovation in different sectors of the economy, provide platform and collaboration opportunities for different stakeholders, create awareness and an umbrella structure to oversee innovation ecosystem of the country.  To promote creation of a supportive ecosystem for start-ups and entrepreneurs, AIM has been establishing world class incubators called Atal Incubation Centres (AICs) in universities. institutions, corporate, etc. These AICs would foster to support world class innovative start-ups and help them from idea stage to become scalable and sustainable enterprises.

About AGNIi:

The AGNIi Mission is a flagship initiative under the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. It is one of nine technology Missions under the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC), executed in partnership with Invest India, the national investment promotion and facilitation agency. The Mission catalyses commercialisation of Indian emerging technologies. It helps private, public, and non-profit sector to upgrade capability and competitiveness with innovative Indian startups and public R&D technologies. It has helped organisations from global multinationals to Government agencies and non-profits, leverage technologies from artificial intelligence (AI) and drones, to cleantech and food processing.

About UNHIEX:

UNHIEX is a platform to identify challenges faced by implementers and connect them with innovations that have high potential for impact. Founded by UNAIDS with other UN agencies this platform curate investment opportunities for capital providers, prepare innovators for regulatory approvals, assist in market access, and leverage all partners and their network for global advocacy.

About Google for Startups India:

The Google for Startups Partner Network empowers global tech entrepreneurs and ecosystems to solve the world’s biggest challenges by connecting startups with the right people, products, and best practices to help them grow. GFS’s partners with 70+ startup support organizations across the world to develop diverse, inclusive startup ecosystems, helping founders turn big ideas into successful businesses. Partners include local tech hubs in more than 60 countries, from Accra to Zurich, as well as accelerators, and organizations offering training and resources for underrepresented founders. Startups receive exclusive Google programming and access to the Google for Startups’ global partner network to help their business grow.

About Post Author

Suman Munshi

Founder Editor of IBG NEWS (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018). Recipient of Udar Akash Rokeya Shakhawat Hossain Award 2018. National Geographic & Canon Wild Clicks 2011 jury and public poll winner. Studied Post Graduate Advance Dip in Computer Sc., MBA IT,LIMS (USA & Australia), GxP(USA & UK),BA (Sociology) Dip in Journalism (Ireland), Diploma in Vedic Astrology, Numerology, Palmistry, Vastu Shastra & Feng Sui 25 years in the digital & IT industry with Global MNCs' worked & traveled in USA, UK, Europe, Singapore, Australia, Bangladesh & many other countries. Education and Training advance management and R&D Technology from India, USA, UK, Australia. Over 30 Certification from Global leaders in R&D and Education. Computer Science Teacher, IT & LIMS expert with a wide fan following in his community. General Secretary West Bengal State Committee of All Indian Reporter’s Association
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