The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has invited applications from startups and companies for developing new technologies and innovative products to tackle the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the NIDHI4COVID2.0 initiative by the DST, companies, and startups registered in India, offering promising solutions in the thrust areas of oxygen innovation, portable solution, relevant medical accessories, diagnostic, informatics, or any other solution that addresses or mitigates various challenges faced by the country or society due to the severity are eligible for funding.
'As a rapid response to support startup-driven solutions for tackling the current challenging, the second wave of COVID 2.0 in the country, Indian startups and companies have been invited to apply for developing new technologies and innovative products that can enable our country to fight the crisis,' the DST said.
The initiative is a special drive of the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) under the DST for supporting indigenous solutions and innovative products to combat the crisis the country is currently facing due to the pandemic.
'Development and manufacturing (import substitution) of the products parts currently being imported for the devices like oxygen concentrators would also be considered for seed support through the DST supported-network of Technology Business Incubations (TBIs),' it said.
Promising startups will be provided with financial and mentoring support for scaling up their products or technologies to the next level and speeding up their processes, helping them reach the product deployment stage as fast as possible, it added.
This initiative has been built based on the NSTEDB's past experience of implementing the Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH) and also through special calls through the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations - Seed Support System (NIDHI-SSS) from TBI to support startups in 2020.
'Supporting the development of devices like oxygen concentrators also brings with it huge opportunities in the development and manufacturing of several critical components that are being imported such as specialized valves, zeolite materials, oil-less and noiseless miniaturized compressors, gas sensors, which have wider applications in several sectors,' said Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST.
'Interested applicants offering promising solutions can apply through the centralised portal www.dstnidhi4covid.in latest by 31.05.2021 23.59 hrs,' the DST added.