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Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI) for Public Private Partnership

The department initiated the scheme "Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI)" in September, 2005 to bring biotech industry at the forefront of technological revolution. The programme aims to build and capture a leadership position for India among the topmost countries of the world in biotech sector. The SBIRI scheme operates in two phases. Under Phase-I highly innovative, early stage, pre-proof-of-concept research is supported, while under Phase-II, the funding is provided for late development and commercialization of innovative research leads. The proposals that address important national needs are given preference. This scheme marks a new phase in public-private-partnerships in a way that combines the strengths of the public sector with creativity and efficiency of the private sector. Effective linkages between the industry and academia are forged for up-scaling and validation of laboratory research to facilitate commercialization. The SBIRI scheme reaches out to entrepreneurs at the grass-root level and supports pre-proof-of-concept & innovative research leading to commercialization.

The scheme has been advertised five times since September, 2005. The department has received good response from the private industry. The proposals received are in the broad areas of health care; agriculture & allied areas; industrial product & process development; and environmental biotechnology. Under the health sector, the major thrust is on the development of therapeutics and drug designing while other areas like diagnostics, development of bioinstrumentation have utility in the medical sector. The R&D in other health related areas and clinical research are also covered by the private sector. In the agri-sector, the focus is on development of transgenics.

For close monitoring and review of the projects a two-tier mechanism is envisaged. At the first level, a Project Monitoring Committee (PMC) comprising of 2-3 experts would review the progress on a periodical basis.

The SBIRI initiative marks an important milestone and augurs well for the development of the Biotech Sector in India. The scheme has been well received and appreciated at different fora.

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 09-02-2011