The government will soon launch a special incentive scheme to support 75 startups in the areas of telemedicine, digital health and artificial intelligence (AI) to coincide with the 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' being celebrated from August 15 onwards.
The scheme will be launched by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a public sector enterprise under the Department of Biotechnology, government of India, a release said on Wednesday.
Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh, said that instructions to this effect have been conveyed to the members of BIRAC led by its chairperson Renu Swarup.
Swarup is also the Secretary in Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Interacting with the board of directors of BIRAC, the minister said the grand challenge to identify the top 75 innovations is the most appropriate task in the 75th year of India's Independence that will promote R&D in the health sector at a time when humanity the world over is dealing with the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
BIRAC has been promoting and supporting new ventures under the Startup India and Make in India programmes in the areas of biotechnology ecosystem growth.
"The BIRAC has lent funding support of over Rs 2,128 crore to more than 1,500 startups, enterprises and SMEs. From supporting less than 50 biotechnology startups in 2012 with innovative funding of less than Rs 10 crore, the BIRAC is now funding over 5,000 such startups with over Rs 2,500 crore funding. By 2024, BIRAC targets to support more than 10,000 biotechnology startups," the release said.