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BioNEST

BioNEST

BioNEST

Bioincubators Nurturing Entrepreneurship for Scaling Technologies (BioNEST) is an initiative launched by BIRAC, that enables in the creation of a startup environment in the country. Bio-incubation utilizes the entrepreneurial potential of startups by providing access to infrastructure, mentoring, and networking platforms. The Startup India mission enlarges the biotech startup ecosystem to have at least 2000 startups by 2020. To accomplish this, there is a requirement of bio-incubators that provides innovative ideas towards productization.

BioNest Outline

BioNest, a mission started by BIRAC has supported 20 bio incubators, that has been working at various stages of operation covering an area of 2,00,000 square feet. From this, 1,00,000 square feet (approx.) has been made active for incubation. The 20 bio incubators are either placed within academic/research clusters or stand-alone incubators either privately funded or funded by the State Governments. Development in biotech startups necessitates scaling up of existing bio-incubation space in current biotech hubs or create new bio-incubation space at emerging hubs that have the potential to become bigger biotech hubs in the next decade. In addition to this, the creation of new bio-incubation space has to be given awareness of the differential needs of varied nature of biotech startups, especially those that are Medtech, biopharma, agri-biotech and biomaterials.

Strategies Adopted

BIRAC proposes a strategy to scale up the number of bio incubators to 50 within 3-5 years. The strategy includes developing existing BIRAC supported incubators, creating new bio incubators through its existing BioNEST program, partnering with State Governments to create new bio incubators and finally strengthening the existing Technology Business Incubators. BIRAC’s strategy to develop and strengthen Bio-incubators through BioNEST includes:

  • Upscale by strengthening and expanding existing BIRAC Bioincubators
  • Support new bio incubators in Academic/Research Institutions
  • Strength existing Technology Business Incubators
  • Establish new bio-incubators with State Government and Private sectors

Category of Applications

Applicants who have the potential and surrounding ecosystem to support entrepreneurship through startups creation can apply in any of the below-mentioned categories.

  • Assisting new BioNEST at academic/research institutes, research organizations/hospitals fostering innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Establishing new BioNEST with several State Government Biotech or Science and Technology Council
  • Strengthening existing incubators attached to Academic/Research institutes, stand-alone incubators/research hospital to establish BioNEST
  • Supporting scaling-up of already funded BioNEST

Support New BioNEST at Academic/Research Institutes/Research Hospitals/Organizations fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship 

BIRAC has been receiving continuous interest from Universities/Research Institutes/Hospitals for starting incubation activities to support startups. The regulations laid under this would be applicable for entities that do not have a formal incubation centre but still assists entrepreneurial activities and have, conducting some form of loosely woven or informal incubation activity. These proposals would be assessed and screened based on the existing guidelines, considering their merit and overall role to support innovation and techno entrepreneurship.

Eligibility Conditions

  • BioNEST can be hosted by an existing academic/research organization and a research hospital that does not have a formal incubation centre.
  • The Host Institutes (HI) has to have adequate expertise and infrastructure to support incubation activity.
  • Incubators that are supported directly under BioNEST would be managed by HI or PPP mode.

Specific Conditions

  • The funding would be made in the form of grant-in-aid/capital investment. The percentage and manner of funding differ depending on the location, technology thrust area, infrastructure creation, and proposed operational model and reasoned recommendation of the Technical/Expert Committee.
  • Duration of support for bio-incubation would be for three years and up to a maximum duration of five years based on the need and recommendation of the expert panel.
  • There have to be at least 5000 square feet of the area allocated for bio-incubation to facilitate incubation of startups.
  • BIRAC takes small equity in the startups incubated in the facility. The modalities and the quantum of equity would be discussed with the applicant.

Establish BioNEST with different State Government Biotech Council or Science and Technology Council

BioNEST under this applies to the existing Central/State Universities, Research Medical institutions, stand-alone Bioincubator/Parks, management institutes, and other organizations focused on bio-incubation.

  • Funding support of 50% would be provided by BIRAC for the establishment of new incubators, and 50% funding in cash would be provided by the concerned State Government Council. These incubators would be managed and operated by the private sector.
  • The State Government provides adequate land and building to host BioNEST. Moreover, the State Government provides land and space in any of the existing institutes that would be identified from the feasibility study. Funds to conduct activities of bio incubator would be funded by the State.
  • BIRAC funding caters to refurbishing/renovation, Capex, and operational costs.
  • A feasibility report has to be prepared by the applicant that focuses on
    • Objectives and mission of the bio-incubator
    • The legal status of bio-incubator
    • Governance/operational model
    • Involvement of stakeholder from an academic and industrial ecosystem
    • Cluster-based technology incubation in support of the surrounding industrial ecosystem. This brings synergies between academia-industry interactions.
    • Selection and exit policy for tenants/startups
    • Building on local and international linkages
    • Creating a special infrastructure and equipment facility for needs and requirement of startups and MSMEs

Specific Conditions

  • The funding would be made in the form of grant-in-aid/capital investment. The percentage and manner of funding differ depending on the location, technology thrust area, infrastructure creation and proposed an operational model and reasoned recommendation of the Technical/Expert Committee.
  • Duration of support for bio-incubation would be for three years, up to a maximum duration of five years based on the need and recommendation of the expert panel.
  • There have to be at least 8000 square feet of the area allocated for bio-incubation to facilitate incubation of startups.
  • BIRAC takes small equity in the start-ups incubated in the facility. The modalities and the quantum of equity would be discussed with the applicant.

Strengthening Existing Incubators to Academic/Research Institutes, Standalone Incubators/Hospitals to Establish BioNEST

This category applies to existing incubators that are attached to academic/research institutes, stand-alone incubators and research hospitals. The program supports bio-incubation in already existing incubators.

  • Incubators attached to Academic/research institutes, stand-alone incubators/research hospitals are eligible to apply under BioNEST.
  • The applicant seeking BIRAC support must be operational while application.
  • The incubator, seeking BIRAC support, hosted in technical/academic/standalone incubator/R&D institution/research hospital and other institutions should be proved with technology-based entrepreneurship.
  • The incubator should have adequate infrastructure and expertise to support bio incubation activities.
  • Incubator seeking BIRAC support, with existing support structures for biotech startups would be assessed based on the existing strength of the incubation activities.
  • Incubator seeking BIRAC support that does not support biotech based startups but can nurture them due to host institute’s strengths in life science research and has the potential to create a spin-off in the biotech sector would also be taken into consideration.

Specific Conditions

  • The funding would be made in the form of grant-in-aid/capital investment. The percentage and manner of funding differs depending on the location, technology thrust area, infrastructure creation, and proposed an operational model and reasoned recommendation of the Technical/Expert Committee.
  • Duration of support for bio-incubation would be for three years, up to a maximum duration of five years based on the need and recommendation of the expert panel.
  • There have to be at least 5000 square feet of the area allocated for bio-incubation to facilitate incubation of startups.
  • BIRAC takes small equity in the start-ups incubated in the facility. The modalities and the quantum of equity would be discussed with the applicant.

Support for Scaling-up of Already Funded Bio-incubators

  • Only BIRAC funded BioNEST would be considered for the up-scaling.
  • The bio incubator has to be fully functional for scale-up by BIRAC. Upscaling of the facility is assessed depending on the overall impact that is created by the bio incubator to create an ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in Phase I. This includes the following.
    • The total number of startups incubating in the incubator.
    • The number of startups that exited from the BioNEST facility in Phase I.
    • The potential pipeline of startups seeking bio-incubation facilities.
    • Stages of startups supported by the incubator.
    • The total number of startups that are supported through various services-technical, business, legal, IPR, commercialization, mentoring, etc.
    • The number of jobs that are assisted by BioNEST facility. This includes the number of jobs supported by startups after incubating in the BioNEST facility and jobs supported to manage BioNEST facility.
    • The number of other sources of funding managed by incubator for startups. This includes funding from government, international organization VC, and also by the incubator investment made in the startup.
  • Phase 2 proposal has to focus on the next level of development that is required to be a part of the incubator, serving startups on a higher level of research and development in the product. This includes creating specialized units that are required for technology development.
  • The incubator must have at least five resident startups in the operational period.
  • Demand-supply justification has to be provided showcasing actual request from the incubatees interested in incubating.

Supporting Details

Upscaling of the projects also considers

  • Increased incubation space, refurbishing, and renovation cost required to create lab space, lab module and benches, common equipment facility, and specialized units.
  • Capex support for generic equipment concerning the incubator’s need and Committee’s recommendations.
  • Includes operational cost for running incubators to reach sustainability.

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