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Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI)

Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI)

The Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology has launched the Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI) to boost Public-Private- Partnership (PPP) efforts in the country. The SBIRI aims to strengthen those existing private industrial units whose product development is based on in-house innovative R&D and create opportunities for starting new technology-based or knowledge-based businesses by science entrepreneurs

The objective of the SBIRI Scheme

The key objective of the Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI) is given here:

  • To provide support for early-stage, pre-proof-of-concept research in biotechnology by industry
  • To support new indigenous technologies particularly those related to societal needs in the healthcare, food, and nutrition, agriculture, and other sectors
  • To nurture and mentor innovative and emerging technologies/entrepreneurs, to assist new enterprises to forge appropriate linkages with academia and government.

Feature of Small Business Innovation Research Initiative

SBIRI was the first of its kind, early-stage, innovation-focused PPP initiative in the area of Biotechnology.

SBIRI has worked as an enabling platform for the target organizations to realize their potential in terms of product and process development and take them to the market. It has facilitated innovation, risk-taking by small and medium companies and brought together the private industry, public institutions, and the government under one roof to promote research and innovation in the Indian Biotech Sector.

Eligible Startups for SBIRI

The following type of companies can apply for the Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI):

  • Solely by a Company incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) incorporated under the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008
  • Joint Ventures either in the form of Company/ LLP by any of the above entities jointly with other private or public partner(s) (Universities or Institutes).

Eligibility Criteria

  • Minimum 51% of the shares of the Company should be held by Indian Citizens holding Indian passport (Indian Citizens do not include Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) holders)
  • Minimum half of the persons who subscribed their names to the LLP document as its Partners should be Indian citizens.
  • Participating companies should have adequate in-house facilities to address the project implementation aspects (which shall be evaluated during the site visit) or be Incubated with any of the recognized Incubation Facilities.

Ineligibility for SBIRI

  • Proposals submitted by companies defaulting on repayment of loans or are irregular concerning repayment of installments to BIRAC would be considered ineligible.
  • All companies who had withdrawn their proposal after approval from the Apex committee or whose project was foreclosed due to inadequate funds or any other irregularity would be debarred from submitting fresh proposals for the next 3 calls (1 year) unless the withdrawal was due to papers not being ready

Funding Pattern of SBIRI

Project Cost BIRAC Support to the Company
Up to 50 lakh 100% grant from BIRAC (primary applicant + collaborating company, if any)
More than 50 lakh BIRAC grant would be Rs. 50 Lakhs + 50% of the Cost over and above Rs. 50 Lakhs. The remaining cost would be borne by the company

The fund disbursement is milestone-based and is released in 5 installments

Sl.No Funding Pattern
1 1st installment on the signing of a contract 30%
2 2nd installment on completion of 1st technical milestone 20%
3 3rd installment on completion of 2nd technical milestone 20%
4 4th installment on completion of 3rd technical milestone 20%
5 5th installment on Submission of Project Completion Report 10%

Note: There is no cap on funding

Terms & Conditions and Requisites for Fund Disbursement

Agreement of funding

On the announcement of the Award, all concerned applicants need to sign the Grant-in-aid Letter Agreement (GLA) with BIRAC. A separate Agreement for governing the terms of Royalty shall be entered into between BIRAC and the Company/LLP

Other Requisites for Funds Disbursements to Company

In addition to the signing of an agreement between all the concerned parties, the following requirements need to be completed before the first installment can be released:

  • A Board Resolution needs to be passed for acceptance of the Grant-in-aid offer by the BIRAC under SBIRI
  • Opening up a No-Lien Account with a scheduled/nationalized Bank in case of a Company
  • Letter of Authorization in case of Institute in the prescribed format of BIRAC 14

Acknowledgment of BIRAC support

Acknowledge the assistance of BIRAC while publishing, marketing the resultant Product or presenting in any manner the details of the project, its progress, or its success along with the “Disclaimer” that reference therein to any specific commercial product, process, views or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or assuming the liability of any sort by the BIRAC. Use of the BIRAC logo is not permitted without written approval.

Prescribed Date for Application Submission

  • 15th February – 31st March
  • 15th June – 31st July
  • 15th October – 30th November

Application Procedure for SBIRI

The application for Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI) is required to be submitted online only.

Online proposal submission can be done by registered users during an active call only. Generally, 3 calls are advertised each year. These are either Regular or Challenge based. Regular and challenge-based calls would be advertised on an alternate basis. The process for submitting the proposals online is detailed below:

  • Log on to the BIRAC website, the registered user can log in using the credentials.
  • In the case of the new applicant, he/she need to register the institution by clicking on New User Registration.
  • A computer-generated password would be sent to the email id provided at the time of registration. The password can be changed later.
  • Once you log in, you would be navigated to the page displaying the SBIRI link.
  • Click on the SBIRI link under Programmes and the active call would be highlighted.
  • Click on the active call against which the applicant wishes to submit the proposal.
  • Further details on How to submit a proposal would be available in the SBIRI User Guide available on the website.

The process of evaluation broadly comprises the following steps:

  • Peer Review by a Panel of area-specific experts called Area Review Panels (ARPs) created for evaluation.
  • All proposals recommended by ARP for further consideration are placed before Technical Expert Committee (TEC) for further review.
  • Proposals recommended by TEC will only be called for the presentation.
  • Presentation of technically sound projects recommended by the ARP to the Technical
  • Expert Committee (TEC), comprising eminent scientists and financial experts from all over the country to Site Visit for the projects shortlisted by the TEC