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IHF’s Quest to support innovations to tackle respiratory diseases, including Covid-19

Our Bureau, Mumbai | Updated on April 15, 2020

Tata Trusts-seeded fund invites applications from innovators

As Governments across the world grapple with containing Covid-19, the India Health Fund (IHF) is looking to support innovations that can fight respiratory and airborne infections through its nation-wide search, Quest 2020.

This time round, the mandate of Quest includes innovations developed to control Covid-19, as well.

Seeded by the Tata Trusts, the IHF said it’s mandate had now extended to prioritise “identification and support for breakthrough innovations for the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and monitoring of coronavirus.” Given the current public health exigencies of the Covid-19 pandemic, IHF’s Quest aims to seek “pre-validated solutions that can be extended to coronavirus and other respiratory infections,” it added.

The fund, created to identify and support innovations that accelerate the eradication of infectious diseases in India, also has strategic support from The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and has till date supported innovations that leverage technology, artificial intelligence, molecular diagnostics and product design to improve the diagnosis, treatment & prevention of TB and malaria.

Quest will provide an opportunity for innovators, scientists and entrepreneurs across sectors to share novel prototypes, which could be game changers in the fight against these diseases, IHF added. Quest 2020’s nationwide search for innovations is already open and innovators have till April 22 to send in their applications. The primary aim of this initiative is to support the government’s ambitious aim to eliminate tuberculosis in India by 2025 and join the fight against the deadly new coronavirus, the note said.

“IHF’s vision is to support the lab to market journey of ground-breaking products and processes by giving comprehensive support to innovators. This will include funding, technical mentorship, and dialogue with policy and programme experts for roll-out,” said Madhav Joshi, IHF’s Chief Executive Officer.

Dr KS Sachdeva, Deputy Director General, Central TB Division (CTD), pointed out that innovations that helped in “screening, diagnosis, notification, treatment adherence and surveillance” would contribute in accelerating the fight against TB, as well.

Quest is organised in partnership with the CTD, The Union, Stop TB Partnership, the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) and Social Alpha, among others.

 

Published on April 15, 2020

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