Agri Business

Karnataka, C-CAMP launch Agriculture Grand Challenge for start-ups

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on July 23, 2021

Tech to treat white stem borer in coffee, reduce post-harvest losses are among the problem statement

The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms(C-CAMP), India’s premier biosciences technology and innovation hub has announced the first nation-wide call for Agriculture Grand Challenge (GAC) 2021 for start-ups, under its K-Tech Centre for Excellence for Agri Innovation.

Three problem statements in Indian agriculture have been identified for GAC 2021. These include – 1. A quick, accurate and affordable point of care (PoC) method for testing macro/micronutrient density in soil and/or plant tissue and soil microbial diversity.

2. To develop technology to enhance the shelf life of produce and minimisation of post-harvest losses through chemical/biological/IR methods.

3. To develop technology for detection and treatment of white stem borer infestation in coffee crop

C-CAMP will provide investment support to winning start-ups through funding of up to ₹25 lakh per start-up, besides supporting them with incubation, mentorship, and handholding The program, instituted by the K-Tech Centre of Excellence for Agri Innovation at C-CAMP, aims to identify promising innovations to address major problem areas in Indian agriculture, was launched by state deputy chief minister Ashwathnarayan C N on Friday.

The problem statements were selected after a rigorous six-month, Karnataka-wide Agri Immersion conducted to identify key sectors/gaps in agriculture and their commercialisation/innovation potential. Through GAC programme, C-CAMP will thus introduce economically viable, problem-focused, deep-science and deep-technology driven entrepreneurship in the agri-sector.

The program in the next five years is envisaged to identify and support at least 8-10 path-breaking innovations with an impact on agriculture at the national scale and facilitate their validation and deployment.

The GAC launch event on Friday also saw the formalising of Indo-Israel Innovation Bridge, a C-CAMP collaboration with Consulate General of Israel to South India to drive deep science driven entrepreneurship in Indian and Israel ecosystems with a focus on Karnataka. Also, the C-CAMP Covid-19 Innovations

The event unveiled Compendium, which saw the official hand-over of a C-CAMP supported indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine cold chain technology to the State Government.

“We need to take Agri-tech more seriously. Even though we are recognised as an agrarian economy, the progress has largely stalled for want of a new revolution. To see better living standards, better economy and better future for our country, we need to probe agriculture and biotechnology together,” said Ashwathnarayan adding that the C-CAMP Agriculture Grand Challenge is a road we must take for securing our future.

Taslimarif Saiyed, CEO & Director, C-CAMP said “the Centre of excellence in Agri-tech innovations supported by IT-BT department in collaboration with the Agriculture Department, Karnataka has identified over 100 problems from which we are launching this Grand Challenge for top three. The impact is not just for Karnataka but for entire India.”

Jonathan Zadka, Consul General of Israel to South India, Bengaluru, said “We are very proud in establishing cooperation by building an "Innovation Bridge" between Israel and India, bringing closer together the start-up ecosystems in Life Sciences and Agritech of both countries. The potential of this initiative is enormous, and it has already generated tangible cooperation between start-ups from Israel and India. This new initiative will further strengthen the links between Israel and India.”

Published on July 23, 2021

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