BIRAC approves setting up of BioNEST in Manipal

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on January 12, 2021

To help promote bio-tech innovation ecosystem

Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a public sector enterprise by the Department of Biotechnology of the Government of India, has approved the setting up of a BioNEST (Bio incubators Nurturing Entrepreneurship for Scaling Technologies) at the Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) campus in Manipal.

MAHE’s initiative to BIRAC to augment the facilities by establishing BioNEST was granted at the existing Manipal-Government of Karnataka (GoK) Bioincubator, supported by the Karnataka Innovation and Technology Society (KITS) and MAHE.

A press release said that the facility will be set up at a cost of ₹6.2 crore with world-class infrastructure. BioNEST is aimed at catering to the needs of incubating innovative biotechnology enterprises and at promoting a biotechnology innovation ecosystem.

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BioNEST facilities are equipped with instrumentation for innovation and technology development and are connected with the global network of start-up enablers and funding agencies, it said, adding that BioNEST provides incubation space to start-ups and entrepreneurs to test their ideas, run their business operations with access to resources and facilities of MAHE to enable the efficient exchange of knowledge as well as to facilitate technical and business mentorship.

The BioNEST facility at MAHE in Manipal can occupy 30 entrepreneurs at any given time, with faculties, infrastructure and services for the incubation of the start-ups in key domains such as biopharma, biomedical devices, dental innovation, biotechnology, healthcare, and diagnostics.

Possible support

BioNEST will be managed by Manipal-GoK Bioincubator and K-tech Innovation Hub. This centre will extend all possible support to innovators and start-ups through various schemes and programmes as part of policy support from Central and State governments, the release said.

The programmes of Manipal-GoK Bioincubator are open to all innovators across the globe and have various flexible incubation programmes, such as pre-incubation, co-incubation, virtual incubation and full-time incubation programmes for proof of concept, testing, validation, trials and commercial operation, it said.

Quoting HS Ballal, Pro Chancellor of MAHE, it said that the BioNEST facility will cater to entrepreneurs in all aspects seamlessly. This is a great initiative as it is the perfect platform for incubation of start-ups, he said.

Lt Gen (retd) MD Venkatesh, Vice-Chancellor of MAHE, said the BioNEST award by BIRAC will encourage innovation and technology development at local, national and international levels. BIRAC has been consistently promoting the efforts of entrepreneurs and innovators all over India and of MAHE through various programmes, he said.

Manesh Thomas, CEO of Manipal-GoK Bioincubator, who will also lead the efforts from BioNEST, said the bioincubator consists of dedicated and shared laboratories / incubation, well-equipped high-end instrumentation and infrastructure, tissue culture facility, co-working space, dedicated offices, and plug-and-play workstations.

Published on January 12, 2021

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