Sparsh is the Social Innovation programme for Products: Affordable & Relevant to Societal Health. The programme is initiated by BIRAC under the aegis of Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India. he programme aims at promoting the development of innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. The scheme will tackle major social issues and offer new ideas for widespread change. The scheme aims to invest in ideas and innovations that improve health care of all Indians and encourage affordable product development in the social sector. The scheme intends to create a pool of social innovators in the biotech arena who will identify the specific needs and gaps in healthcare. The social innovators will be provided financial and technical support for developing market-based solutions that have potential to bring cost effective health care breakthroughs to vulnerable populations in particular.
Eligibility: Scheme supports idea at Proof of Concept stage. Other criteria for support include
A. Biotechnology Indian startups should be incorporated under the Indian Companies Act and have a minimum of 51% Indian Ownership. Plus, they should be less than three years old as on the date of advertisement/ Indian entrepreneurs (Indian citizen willing to form a Company as per Indian Law).
B. Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) should be incorporated under the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008. Plus, it should be less than three years old as on the date of advertisement, having a minimum half of the persons who subscribed their names to the LLP document as its Partners should be Indian citizens.
C. Indian academic scientists, researchers, PhDs, medical degree holders, biomedical engineering graduates (who must be willing to incubate in a business incubator).
D. Proprietorship concern established by an Indian citizen and a Certificate/license should be issued by the municipal authorities/under the Shop & Establishment Act /under other relevant statutes.
E. No DSIR certification is required.
Funding Grant: For startups at the idea to proof of concept (PoC) stage, grant-in-aid up to INR 50 Lakhs for a period up to 18 months is available. For those at the proof of concept to validation stage, the amount remains the same but the time period increases to 24 months. In the case of access to Innovative Pilot Scale Delivery Models – grant-in-aid for a period up to 24 months is provided. The project cost sanctioned for the company would be matched equally by BIRAC and the company.