Atal Innovation Mission To
Support Startups With COVID-19 Solutions
As Covid-19 pandemic and economic shutdowns are
dealing a severe blow on the world economy, NITI Aayog’s flagship Atal
Innovation Mission, (AIM) is on full swing to keep the entrepreneurial spirit
high across the country by teaming up with other Ministeries and partners to
support Startups with COVID-19 innovative Solutions and to further fight COVID-
In this regard, AIM today coordinated and concluded
a series of virtual COVID-19 Demo-Days- an initiative to identify promising
start-ups with potential Covid-19 innovations to further help them deploy and
scale-up their solutions nationwide. The initiative was launched in partnership
with other government bodies including Biotechnology Industry Research
Assistance Council (BIRAC), Department of Biotechnology (DBT); Department of
Science and Technology (DST), Startup India, AGNIi, and other Ministries under
the direction of Principal Scientific Adviser to GoI Dr. Vijay Raghavan, and
Member Health, NITI Aayog Dr. Vinod Paul.
Over 1,000 COVID-19 related start-ups from a
diverse set of categories including curative, preventive and assistive solutions
were put through two rounds of evaluation, from which more than 70 start-ups
were shortlisted for the Virtual COVID-19 Demo Days. These start-ups will
receive support in the form of funding, access to manufacturing abilities,
supply chain and logistics and finding the right vendors and mentors.
A total of nine DemoDays for Medical Devices, PPE,
Sanitization, Technology solutions, etc were held and led by Mission Director
AIM, NITI Aayog R. Ramanan. While sharing his views, he said that the joint
initiative is expected to provide a much-needed fillip to India’s mobilization
efforts relating to all COVID-19 related products/services/solutions and give
the start-up ecosystem an effective platform to contribute during the current
July 15, 2020 )
Medical Device Industry Suffers Up To
85% Drop In Revenues During Apr-June: MTaI
Medical technology industry has suffered around
50-85 per cent drop in revenue during April-June with a decline in surgical
procedures at hospitals due to COVID-19 situation, industry body MTaI said on
Wednesday. Medical Technology Association of India (MTaI), which represents
research-based medical technology companies in the country, said the government
should consider reducing tax burden on medical devices in order to revive the
Elaborating on the current situation, MTaI said
elective procedures (surgeries) drive a large part of the demand for medical
devices and the postponement has severely impacted the revenue streams of the
The estimated revenue downfall in the cardiology
category is up to 60 per cent in the first quarter of the financial year, while
in the orthopaedic industry devices segment there is a revenue fall of around 85
per cent, MTaI said in a statement.
Similarly, the opthalmology sector has also
recorded a fall up to 75 per cent in its revenues during April-June, it added.
Even the critical care device segment fell to nearly half, MTaI said. "Due to
the shrinking margins of the hospitals, the channel and service dealership
networks, and sub-dealers are already experiencing significant workforce
downsizing," it noted.
So far the global medtech fraternity have heeded to
the government's request of protecting the jobs of its workforce, even while
facing significant financial blows. However, if the situation does not improve,
these efforts may not be sustainable, MTaI said.
"We request its immediate intervention to help the
sector recover so that it can continue fulfilling its role in ensuring critical
care services in the country," MTaI Chairman and Director General Pavan Choudary
"We request the government to consider giving basic
customs duty exemption to the medical device industry to cope with the
liquidity challenges during this time," it noted. It also sought
revocation of health cess on medical devices.
The government should revoke the additional five
per cent health cess on medical devices imposed from April 2020, MTaI said. A
not-for-profit organisation, MTaI was established in 2016. Currently, it has 37
members, including Johnson & Johnson Medical India, Bausch & Lomb, Boston
Scientific and Alcon.