National Bio Entrepreneurship
Competition sees cutting-edge inventions
Eleven startups and three students won the annual
National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition (NBEC) organized in Bengaluru for a
series of cutting edge developments and research.
The 14 winners, working on innovations in eight
areas: healthcare, Agri tech, water and sanitation, sustainability, maternal and
child health, MedTech, personal care, and digital health won a collective Rs 7.2
cr in cash prizes and investment opportunities. NBEC is organized by the Centre
for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), under the ambit of the Department
Among the winners was Carditek Medical Devices
which has developed a wearable, compact 12-lead ECG system with reusable
sensors, and in-built High-frequency ECG for augmenting accuracy and early
detection of cardiac disease. The inventor, Dr Sugandhi Gopal, received the
Aurigene cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs.
Another winner was Niranjan Subbarao. His startup,
Cyclops Medtech has developed an eye-tracking based early-stage diagnosis and
therapy for neuro vestibular disorders like vertigo, migraine, epilepsy,
concussion and ADHD. He won a Biocon cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs.
Meantime, the development of a microbe-derived,
organic alternative to harmful and toxic metalloid UV blockers and nano-minerals
in sunscreen, won Ravi Adgulwar of the startup, Avisa’s technology a L’Oreal
cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs. Adgulwar’s invention comprises natural melanin from a
fungal strain of Gliocephalotrichum simplex to replace artificial metallic and
A device to monitor kidney function in real-time to
prevent hospital-acquired kidney injuries and deaths in ICUs secured a cash
prize of Rs 3.5 lakhs for Dilip Shankar, of the startup Accord Innovations. In
addition, a rapid, label-free microbiome detection device which combines
multispectral imaging and machine-learning to heal wounds in patients with
non-communicable diseases such as diabetes won Rs 6 lakhs for its inventor,
Geethanjali Radhakrishnan and her startup, Adiuvo Diagnostics.
Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw pointed out the wins reflected the seismic interest in
bio innovations brought upon by Covid-19. “This year has seen a surge in biotech
and MedTech companies due to the pandemic. Biotech has become the most
sought-after sector by venture capitalists looking to invest,” she said.
Meantime, another inventor, Dr Prerana Tomke won Rs
3 lakhs for her development of a water purification solution to provide safe
water through an eco-friendly-system based on nano-engineered material with
metallic nano-particles in crystal form to remove microbes and heavy metals. Dr
Subhash Narayanan of Sascan Meditech also won Rs 3 lakh for a clinically
applicable MedTech device for early detection of cervical cancers and biopsy
Some startups did not win cash prizes but secured
investment opportunities such as Godaam Innovations which aims to prevent the
wild fluctuations of onion prices by converting traditional onion warehouses to
smart warehouses that reduce post-harvest wastage and help farmers make informed
Srishti Batra of Qzense Labs was also selected for
investment opportunities for helping to transform the fresh food supply chain
with data analytics that helps detect food spoilage and optimizes shelf lives
for better economics. Another entrepreneur, Sanjiv Sambandan won the Health
Venture Digital Health Boot Camp participation award and also took home the
surprise C-CAMP special prize as cutting-edge, emergent technology for his
edible nano-electronic pills for Diagnostics of the Gastro-Intestinal Tract. His
solution could be where endoscopy is headed in the future.
The winners in the student-team innovation category
were Tanish T Sridhar, CMRIT, Bengaluru who won Rs 5 lakh for developing a
modular sewage treatment plant for villages and apartments.
Chandan Kumar Jha, IIT Gandhinagar, won Rs 3 lakhs
for developing an intelligent, virtual hand rehabilitation and assessment system
for recovering stroke patients. Abduljabbar Khan, KLS Gogte Institute of
Technology in Belagavi, Karnataka won Rs 2 lakhs for his development of a
compact electromechanical device to curtail residual ridge resorption in cases
of gum-related dental issues.
“Translation of exciting lab discoveries to
industry-ready, commercialisable technologies will be key to advancing India’s
current healthcare, agriculture and environment systems,” said Dr Taslimarif
Saiyed, C-CAMP CEO and Director.