Srinagar, Feb 11: Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST-K) innovator Sameena Lone has been selected for the Government of India’s BIRAC BIG grant worth Rs 50 lakh.
Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG) is a flagship programme of the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), which provides the right admixture of fuel and support to young startups and entrepreneurial individuals. BIG is the Department of Biotechnology (DBT)’s largest early-stage biotech funding programme in India. Funding grant of up to Rs 50 lakh (USD 60,500 approx) to best-in-class innovative ideas to build and refine the idea to proof-of-concept.
Sameena Lone, an innovator cum scholar in the SKUAST-K’s Division of Vegetable Science, supervised by Dr Khursheed Hussain, Assistant Professor, Division of vegetable science, SKUAST-K and mentored by Naveed Hamid, BDA, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Cell of the university, submitted her innovative proposal on ‘Organic & Disease-Free Seed Potato Production through Tissue Culture in Kashmir’ under Industrial Biotechnology, Clean Energy & Environment category in Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a Not-for-Profit Company’ of Government of India which supports technology innovators and entrepreneurs to pursue a promising technology idea, and establish and validate proof of concept (POC) for the idea under the BIG grant scheme a few months back. More than 500 innovators across the country had applied under the said scheme and only 26 got selected for the final pitching round before the panel committee from which only nine innovators were selected under the given category across the nation.
SKUAST-K innovator is the only one from Jammu and Kashmir to receive the BIRAC BIG grant in the present round.
Vice Chancellor SKUAST Kashmir Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai congratulated the innovator and her team of mentors for securing the BIRAC Grant. He appreciated the level of effort and dedication of the team and support from SKUASTK Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship Centre that brought laurels to the University. He further added that such achievements are so precious that they not only boost the morale of the innovators but help in developing the ecosystem for innovations, incubations & startups.