Scheme for Central Govt

National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) is an umbrella programme conceived and developed by the Innovation and Entrepreneurship division (National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board) of Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, for nurturing ideas and innovations (knowledge-based and technology-driven) into successful startups.

The programme would work in line with the national priorities and goals and its focus would be to build an innovation driven entrepreneurial ecosystem with an objective of national development through wealth and job creation. NIDHI aims to nurture start-ups through scouting, supporting and scaling of innovations.

The key stakeholders of NIDHI includes various departments and ministries of the central government, state governments, academic and R & D institutions, mentors, financial institutions, angel investors, venture capitalists and private sectors.

NIDHI is developed keeping in line the new national aspirations and on the basis of DST’s experience of three decades, in promoting innovative start-ups.


Department of Science and Technology (DST) has announced National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) as an umbrella programme for nurturing ideas and innovations (knowledge-based and technology-driven) into successful startups. Entrepreneurs-in- Residence (EIR) Programme is one of the programs introduced under NIDHI to inspire the best talents to be entrepreneurs, to minimise the risk involved in pursuing start- ups, and to partially set off their opportunity costs of high paying jobs. The NIDHI-EIR programme provides tremendous opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs to expand their networks and get critical feedback on their ventures in order to promote their entrepreneurial career goals and aspirations.


The lack of support for early stage prototyping causes many innovators / startups to lose interest in their technology ventures.

To address the gap in the very early stage idea/ proof of concept funding, under the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing the Innovations (NIDHI) the National Science & Technology Entepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India launched the NIDHI-PRAYAS program.

The NIDHI - PRomoting and Accelerating Young and ASpiring technology entrepreneurs (NIDHI-PRAYAS), the scheme launched is a pre-incubation initiative, specifically supports young innovators turn their ideas into proof-of-concepts. This support shall allow the innovators to try their ideas without fear of failure, allowing them to reach a stage where the innovators / entrepreneurs have a ready product and are willing to approach incubators for commercialization.

DSIR-PRISM (Promoting Innovations in Individuals, Start-ups and MSMEs) scheme aims at to support individual innovators which will enable to achieve the agenda of inclusive development - one of the thrust areas of XIIth five year plan (2012-2017).

It would also provide support to institutions or organizations set up as Autonomous Organization under a specific statute or as a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or Indian Trusts Act, 1882 leading to development of state-of-art new technology solutions aimed at helping MSME clusters.

Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a not-for-profit Section 8, Schedule B, Public Sector Enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India as an Interface Agency to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs. BIRAC is a industry-academia interface and implements its mandate through a wide range of impact initiatives, be it providing access to risk capital through targeted funding, technology transfer, IP management and handholding schemes that help bring innovation excellence to the biotech firms and make them globally competitive. In its Eight years of existence, BIRAC has initiated several schemes, networks and platforms that help to bridge the existing gaps in the industry-academia Innovation research and facilitate novel, high quality affordable products development through cutting edge technologies. BIRAC has initiated partnerships with several national and global partners to collaborate and deliver the salient features of its mandate.


BIG is flagship programme of BIRAC, which provides the right admixture of fuel and support to young startups and entrepreneurial individuals. BIG is the largest early stage biotech funding programme in india. Funding grant of upto INR 5 Million (USD 70,000 approx) to best in class innovative ideas to build and refine idea to proof-of-concept.


The Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI) scheme of the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology was launched in 2005 to boost Public-Private- Partnership (PPP) efforts in the country. SBIRI was the first of its kind, early stage, innovation focused PPP initiative in the area of Biotechnology.

Launching of SBIRI has worked as an enabling platform for the target organizations to realize their potential in terms of product and process development and taking them to the market. It has facilitated innovation, risk taking by small and medium companies and bringing together the private industry, public institutions and the government under one roof to promote the research and innovation in the Indian Biotech Sector.

The projects supported under the scheme have resulted in prominent outcomes in the form of some products which have already come to the market and some promising research leads seeing ray of hope for commercialization.

As a unique institutional mechanism, SBIRI has consistently prioritized early stage funding for high risk innovative research in small and medium companies led by innovators with science backgrounds to get them involved in development of products and processes which have high societal relevance.


The Biotechnology Industry Partnership Programme (BIPP) was launched on 5th December, 2008. BIPP is a government partnership with Industries for support on a cost sharing basis for path-breaking research in frontier futuristic technology areas having major economic potential and making the Indian industry globally competitive.

It is focused on IP creation with ownership retained by Indian industry and wherever relevant, by collaborating scientists.

BIPP supports the development of appropriate technologies in the context of recognized national priorities.

Proposals are invited under 7 broad themes:

a.) Drugs including drug Delivery, b.) Vaccines and clinical trials, c.) Biosimilars & stem cells, d.) Devices & Diagnostics, e.) Agriculture, f.) Industrial Biotechnology including Secondary Agriculture and g.) Bioinformatics & facilities that virtually cover every aspect of Biotechnology. BIPP is an Advanced Technology Scheme only for high risk, transformational technology/ process development.

It is for high risk futuristic technologies and mainly for viability gap funding. The uniqueness of this scheme is that it is for "Break through research" which enables product and process development and is patentable, with IP ownership rights resting with industry.


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.

The programme aims at promoting the development of innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. The scheme tackles 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.


SIIP is BIRAC’s social Innovation fellowship/award program aimed at creating a pool of biotech “Social Innovators” who can identify needs & gaps within communities and then can help bridge the gaps either through an innovative product development or services.

The immersion program is a unique social Innovation platform which provides the opportunity for clinical and rural immersion and also funding support for developing the prototype through mini kick start grant apart from the monthly fellowship to young social Innovators.

The program has already developed clusters across the nation on three thematic areas “Maternal and Child Health” “Ageing and Health” and “Waste to value”.

Most of the Social Innovators who are mentored through the program are successful in raising the follow-on funding or starting their own enterprise.

The program is implemented through BIRAC SIIP partners and mentored through BIRAC SIIP Knowledge partner.