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Government Plans To Set Up 7 New Research Parks To Bolster R&D For Startups

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the ‘Startup India, Stand Up India’ in January 2016. The initiative had a slew of measures aimed at simplifying compliance, exempting profits from startups for the first three years, and rolling out an action plan for boosting innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.

The Action Plan also specified the setting up of seven new Research Parks modelled on the Research Park set up at IIT Madras. The Government said that the new Research Parks in institutes will be set up with an initial investment of about $15.4 Mn (INR 100 Cr) each.

They would propel innovation through incubation and joint R&D efforts between academia and the industry. The proposed parks will be up at IIT Guwahati, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IISc Bangalore, IIT Gandhinagar, and IIT Delhi.              

To this regard, the IIT Madras Research Park has agreed to enable companies with a research focus to base themselves in the Park and leverage the academic expertise of IIT Madras. It leverages best practices from globally successful Research Parks such as Stanford, MIT, and Cambridge.

The Research Parks have been set up to enable development of high-quality personnel and motivate professional growth for researchers in companies through part-time Masters and PhD programmes.

As per the most recent Startup India status report, of these seven, IIT Kharagpur is already under construction. The Research Park at IIT Gandhinagar is being set up by the DST which has sanctioned about $13.8 Mn (INR 90 Cr) and disbursed an initial instalment of about $6 Mn (INR 40 Cr). The remaining five are being set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and DST at IIT Guwahati, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Kanpur, IIT Delhi, and IISc Bangalore.

Apart from this, the government has also taken measures to promote startups in the biotechnology sector:

  • 5 new Bio-clusters, 50 new Bio-Incubators, 150 technology transfer offices and 20 Bio-Connect offices will be set up in research institutes and universities across India.
  • Biotech Equity Fund – The BIRAC AcE Fund in partnership with National and Global Equity Funds (Bharat Fund, India Aspiration Fund amongst others) will provide financial assistance to young biotech startups.

As per the most recent Startup India Status Report dated April 152017, three Bio-incubators have been selected as recipients of the above-mentioned Equity Fund. A total of 20 bio-incubators have been supported by the DBT. In total, about 290 startups have received benefits from these bio-incubators under various programmes like the Biotechnology Ignition Grant, IIPME (Industry Innovation Programme on Medical Electronics), Sparsh, Grand Challenges, BioNEST, etc.