On February 26, 2021, at the ‘India Pharma & India Medical Device 2021′ Conference, the Department of Pharmaceuticals introduced the pharma & Medical Devices Startup Grand Challenge’ to boost innovation in both industries and drive economic growth. The National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPERs) in Hyderabad and Ahmedabad, Invest India, and Startup India is government partners for the Startup Grand Challenge, while Laurus Labs and Boston Scientific are enabler partners.
The Startup India portal – www.startupindia.gov.in – was used to accept applications for the programme. As part of the initiative, a webinar was held to raise awareness about the importance of innovation and new technologies in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. 218 of the 310 Startup Challenge applications received were in the Medical Devices sector, while 92 were in the Pharmaceuticals sector. For the second phase of evaluation, 17 entrepreneurs from the Medical Devices sector and 5 startups from the Pharmaceuticals sector were selected to pitch their concepts to an eminent judging panel via video conference. Four startups were named winners and runners-up in each industry after a rigorous two-stage review process. The two winning businesses will each receive a cash prize of INR 15 lakh, while the two runners-up will each earn INR 7 lakh.
In addition, each of the four startups will be assigned a dedicated mentor for six months, and a virtual Demo Day will be held in the coming months for the top 20+ startups that made it to the second round of the program’s evaluation, where they will pitch their ideas to officials from government ministries/departments, cooperatives, corporate bodies, investors, and other stakeholders. The pharmaceutical and medical device industries in India are important contributors to the country’s economic growth. In the global medicines industry, the country holds a significant role. India is the world’s third-largest producer of pharmaceuticals by volume and the fourteenth-largest by value.