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RICH shortlists startups under AID programme

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Hyderabad, April 15 (IANS) The Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH) on Thursday announced the shortlist of its first cohort of start-ups, selected under the Acceleration Initiative for Diagnostics (AID) programme, designed as a multi-stakeholder alliance to identify and nurture the best start-ups in the diagnostics space.

RICH-AID is aimed at building a strong ecosystem of start-ups, innovators, hospitals, clinicians and mentors to help start-ups get access to facilities, equipment and expertise, said RICH, an initiative of by the office of Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Central government and the Telangana government.

According to Invest India, the medical diagnostics market in India is estimated to grow at 20.4 per cent to reach $32 billion. Covid has accelerated the need for more diagnostics across all health sectors.

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The programme has been developed out of a perceived need to address the challenges faced by start-ups in the rapidly growing med-tech domain-ranging from the inability to access equipment, clinical samples, and research expertise to a lack of mentorship and difficulties in outreach.

It will also help boost Hyderabad, which contributes roughly 35 per cent of the country’s pharmaceutical output, as the pharma capital of India. RICH-AID will leverage the existence of India’s largest med-tech park, a large number of research institutions, and over 15 life science incubators and other supporting facilities set up by Telangana.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has underlined the need for accelerated research in diagnostics followed by a rapid go-to-market for such innovations which can help us deal with such medical emergencies. In Hyderabad, we already have a fertile ecosystem of industry, hospitals, clinicians and mentors. With the AID programme, we hope to bring all of these together in a manner which can best help young innovators convert their ideas into viable business propositions. This cohort is just the first of many such start-ups we hope to engage with and help transform the diagnostics space not just in Hyderabad but across India,” said Ajit Rangnekar, Director General, RICH.

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Originally announced on January 28, the AID programme saw an enthusiastic response from entrepreneurs and start-ups across the med-tech ecosystem. A total of 76 applications were received from India, Canada, the US, and South Korea.

Ten of the startups were selected on the basis of a number of criteria such as solution USP, technical strength, usability and scalability, readiness, validation, fit for purpose, commercial roadmap after the entries were evaluated by a panel constituting thematic experts and industry leaders.

–IANS

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