UP COMING EVENT!
Webinar on BIG Outreach Call - 23 to be held on July 11, 2023 from 4:30 pm
A golden opportunity opens for the Young Start-ups, Individual Innovators & Academic Entrepreneurs to attain up to 50 Lakhs INR in funding. BIRAC’s BioNEST Bio-Incubator (B3I) Facility, NEHU, Tura Campus in collaboration with C-CAMP, Bangalore is organizing a one-day program covering the basics of BIG scheme and writing winning proposal.
Get yourself registered here: https://forms.gle/imDGBvqQayRQdUVX9
Meeting link: https://meet.google.com/uwr-eovh-szd
Platform: Google meet
Date & Time: July 11, 2023 from 4:30 pm
Utilize the knowledge & skills from here and apply for a winning proposal on this ongoing BIG Call – 23.
Looking forward for an exciting interaction with you guys
Awareness & Sensitization Program Funding Opportunities from BIRAC & Facilitation from B3I, NEHU
Awareness & Sensitization Program on Funding Opportunities for Academia from BIRAC & Facilitation available from BioNEST Facility, NEHU, organized by BIRAC’s BioNEST Bio-Incubator (B3I) Facility, NEHU, Meghalaya & Design Innovation Centre (DIC), NEHU, Shillong to be held at Community Hall, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong on June 23, 2023 from 2 pm onwards.
One day sensitization program on "Pro-Planet Approach towards Sustainable India" on June 15, 2023
BIRAC’s BioNEST Bioincubator Facility, NEHU, Tura Campus takes pride to be part of the mission LiFE initiative by providing a platform to brainstorm to devise real-life strategies to adopt a sustainable lifestyle and to make a living out of it. We are inviting the cream of society, to wit Government Bodies, Business Practitioners, Innovators, Entrepreneurs, Scientists, Faculty members, Research scholars, and Students to be part of our “Pro-Planet Approach towards Sustainable India” in order to adopt a sustainable lifestyle and to initiate a deliberate shift from the use-and-throw culture. As Facilitators, we intend to ignite young minds to utilize their creative and critical thinking abilities to look for prospective opportunities that can be adopted in this domain.
National Seminar on Organic farming in North East India
NATIONAL SEMINAR ON “EMERGING TRENDS IN BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES: A NORTH EAST PERSPECTIVE”
March 01, 2023: A 2-Day National Seminar on the “Emerging Trends in Biological Sciences (ETBS): A North East Perspective” was organised by the Department of Biotechnology & Bioinformatics, NEHU, Shillong in association with the Bio-Resources Development Centre (BRDC), Shillong and BIRAC’s BioNEST Bio-Incubator (B3I) Facility of NEHU, Tura Campus during 28th February to 1st March 2023 at NEHU, Shillong premises. The seminar envisioned to aware the participants about the recent advances in the technological and theoretical fronts of Biological Sciences; to provide a platform for innovative minds to duel their ideas in the form of Bio-ideathon; and to exhibit the brilliance of the North-Eastern Entrepreneurs and showcase the efforts of the facilitators and service providers before the scientific community in the shape of Bio-Entrepreneurs Exhibition.
The program was inaugurated in the presence of Prof. Phabha Shankar Shukla, hon’ble Vice Chancellor, NEHU, Shillong; Prof. Pramod Tandon, former Vice Chancellor, NEHU, Shillong & former CEO, Lucknow Biotech Park; Prof. N. Saha, Dean of School of Life Sciences, NEHU, Shillong; Prof. S. R. Joshi, Convenor, ETBS, & Head of Department Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, NEHU, Shillong; and Dr S. Majaw, Organizing Secretary, ETBS, & Associate Professor of Department of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, NEHU, Shillong, a pool of prominent dignitaries and more than 300 participants across India.
In subsequent technical sessions a wide variety of topics were discoursed in invited lectures presented by well-known scientific figures, in the fields of healthcare, plant science and entrepreneurship, to wit: Role of microbiome in personal to global wellbeing; Innovation in plant sciences to ensure food security & sustainability, counter climate change and boost healthcare alternatives; Next generation healthcare interventions including digitalization & bioengineering of human tissues and organs; Translational Research opportunities in Immuno-Oncology; Genomic analyses to decipher the role of DNaseI in securin overexpression and epigenetic modifications leading to areca nut induced carcinogenesis; Use of open source tools & scientific computing languages in biomedical sciences; Present status of bioeconomy and entrepreneurship in NER and the way forward; Journey of translational research from Laboratory bench to Startup; and Entrepreneurial journeys of Smoky falls unit and Suhsieng – an initiative for aromatic and medicinal plant cultivation were also shared in the platform. Apart from these invited lectures, a pan-India pool of young scientists and budding researchers presented 35 lectures and 77 posters before the scientific community.
In a parallel session, 51 young researchers in 21 groups from the eastern and north-eastern parts of India presented their ideas for entrepreneurship in the Bio-ideathon in front of the jury comprising Dr Malay Dey, former Consultant, State Council of Science and Technology (SCSTE), Meghalaya and former Principal, Shillong College, Meghalaya; Bah W. Jefferson Rani, Manager (EED), PRIME Shillong; and Dr Suman K. Nandy, CEO, B3I Facility, NEHU, Tura Campus. The budding researchers brainstormed the session with doable ideas in various fields of Agriculture, Hydroponics, Organic Farming Tools and Technology Development, Healthcare, Machine Learning Applications, Water Purification, Supply Value Chain Management, Waste to Value and Waste Management.
Another 2-day long parallel event, Bioentrepreneurs Exhibition was organised with 88 entrepreneurs mainly from NER displaying a diverse line of products and services such as traditional handloom products; exquisite wines from indigenous fruits; fortified mushroom & dairy products; utility products prepared from waste; and app-based services mainly as value chain solutions just to name a few. At the Bioentrepreneurs Exhibition, the B3I Facility exhibited ethnic delicacies like Chubitchi, Tungrymbai, and fortified functional Whey beverage - all prepared by the associated incubatees of BioNEST Facility, NEHU, Tura campus. During the expo, numerous visitors from different academic institutions, consumers and entrepreneurs visited and interacted with us and other fellow participants. We received a pool of queries from the guests, gave briefings to the journalists, gathered feedback, suggestions, and proposal for collaborations as well as witnessed a fruitful exchange of knowledge with various Scientists and Experts. New connections were made with Bioentrepreneurs, Researchers, Faculties, Government Officials, and other prospective incubatees.
The program concluded with a panel discussion on the journey “From Academia to Startups-Opportunities and Challenges in NE region” with Prof. S. R. Rao, Dr. S. K. Nandy, Dr. Preeti Singh, Dr. Swapnil Sinha, Sh. Abhijit Saikia, Smt. Dasumarlin Majaw, Sh. Bestarly Marwein, Sh. W. J. Rani and Sh. T. Iangjuh. The panel detailed the opportunities available from the enablers end, how academia can come forward to bridge the gap between laboratory formulation and real-life applications and entrepreneurs revealed the policy gaps and interventions needed to sketch the way forward. The program ended with the Valedictory session and recognition of the overwhelming Oral, Poster and Bio-ideation presentations. Overall, it was an experience worth remembering.
INDUSTRY-ACADEMIA PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
May 04, 2023: A panel discussion to explore the “Industry-Academia Partnership Opportunities” between the Innovators of NEHU, Tura Campus and the visiting team from Emami Ltd. comprising Dr C. K. Katiyar, CEO, Emami Healthcare Division; Dr Sunil K Dubey, General Manager, Emami Healthcare Division and Dr Ramesh Chandra Uniyal, Head Bioresource, Emami Healthcare Division has been arranged at BIRAC’s BioNEST Bio-Incubator (B3I) Facility, NEHU, Tura Campus on May 04, 2023, in presence of Prof. Sujata Gurudev, Campus I/C, NEHU, Tura Campus; Prof. J. U. Ahmed and Dr Deepak Bhagat from Department of Management, NEHU, Tura Campus. Dr BK Mishra, PI, B3I Facility and Head, Department of Rural Development & Agricultural Production, NEHU, Tura Campus welcomed the gathering and encouraged the innovators to explore the opportunities of industrial collaboration.
Dr Arindam Barman, Assistant Professor, Department of Horticulture, NEHU, Tura Campus presented the natural sweetener prepared from the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana in the form of dry leaves, powder and capsules. The leaves of stevia are 10 to 15 times sweeter than table sugar but the Glycaemic Index of sweetening compounds of this plant is zero with no caloric value. Dr Katiyar pointed out the limitation of using Stevia as a sweetener in certain beverages such as its grave incompatibility with coffee and suggested alternatives like Siraitia grosvenorii, also known as monk fruit.
Dr Arvind Kumar Chaurasia, Assistant Professor, Department of Horticulture, NEHU, Tura Campus in the next presentation showcased two fermented beverages, one in the combination of Blood fruit and Aonla and the other with Rose and Ashwagandha. The visiting team appreciated the products and discussed the barriers to large-scale production such as the availability of seasonal blood fruit and the need for automated technology for seed extraction similar to Lychee. Dr Katiyar pointed out the presence of Anthocyanin in the beverages and its importance in hair growth.
In the next session, Dr Sasikumar R, Assistant Professor, Department of Agri-Business Management & Food Technology, NEHU, Tura Campus presented Wild Organic Raw Honey and Organic Lakadong Turmeric Powder marketed under the registered trademark of NEHU Fresh. The visiting team expressed interest in utilising the existing pilot scale production unit of Dr Sasikumar through contract research agreements in future, provided it qualifies the industrial standard.
In the final session, Dr Suman K. Nandy, Chief Executive Officer, BioNEST Facility, NEHU, Tura Campus presented four fortified products, such as Chubitchi – fermented rice beverage from Garo hills, the Khasi delicacy Tungrymbai – fermented soya seeds, Soy yogurt & Whelthy - a whey beverage prepared under BIRAC’s SPARSH fellowship. The products were cherished by the visiting team and the possibility of technology transfer with industries in the food sector was recommended.
The visiting team also patronised the possibility of close Emami – NEHU partnerships in multiple sectors including organising Industrial trainings of NEHU, Students & Scholars at Emami Facilities; availing premium testing facilities at the R&D labs of Emami and contract research agreements with NEHU for pilot scale production etc. The panel agreed to draft a Memorandum of Understanding between Emami Ltd. and NEHU to transform these possibilities into reality.
Awareness Program on Intellectual Property Rights held at Ampati Degree College, Ampati, South-West
21st January 2023: An Awareness program on Intellectual Property Rights was organized by the Branch MSME-DFO, Tura, Ministry of MSME, Government of India in association with BIRACâ€™s BioNEST Bioincubator Facility, North-Eastern Hill University, Tura Campus at the Ampati Degree College, Ampati, South-West Garo Hills, on the 21st January 2023 with more than 200 participants.
The program started with felicitation of the dignitaries followed by a welcomed address to the gathering by Prof. CP Suresh, Head, Department of Horticulture, NEHU, Tura Campus. Dr. Jyoti Vastrad, Dean, College of Community Sciences, Tura, in her address as a special guest, emphasized traditional handicrafts as a measure of employment generation and the need for product diversification to meet modern needs. Dr Vastrad encourages the participants to focus on utility products like hand-woven purses, wallets, mobile pouches, bags, cushion covers, etc. She also encouraged the participants to avail training from the College of Community Sciences. Shri. Gideon Kharmawphlang, Deputy Commissioner of South West Garo Hills, encouraged the rural entrepreneurs and assured them of administration support in Geographical Indication (GI) registration of the local products.
In the next session, Mrs Gurpreet Gulati, Advocate, IP Caravan, Gurugram, Haryana, on behalf of Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry explained the importance, and benefits of GI tagging and the process of doing it. Afterwards, Mr Nilesh Trivedi, Assistant Director, MSME-DFO, Tura Branch briefed the audience about Intellectual Property Rights, its components (patents, trademarks and copyrights) and the process of filing for IPR. Mr. Trivedi also outlined the Government of Indiaâ€™s initiatives in promoting IPR and GI. He encourages the participants to file the IP and GI.
Lastly, Prof. CP Suresh, Head, Department of Horticulture, NEHU, Tura Campus elaborated on plant variety protection and the farmerâ€™s rights. He explained the parameters like novelty, distinctiveness, uniformity and stability in plant variety necessary for registration. Kamaleshwar Kosh, Program Executive, Doordarshan Kendra, Tura acts as a translator to the local Hajong language in this lecture. This was followed by an elaborate, interactive doubt-clearing session. Finally, the program comes to its end with a vote of thanks by Dr. Mamunur Rafique Mondal Willy, Principal, Ampati Degree College.
A brief Report on: NEHU-BIRAC Webinar on Fermentation: Interplay of Microbes, Immunity and Health
February 04, 2023: A two days webinar on Fermentation: Interplay of Microbes, Immunity and Health was organized by the Dept. of Rural Development and Agricultural Production (RDAP), North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Tura campus, with due support from the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a Government of India initiative during February 03rd -04th, 2023. The huge gathering of more than 2000 participants across the GoTO Meeting platform and YouTube live streaming was welcomed by Ms. Bethsheba Basaiawmoit, Research Scholar, Department of RDAP, NEHU, Tura campus and apprised about the ancient practise of fermentation in the north-eastern region (NER) of India as a way of food preservation. Dr. B.K Mishra, Head, Department of RDAP, NEHU, Tura Campus thanked the participants for their overwhelming response and informed the gathering about the innovative fermented products developed in NEHU, Tura Campus. This was followed by a vivid and lucid portrayal of recent activities and achievements of NEHU, Tura Campus, by the honourable campus-in-charge, Prof. Sujata Gurudev. Dr. Sujit Das, Technical Officer, BIRAC, briefed the attendees about BIRACâ€™s commitment to excel in innovation and entrepreneurship. On the first day of the webinar, speakers across Academia and Industry shared their expertise and valuable insights on the role of prebiotics, probiotics and post-biotics towards health and nutrition, their use in the development of fermented foods, the challenges faced and the ways to resolve. The first speaker of the session Shri. Sameer Saxena, Head, Quality Assessment & New Product Development (QA & NPD), Anand Milk Union Limited (AMUL), Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, Gujarat displayed the reach, and achievements of Amul as a brand and the range of fermented food, beverages and probiotic products at Amulâ€™s disposal. Shri Saxena also showcased the marketing and promotional campaigns executed successfully in bringing awareness to consumers. Dr. J.B Prajapati, Chairman, Verghese Kurien Centre of Excellence, Gujarat navigated through the marketing trends of fermented foods. His session focused on the health benefits of probiotics, and the challenges and methods of fermented product development using probiotics. Dr. Neerja Haleja, Secretary, Gut Microbiota and Probiotic Science Foundation, Delhi and Head, Science and Regulatory Affairs, Yakult Danone India Pvt. Ltd explained the significance and the role of gut microbiota in maintaining the balance of the health system in an individual. Dr Hajela also emphasized the mechanism of action of probiotics in the gut. Dr. Prakash Halami, Chief Scientist, Professor - Academy of Scientific & Innovative Research (AcSIR), and Head, Department of Microbiology and Fermentation Technology; Food Protectants & Infestation Control, CSIR-CFTRI, Mysore illuminated the audience about recent advances and future challenges in the field of probiotics and postbiotics, the types of postbiotics, their sources, implications towards health benefits, and the production and characterization method of the post-biotics. The final speaker of the day Dr. Gopal Ramakrishnan Gopi, Chief Operating Officer, FGSV Bioprocessing Plant, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, elaborated on the latest advances in biological preservatives with special reference to nisin. Dr Gopi highlighted the development of nisin and its integration into different foods as a preservative. He also highlighted the challenges and issues in the fermentation of nisin and the modulation of the upstream and downstream processes for optimal production. The webinar was concluded by Mr. Shanbor Sayoo, Lab Assistant, B3I Facility, NEHU Tura Campus through a summarization of the day one activities.
The second day of the webinar was centred on innovations in fermented foods and regulatory compliances. Ms. Alva Margareth Kharkongor, Program Manager, BioNEST Facility, NEHU, Tura campus began the proceedings with a note on the need for innovation in the fermentation industry for a wider reach while maintaining a balance with the food safety standards. The day started with a briefing from Dr. Shilpi Gupta, Chief Manager-Technical, BIRAC, on the role of BIRAC in fostering public-private partnerships for innovative product/technology development, through targeted funding schemes, mentorship and incubation program that handholds Start-ups and innovators throughout, right from ideation to commercialization. This was followed by a talk from Dr. B. Sesikeran, Former Director, ICMR - National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, Telangana detailing the process of evaluating the safety and efficacy of bioactive ingredients in fermented foods & beverages in a journey to create functional food. In the next session, Dr. Navneet Singh Deora, Chief Technical Officer, Blue Tribe, a pioneer in plant-based meat shared his insights about innovations in fermented foods, our misconceptions about processed foods and the necessity of plant-based alternatives to meat to reduce the carbon footprint and to control the climatic catastrophe we all are riding upon. Dr. Rubina Mandlik, Research Officer, Hirabai Cowasji Jehangir Medical Research Institute, Pune, Maharashtra discoursed about regulatory and safety guidelines endorsed in India for manufacturing fermented foods such as milk-, soya-, meat-based products, fermented fruits and vegetables and beverages, etc. Dr. Mandlik also navigated through the FSSAI registration procedure required for obtaining the licensing for food businesses in detail. This was followed by a brief session outlining the bio-resources in NER and the role of BioNEST in promoting bio-entrepreneurship and innovation in the region through proper utilisation of the resources by Dr. Suman Kr Nandy, CEO, BioNEST Facility, NEHU Tura Campus. Finally, the webinar met its conclusion with a summary of the daylong brainstorming sessions and a vote of thanks proposed by Ms. Barsha Saikia, Research Scholar, Department of RDAP, NEHU Tura campus. The organisers thanked the innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, MSMEs, industry people, faculties, scientists, post-doctoral fellows, scholars, students, and enthusiasts across the country for making the webinar a success through their patient yet highly interactive presence and their interest in fermentation. Be fermented, Be Functional.
Those who have missed the program live can be compensated by streaming on YouTube:
Day 1: https://youtu.be/57H4QFxxinw
Day 2: https://youtu.be/8-8Rh_mfVS4
IDEA PRESENTATION SEMINAR FOR MSME IDEA HACKATHON 2.0
October 11, 2022: An â€˜Idea Presentation Seminarâ€™ was organised jointly by Branch MSME-DFO, Tura, Ministry of MSME, Govt of India, and BIRAC BioNEST Bioincubator (B3I) Facility, NEHU, Tura on October 11, 2022 at NEHU, Tura Campus in view of the ongoing call for proposal titled â€˜MSME Idea Hackathon 2.0â€™. A total of 33 enthusiastic in-house participants including students, research scholars and faculty members from different academic departments of NEHU, Tura campus joined the program. Dr. B.K Mishra, Head, Department of Rural Development and Agricultural Production (RDAP) and Project Investigator, BioNEST Bioincubator Facilty, NEHU, Tura campus had warmly welcomed the gathering and presented the news of securing Host Institute status by NEHU, Tura campus from Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Government of India. Prof. Sujata Gurudev, Campus-in-Charge, NEHU, Tura Campus, Meghalaya detailed the objective of the program and emphasized building and promoting a culture of innovation within the campus. Prof. Gurudev had also expressed her joy on obtaining the host institute status and voiced her faith in the finest minds of the campus in submitting multiple ideas to the Idea Hackathon 2.0. Shri Nilesh Trivedi, Assistant Director, Branch of MSME-DFO, Tura briefed the initiatives of MSME, the sectors and schemes under MSME, the benefits of UDYAM Registration and other opportunities available through MSME. Mr. Trivedi elaborately explained the categories of eligible candidates for Idea Hackathon namely, students, MSME & others; the specific themes of the Idea Hackathon, evaluation process for approval of Ideas through HI, and the Financial Assistance to HI for prototyping the incubatee ideas and capital funding for setting up the instrumentation facility. In the last session, Dr Suman Kumar Nandy, Chief Executive Officer, BioNEST Facility highlighted the handholding program provided by the facility to transform an innovative idea into a sustainable and profitable business and ongoing funding schemes available in B3I Facility. Dr. Nandy had also discussed the objectives of MSME Innovative scheme, different sectors of HI 2.0 and clarified the budget allocation. He had also given a quick view of the Biotechnology Ignition Grant for the North Eastern Region (BIG-NER), its eligibility criteria and the funding opportunities. Both the sessions were followed by elaborate, interactive and informative doubt clearing sessions. The program ended with concluding remarks & vote of thanks from Dr. Arindam Barman, Assistant Professor, Department of Horticulture, NEHU, Tura Campus.
Food Processing, Handicrafts and Clothing for the Rural Women Entrepreneurs
A Hands-on training program for Rural Entrepreneurs on â€œMushroom Cultivationâ€ was organised jointly by BioNEST Bioincubator Facility and Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Tura on December 08, 2021 at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Tura with more than 27 participants from different parts of West Garo Hills district. The training program on mushroom cultivation was organised to make the rural entrepreneurs aware about the nutritional and economic benefits of Mushroom Cultivation. Dr. Suman Nandy, CEO of BioNEST Bioincubator, NEHU Tura Campus warmly welcomed the gathering and briefed them about the BioNEST Bioincubator Facility and its purpose in facilitating employment generation especially in the field of Agriculture, Nutrition or Food Processing by supporting entrepreneurs with innovative ideas that would help them to ease their day-to-day life activities. Dr. Joyoshree Mahanta, Senior Scientist and Head i/c of KVK, Tura discussed about the various types of edible mushroom that can be grown in North East Region with special attention about mushrooms that is suitable to the climatic condition of Garo Hills. Mr. Cherak B Marak, Master Trainer in Mushroom Cultivation, briefed about the growing techniques, various precautions and management that is needed to be followed in mushroom cultivation, and economic importance of Oyster mushroom cultivation based on his long experience in this field. In the second half of the session, a step-by-step procedure of cultivation of Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) was demonstrated to the entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs themselves also prepared the mushroom cultivation stack. The program has ended on a good note with the distribution of Mushroom Spawns and High-density polyethylene (HDPE) bags to each participant as an encouragement to initiate mushroom cultivation.
Intellectual Property Rights: Safeguarding Innovation
A webinar on â€œIntellectual Property Rights: Safeguarding Innovationsâ€ was arranged by BioNEST Bioincubator Center at NEHU, Tura Campus on November 29, 2021 in online platform with more than 83 participants across India. Dr. BK Mishra, the Project Leader of the BioNEST Bioincubator Centre had warmly welcomed the gathering. Prof G Singaiah, Campus I/C, NEHU, Tura Campus encouraged the participants to initiate startups and to be aware of the benefits of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for a fair return on their investments in the research and development fields. Mr Asutosh Nanda, Head-TEC, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar have broadly discussed about the type of Intellectual Properties (Ips), how Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) grants exclusive rights to the creator/s on their creation, secure their benefits and advantages from their creation and also enlighten about the limitations in terms of duration, scope and geographical extent. He had also discussed about the IP facilities that promotes awareness among creators about IPR. Beside the theoretical discussions, a practical session to review the existing patient has also been demonstrated. This was followed by a huge doubt clearing session and finally the vote of thanks by Dr. Suman K Nandy, CEO, BioNEST Bioincubator Facility, NEHU, Tura Campus.
Inauguration Ceremony of Birac BioNEST Bioincubator Center, NEHU, Tura Campus
Writing the BIG GRANT