India & Israel to collaborate in life sciences and agritech

Bengaluru: India and Israel would collaborate in life sciences and agritech through an innovation bridge between the two countries, an official said on Friday.

“An agreement has been signed for Indo-Israel innovation bridge to collaborate in life sciences and agritech by the city-based L(C-CAMP) and the Consul General of Israel to South India,” said the official in a statement here.

As the country’s premier bio-sciences’ technology and innovation hub, C-CAMP has called for the first national level ‘Agriculture Grand Challenge-2021’ under the Karnataka supported Centre of Excellence for agri-innovation.

“The winners of the challenge programme will be funded up to Rs 25 lakh,” said the official.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan, who was present on the occasion, said through the grand challenge programme, C-CAMP and the state government would promote entrepreneurship in the agri-sector.

“The Grand Challenge aims to identify innovations to address major problem areas in the Indian farm sector. For each winning start-up, funding will be given up to Rs 25 lakh with incubation, mentorship and hand-holding by C-CAMP,” said Narayan.

Narayan, a medical doctor by profession, also holds portfolios of IT, BT (biotech), Science & Technology and Higher Education in the BJP-ruled government.

“The potential of the initiative is huge as evident from the cooperation between start-ups of the two countries. The agreement will enable to consolidate islands of excellence in both nations and create a collaborative environment for research and development,” said Israeli Consul General Zonathan Zadka.

The 3 problem statements under the Agri Grand Challenge-2021 are:

(1) A quick, accurate, and affordable PoC (Proof of Concept) method for testing a) macro/micronutrient density in soil and/or plant tissue and b) soil microbial diversity.

(2) A technology to enhance the shelf life of produce and minimisation of post-harvest losses through chemical/biological/IR methods.

(3) A technology for detection and treatment of white stem borer infestation in Coffee crop.

C-CAMP assisted indigenously developed portable Covid vaccine cold chain equipment was handed over to the state government at the event.

National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) director Satyajit Mayor, InStem director Apurva Sarin and state IT-BT and S&T director Meena Nagaraj were present on the occasion.

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