Applications Invited for BIRAC - Early Translation Accelerator (ETA)

Applications Invited for BIRAC - Early Translation Accelerator (ETA)

Organization: Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC)

Apply By: 28 Oct 2019

Grant Amount: 1000000 INR

About the Organization:

Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a not-for-profit Section 8, Schedule B, Public Sector Enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India as an Interface Agency to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.

About ETA:

Early Translation Accelerator (ETA) focuses on catalysing transformation of young academic discoveries (publications/patents) with possible commercial and societal impact into economically viable ventures and technologies. The proposed set up is expected to collaborate with academic investigators, engage industry and to leverage international translation ecosystems. Supporting early translation accelerator for establishing validation/proof-of-concept is in line with the BIRAC’s mission of facilitating translation of innovative ideas into biotech products and attracts industry to take validated technologies (originated from academic labs) forward in terms of development.

Critical components of ETA:

  • Continuous flow of discoveries, with potential applications, from academic investigators.
  • A scientific component that evaluates, collaborates, and provides technology access to the discovery projects.
  • Early engagement with industry and investors to help drive the discoveries and validated technologies towards successful commercialization through mentoring, partnerships and Technology transfer.

Who Can Apply?

  • Bio incubators
  • National Research Laboratories
  • Government funded Laboratories
  • National Institutes with demonstrated experience in performing translational activities in the proposed area.

What can be considered under ETA?

Discoveries from Healthcare, agriculture, industrial biotechnology and other important areas of Biotechnology may be considered for validation under early translation accelerator. The criteria for selection, assessment of progress and graduation may be put in place by individual ETAs and the committees with experts from academia, industry, investors and IP/regulatory fields to ensure the discoveries are ready to be taken up by ETA and the discoveries considered under ETA are industry ready once developed and they are expected to be part of development cycle, along with the inventor or originator of such scouted technology.

What is expected from ETA?

  • To scout potential technologies
  • To showcase some unique expertise that is different from others and which will give better chances of success for such identified technology
  • To define focused areas and to collaborate with external organizations for specific expertise towards accelerating the Technology Readiness Level (TRL).
  • To identify an industry to invest part of the money (at least 10%) for incubation before taking up the technology
  • To consider multiple projects in parallel and to ensure their success
  • To complete the projects within the timelines of 12-18 months (If the committee recommends, Project duration can be maximum 24 months.)
  • To take up 3-5 projects within the first phase of ETA support that will be provided for 30 Months


To achieve sustainability towards the core functioning of the ETA module through technology transfer etc. ETA can propose budget for core module (not more than Rs.1 crore, Funding may be provided for bench-top equipment and man power, travel and contingency) along with project budget (depending on the number of projects to be taken up) during the submission of proposal for setting up of ETA. The actual project budget will be decided after due diligence. The projects should be identified within 3 months of establishment of an ETA. The budget (which will be not more than Rs.200 lakhs) for each ETA Project will be recommended by ETA expert committee as per the objectives/activities.

Planning grant amounting to Rs.10 lakhs will be given to ETA once it is recommended by expert committee on ‘Translational Activities’. Milestones and final budget (after deducting kick off budget) will be decided after identification of projects.

Selection of Projects:

Selection of projects to be based on the demand, target groups and the source of technologies. The ETA expert committee is expected to evaluate the projects to be considered under ETA based on the following parameters:

  • Available data to consider as ETA project
  • Clarity on objectives to be achieved under ETA
  • Strength to accomplish the objectives
  • Commercial potential (The technology should have a sizeable market as well as Intellectual Property (IP) generation potential)
  • National importance
  • Mandate of ETA
  • Technology readiness level {TRL 5 or above (Early Stage Validation) at the start of the project and TRL 7 or above (Late Stage validation or Pre commercialization) by the end of the project}. Project should move at least two TRL level above. (Please visit http://www.birac.nic.in/desc_new.php?id=443. For TRL definitions)

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