Chandigarh – In an attempt to give much needed boost to industry and agriculture start-ups, “Early Translation Accelerator-A Network to Boost Industry and Start-ups in Secondary Agriculture sector in Punjab’ was launched here on Friday. Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India and Karan Avtar Singh, Chief Secretary, Punjab, jointly launched the unique project.The launch event, organised by the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST), was attended by the administrative secretaries of all the relevant development departments of Punjab, captains of food processing industry and experts from research institutions. Singh said that there is immense scope to address unmet needs of agri-food processing sector through technological interventions.He also added that there is a need to develop new enterprises around the technology leads of institutions working in the state in this domain. Dr Roshan Sunkaria, Principal Secretary, Science Technology and Environment, informed that it is a multi-institutional project with PSCST as a ‘lead institute’ and National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI), Centre of Innovative and Applied Bioprocessing (CIAB) and Bio-Nest – PU as the partner institutions. In the first instance, BIRAC has sanetioned Phase-I of the project for two years duration.Dr Swarup said that BIRAC support start-ups, for which, it invites applications through nationalwide call. However, for the first time, under this project, with BIRAC’s support, a State-specific Call has been given to invite for supporting start-ups for Punjab in secondary agriculture domain. These will be supported financially as well as technically by providing mentorship, incubation space and instrumentation support.
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