+91 0512 259 7979


Biotechnology ignition Grant (BIG) is a program funded by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC). It supports young startups and entrepreneurial individuals at their early stage of ideation with convincing preliminary data to refine it further into proof of concept. BIG promotes fostering, up scaling, and validation of ideas with comercialisation potential. It also encourages researchers to broaden the market reach of technology through startups.

BIG offers its innovative creators a royalty-based fund up to RS. 50 Lakhs for Prototype Development and Validation in following domains: Med-Tech devices and Diagonostics, AI/ML Big Data Analytics, Veterinary Sciences, Industrial Biotechnology, AgriTech, BioPharma, Environmental Sciences, Clean Energy. (insert pictures of each domains).

Apply now

Focus Domains

Med-tech devices & diagnostics
AI/ML Big data
Environmental Sciences
Clean Energy


  • Any graduate, researcher, innovator or startup (<5 years old w.e.f 1st Aug 2021 and having >51% shares with Indian citizens working in the biotechnology sector).
  • Senior research fellows/scholars having finished/finishing in <6 months PhD/Post-Doc.
  • Final semester students /recently graduated alumni of UG & PG in any discipline
  • Permanent/contractual, technical staff. 5. Independent innovators, scientists, and prospective entrepreneurs (BBA/MBA etc. graduates) across science, engineering, management, and technology schools/departments.


INR 50 lakhs fellowship support
Access to IITK facilities at student rates
Unmatched industry connects and experts
Community-building sessions with fellow grantees

Application Process

  • Step 1

    Call for proposal opens

  • Step 2

    Get in touch with a BIG Partner/BIG Associate Partner

  • Step 3

    Handholding on proposal writing

  • Step 4

    Final submission

  • Step 5

    Preliminary eligibility Screening

  • Step 6

    Online review round

  • Step 7

    Technical Evaluation Panel

  • Step 8

    Expert Screening Committee

  • Step 9

    Final approval

  • Step 10

    Financial Due Diligence

  • Step 11

    Grants released and Project begins


Months Program Duration


BIG Grantees Supported


Funding Released


Applications Received

BIG Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Application / Eligibility FAQs

Any graduate researcher innovator or startup (<5 years old w.e.f 1st Aug 2021 and having >51% shares with Indian citizens working in the biotechnology sector.

Senior research fellows/scholars having finished/finishing in <6 months PhD/Post-Doc

Final semester students /recently graduated alumni of UG & PG in any discipline

Permanent/contractual technical staff

Independent innovators, scientists, and prospective entrepreneurs (BBA/MBA etc. Graduates) from across science, engineering, management, and technology schools/departments

Faculty /lecturers who plan to commercialise their research work through a startup. Institutional FEP should be in place.

Scientists/researcher scholars (Post Doc, RA's, PhD's) / technical staff who would like to escalate Innovation development to higher Technology Readiness Level (TRL).

Independent Inventors with filed and approved patents that are pending monetisation

Alumni and current students of science, medicine and engineering disciplines

Post Graduate - Final semester MPhil / MSc / M.Tech / M Pharma / MD / M Des ; MPH /MBA / MSW etc. and equivalents with undergraduate training in Science, Medicine, Engineering.

Under Graduate (4 year programs) : Final semester B.Tech / B Pharm ; / MBBS / BDS

Retired academics, industry professionals can also be PI.

Students who are in a 4 year UG, masters and are about to graduate within the next 3-6 months can apply.

They should have NoC from HoD / Alma mater.

They can also team up with any graduated senior who can commit full-time engagement with the project for 18 months.

Write to the incubator where you intend to incubate.

For SIIC IIT Kanpur write to

Yes; obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your institute.

Research scholars who are about to finish their fellowship in 6 months can apply.

No; but only one project will be eventually funded.

The applicants can submit research proposals broadly focussed on any of the following areas:

1. Medical Biotechnology -

  • Biopharmaceuticals
  • Medical Devices & Bioelectronics Instrumentation
  • Biocompatible materials for implants
  • Biomechanical prosthesis - Robotics & Automation

2. Plant, Animal, Marine Biotechnology

3. Agri-Tech: Pre and Post-harvesting Agromachinary, sensing devices and instruments etc. for agriculture

4. Environmental Engineering / Biotechnology

5. Industrial Biotechnology -

  • Biochemical engineering
  • Bioprocess (Fermentation) Technology
  • Down Stream Processing

6. Bioinformatics and Bio-IT interface -

  • IoT Sensors
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Cloud Computing
  • Deep Bio ML / AI

The applications will be broadly evaluated for the technology, execution capability, the potential impact of the technology, and business plan.

The score distribution is as follows:

  • 20 - Unmet need address by the proposed research
  • 20 - Value Proposition/Differentiation
  • 30 - Technical Viability
  • 15 - Team Strength/Passion
  • 15 - Business Perspective

BIG applications seek proposals twice a year i.e., Jan-Mid Feb and July-Mid August.

Yes, it should be novel at least in India with no patents covering in part / whole technology to be indigenously developed.

The BIG Scheme encourages a high level of innovation. Nonetheless. existing ideas can be developed but should have a potential for commercial application or should address an unmet national need.

A guide or mentor with a technical and/or business expertise in the domain area of the technology is preferred but not compulsory.

Individual applicants are encouraged to apply with a Guide/Mentor.

No. The project has to finish in 18 months.

Incubation / Big Partner-Related FAQs

SIIC IIT Kanpur is authorized to sign an Agreement with the BIG Innovators on behalf of BIRAC as BIG partner. Under this agreement, its roles and responsibilities include

  • To receive online applications on behalf of BIRAC
  • Screen BIG applications for eligibility and fit into the scheme
  • Carry out Technical Review of eligible applications through Subject Experts (Reviewers) with relevant background and expertise.
  • Shortlist proposals for presentation in front of the Technical Expert Panel (TEP).
  • Conduct technical & financial due diligence of the applicants finally shortlisted by the ESC.
  • Monitor the targeted milestones and disburse the funds accordingly to the selected BIG Innovator.
  • Provide mentorship and handholding for activities related to IP management, legal and contract, mobilizing resources and other business development related activities to all recipients of Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG innovators/grantees).
  • Organize workshops/seminars/mentoring sessions for the BIG Innovators.
  • Provide a platform for interaction with Senior/ Subject Experts and other academic partners.

Incubatee, in this context, is the main applicant (Project coordinator in case of individual application and startup in case of company application).

An incubator is any institutionally demarcated space that has the required lab infrastructure and soft infrastructure to support your proposed BIG work. Recognition DST NSTEDB, BIRAC, State Startup Mission, and similar government bodies will provide authenticity to its work.

BIG Partners are the institutes appointed by BIRAC to facilitate the BIG application process. SIIC IIT Kanpur is one of the BIG partners

A BIG partner helps you with preparing your BIG grant application, preparing your BIG presentation, connects you with business/technical mentor absolutely free of cost.

Your success is our success. If your project is selected for the BIG grant, we request you to get incubated physically at SIIC IIT Kanpur and make the most of the 600 Cr + infrastructure of IIT-K and its vast industrial, investor networks.

If relocation is not feasible then a virtual incubation is also possible.

A great written, video testimonial giving a strong recommendation of SIIC in your networks is a great way to help us expand our reach and further attract potential talent for future BIG cohorts.

BIG partner's job is to maximize your probability of success. They receive financial assistance from BIRAC to extend you these services.

Yes, but It is not mandatory.

The chosen BIG partners have sophisticated labs to support the execution of your proposed project.

No. It varies from partner to partner.

SIIC IIT Kanpur is the only incubator in the country which offers innovators and entrepreneurs access to all the institutional infrastructure at IIT Kanpur due to the hosts most liberal innovation policy.

Yes. The BIG partner itself is in a CDA with funding agency BIRAC.

All the online reviewers and expert members of evaluation panels sign a non-disclosure agreement and no conflict agreement before viewing the proposals.

Yes if the Institute has dedicated space and resources exclusively for the purposes of technology incubation, it can become a TBI.

The Incubators should have a legal status i.e should be either a registered society or a registered trust or a registered company (usually u/s 25).

Alternatively Institute proposing to be Incubators;
-Should have a program for incubation (e.g. a dedicated facility) in place to incubate BIG Innovators.
-Should have an agreement in place with the BIG Innovator/Incubatee

An ad-hoc incubation by Institute is not encouraged.