India’s first corporate hospital-based technology business incubator for MedTech entrepreneurs – the Mazumdar Shaw Medical Foundation (MSMF) MedTech Innovation Center – was inaugurated at Narayana Health City Bangalore, in collaboration with BIRAC, Bionest program, on Dec 15, 2020.
Launching the facility, Ms. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, founder of MSMF and Executive Chairperson, Biocon said the centre will work towards identifying, mentoring and handholding entrepreneurs and innovators. It will provide health tech entrepreneurs a well-equipped incubation space and a collaborative ecosystem. Excerpts from Ms. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw’s speech at the inauguration ceremony.
It is India’s first corporate hospital-based technology business incubator for MedTech entrepreneurs working on innovations that address healthcare challenges.
Spread across 8,000 sq ft, the MSMF MedTech Innovation Centre – BIRAC BIONEST will help MedTech entrepreneurs who are looking to address affordability, access and innovation challenges in the healthcare eco-system.
The MedTech Innovation Centre will also augment the initiatives undertaken by MSMF and Narayana Health towards identifying, mentoring and handholding entrepreneurs and innovators in their journey to success. The space will also facilitate close interaction and prototyping facility for startups.
The Mazumdar Shaw Center for Translational Research (MSCTR) has always focused on translating therapeutic outcomes based on Cellular & Molecular Biology but this MedTech incubator will complete the translational research element by focusing on MedTech which is really the need of the hour.
The uniqueness of this incubator is that it is set up in a hospital and the uniqueness also comes from the fact that we have a very strong clinical research culture within MSMF, which will see a seamless transfer of ideas in the clinic.
In the area of biotechnology, the Indian government has been proactive in providing all kinds of help and support to entrepreneurs, through the Department of Biotechnology and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC). As a result, we have seen a large number of startups emerge and incubators being set up because of their very important and critical investment.
The biotech sector requires huge amounts of risk capital to realize the potential of what life sciences has to offer. In that respect, DBT and BIRAC have played the role of being the biggest risk-takers, even bigger than venture capital funds. So this is a very important partnership that we look forward to. These are all technologies and MedTech interventions that can make a huge difference to unmet medical needs.
India has to build credibility in research so that products coming out of India are considered ‘world class’. Products developed in India today are at par with the best of the West, so we will have to get over the constant need for validation from the West.
India can and must develop a very strong clinical research expertise. We need to come up with new products and therapies that are ‘India focused.’ With 1.3 billion people, we have one of the world’s largest populations. We have a large disease burden. We have a large patient population. We are on this path of rolling out universal healthcare. Given all these, our products have to be inclusive and affordable. This is where MedTech can play a big role. India must leverage technology and show the world how innovation happens, how we deliver high quality healthcare for our patients and why our innovations are worth emulating by others.
We should change the way in which we look at research, innovation and translating ideas from lab to the clinic. In our innovation labs, we must generate a large number of ideas and really focus on getting the best ones into the clinic.
That’s the wonderful unique cluster that we have created here. A technology business incubator where smart scientists and engineers will come up with innovative ideas and clinicians will translate those ideas in a meaningful way.
One of the biggest gaps we have in our country today is that while we have plenty of great ideas, we lack in translating them in a meaningful way because we don’t work closely enough with clinicians who can fill the big gaps in their innovation. So the MedTech entrepreneurs must utilize this very unique model that we have created.
The Indian government has given the policy push for DBT and BIRAC to develop an ecosystem that provides risk capital, seed capital as well as additional funding to help startups scale up.
MSMF is acting as an enabler, like DBT, by welcoming ideas in sectors straddling both lifetech and infotech. The data science element is very important and clear. We need Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Machine Learnings, data analytics. That’s the way of the future and we would welcome companies that are working on leveraging these technologies at the MSMF MedTech Innovation Centre. Along with BIRAC, we will help them get started and, more importantly, take their innovation to the market.