Agritech start-ups get boost from Karnataka Govt, C-CAMP collaboration

The partnership was announced during the launch of Phase II of CCAMP-KTech’s flagship innovation program to scale up Karnataka’s biotech startup community.

The Karnataka Innovation and Technology Society (KITS) and the state Department of Agriculture have forged a partnership with the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) to significantly enhance the biotechnology landscape in the agricultural sector of the state. This collaboration was formally announced during the launch of Phase II of CCAMP-KTech’s flagship innovation program, aimed at scaling up Karnataka’s biotech startup community.

In 2018, the C-CAMP K-tech Agri Centre of Excellence was established with the goal of addressing issues such as farmer suicides, combating climate change, and enhancing crop productivity. The center has been instrumental in fostering advanced agricultural solutions to usher in the next agricultural revolution through scientific interventions at the grassroots level. Among its initiatives is a Grand Challenge that seeks science-based solutions for specific problem statements across agricultural and allied sectors.

Previously, C-CAMP, with support from the Department of IT & BT, initiated the Karnataka Startup Advancement Program (K-SAP) BIO 50 to provide Karnataka-based life sciences startups with a global advantage. In Phase I of K-SAP, C-CAMP accelerated five cohorts of 50 startups, focusing on challenges in healthcare, agri-science, agri-technology, and the environment at the intersection of social systems.

C-CAMP Director-CEO Dr Taslimarif Saiyed said, “Agri Grand Challenge I was a grand success when it came to addressing problems at the national scale. Agri Grand Challenge II goes to the next level by broadening the scope to agri-plus allied sectors such as dairy farming. With support from Govt of Karnataka, we will provide investment funding of up to Rs 50 lakh and, more importantly, help with field trials through our vast network in the agricultural sciences ecosystem. I invite agri-tech startups across India to join this effort.”

Karnataka is rapidly emerging as a leader in the agritech sector, drawing increased interest from venture capital investors in recent years. The state possesses all the necessary provisions to launch the country’s inaugural sandbox for testing agritech innovations.

Announcing the objective of Phase II, Dr Saiyed said, “In Phase II, C-CAMP will move towards scale-up support of startups at the early and mid (venture-funded) stages through fast-tracking milestones and closing gaps in the last mile to market.”

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