Bengaluru: As India battles the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, science-based startups are playing a crucial role in proactively bringing technologies for combating the virus. 

As researchers, industrialists and entrepreneurs synergized their capabilities and efforts to fight this massive battle at all fronts, these startups brought out new technologies, repurposed their existing technologies, scaled up operations, and commercialized them with support from the government, a statement from ministry of science and technology said. 

Existing capability, infrastructure and resources were managed judiciously to increase the production capacity for PPE kits, masks, testing infrastructure, and research for vaccines to empower the country during this period.

It is also to be noted that financial support from the Technology Development Board (TDB), a statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology, helped several startups to commercialize their products like testing kits, masks, sanitisers, thermal scanners, and medical devices to bring about meaningful contributions in India’s fight against COVID 19. It was triggered by invitation for proposals from companies specifically seeking solutions for fighting COVID 19 pandemic for providing financial support. Encouraged by invitation, several startups put in innovative proposals which helped commercialize a range of technologies by tiny science-based startups and bring innovative solutions to fight the pandemic.

“Science and Technology are best when they create a seamless, end-to-end chain of value from knowledge creation to knowledge consumption, from R&D to innovation to the creation of new socio-economic opportunities. The stories of commercialization of the Indian tech products of relevance by the timely support of TDB brings to fore the last mile translation of knowledge to new opportunities,” Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST, was quoted by Press Bureau. 

An example of such an indigenous company is Pune-based Mylab Discovery. 
It developed a real-time PCR-based molecular diagnostic kit that screens and detects samples of people who display flu-like symptoms. 

Further, the company has developed a highly sensitive antigen kit and reached more than 2 crore Indians in remote areas 
It also developed a home testing kit called “COVISELF”, India’s first self-test kit and ramping up its commercialization.