All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) launches ‘Ayush Start-up Challenge’ to encourage early start-ups and individuals in India
In line with the Central Government’s initiative to support start-ups, All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) in association with Startup India has launched ‘Ayush Start-up challenge’ to encourage early-stage start-ups and individuals working on innovations in the Ayurveda sector and alternative healing. The winners of ‘Ayush Start-up Challenge’ will receive both a cash prize and incubation support from AIIA.
The Ayush market currently stands at a whopping $10 bn and is projected to see an impressive 50% increase over the course of the next five years. Ayush sector offers massive potential for exponential growth at a time when there is growing global interest in the field of ‘alternative’ medical practices. The Ministry of AYUSH has taken numerous steps to promote the research and understanding of these practices that are indigenous to India and her history. All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) is actively working towards creating an environment that fosters research and development and building of practices, technology, and solutions to accelerate the adoption of AYUSH practices. The ‘Ayush Start-up Challenge’ is an important initiative towards realizing this vision.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. (Dr.) Tanuja Manoj Nesari, Director, AIIA said, “We are building AIIA as an institution of eminence under the guidance of Ministry of Ayush with three key wings of medical science under one roof – academics, scientific research and clinical practice. To fully realize the potential of the Ayush science we need a thriving ecosystem with players operating across the entire value chain. This is where start-ups can play an important role in developing new solutions. The present initiative aims to not just identify promising start-ups and reward them, but also provide them incubation support through guidance and skill development which will go a long way in helping these start-ups realize their next phase of growth”.
The ‘Ayush Start-up Challenge’ is open for participation from both early-stage start-ups as well as individuals as a group. A group of 3-5 individuals can come together to participate in the programme, however, if selected they would need to register a legal entity before the cash prize is disbursed to them.
There are 3 entry categories for participating start-ups – Ayush Food Innovations, Ayush Bio-instrumentation (Hardware solutions) and Ayush IT Solutions (Software solutions). There will be two winners in each of the 3 categories with a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh for the winner and Rs. 50,000/- for the runner-up. Therefore overall, there would be 6 winners.
In addition, winners will receive incubation support from AIIA. The incubation support would entitle winners to tap into the vast knowledge and resource pool of AIIA across the three wings of the institute namely research, academics, and Hospital.
Details of the 3 participating categories are as follows:
1. Food Innovations in Ayush Sector – Ready to Eat Nutritious Ayurveda Ahara (Food): In this era of the pandemic the population at large is striving to consume more nutritious food, with less time to be spent in preparing it. The ready-to-eat foods are in demand at a wider scale and those which require minimum preparation or clean-up for the user. Innovation in this segment of food delivery helps in enabling consumers to enjoy a healthy lifestyle while keeping to their busy work schedules.
2. Ayush Bio-instrumentation (Hardware Solutions) and Innovations in healthcare: These innovations should enable breakthrough performance in terms of better outcomes, convenience, access at lower cost, reduced complexity and time required for the patient and the healthcare provider. These innovations can be in the area of 3-D printed devices for Ayurveda Medical Technology products, Convenient care/Urgent care at lower cost to patients, Telehealth, Panchakarma Instrumentation, Innovation in instruments used for pharmaceutical processing of Ayurveda drugs at lab scale, drug ATMs, Innovation in instrumentation for analysis and quality control of Ayurvedic drugs etc.
3. Ayush IT Solutions in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI) based solutions in Ayurveda Diagnostics, Virtual reality, Biosensors & Trackers: Innovations in Information technologies (i.e. ITs) have the capacity, more than any other medium, to facilitate various stakeholders of Ayush Sector achieve better outcomes. Innovations can be in the area of Artificial Intelligence (AI) based solutions in Ayurveda Diagnostics, Virtual reality, Bio-sensors & Trackers, Convenient care/Urgent care at lower cost to patients, Leveraging data to physician experience (During diagnosis and treatment and taking patient feedback), Databases, methods for identifying various phases of pharmaceutical processing, web based networking for raw drug consumption in pharmaceutical industry with linkages etc.