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UNHIE, BIRAC and Social Alpha announce India accelerator platform for healthcare innovations

The platform will lead to successful adoption of at least 100 Indian innovations in five years, further generating new market opportunities worth $500 million for India’s medtech start-ups

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United Nation’s Health Innovation Exchange (UNHIE), Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and Social Alpha have announced a programme for health innovations. Conceived as the India Accelerator Platform, it aspires to unlock the potential of the Indian Medical Technologies (MedTech) and Digital Health innovations through successful adoption of 100 Indian innovations in the next five years. The accelerator is estimated to result in the opening of market access and procurement of medical devices and diagnostics and digital health solutions worth $500 million from Indian startups during the same period.

These efforts are in line with the Government of India’s vision to provide deep technology innovations that are ideated, conceptualised and manufactured in India. This accelerator will be an open platform and key stakeholders from public and private sector, multi-lateral agencies and foundations will be invited to join the platform.

Pradeep Kakkattil, Director of Innovations, UNAIDS and Head – UNHIE said, “Leveraging innovation is essential to fast tracking progress to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and SDG3 targets. India’s innovation ecosystem has the potential to transform access to health – from pharma to diagnostics to digital health. The UNAIDS Health Innovation Exchange (UNHIE) was set up by the UN to facilitate acceleration and adoption of technologies and innovation for health and to make them available across countries. We are very excited to partner with BIRAC and Social Alpha to establish the UNHIE-BIRAC India accelerator platform and I am confident that it will be transformative in the global journey to UHC.”

UNHIE is a platform to identify challenges faced by implementers and connect them with innovations that have high potential for impact. The platform links with investors to scale up the efforts and develop sustainable solutions to bridge the disconnect that exists between innovators and implementers to fast-track progress to reach Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and other health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Chairperson, BIRAC, said, “India, with its rapidly growing start-up ecosystem, technology strength and government’s commitment to universal health coverage, is the best test bed, and offers the right ecosystem for scaling disruptive healthcare innovations. BIRAC has significantly enhanced the capabilities of the Indian startup ecosystem by supporting a number of healthcare innovations and UNHIE-BIRAC India Accelerator will further enhance the adoption potential of health innovations.”

The platform will create and curate investment opportunities for capital providers, prepare innovators for regulatory approvals, assist in market access and leverage all partners and their network for global advocacy. It will help Indian innovators to use multi-lateral and UN mechanisms to fund and scale their innovation globally. Social Alpha will manage the accelerator programme.

Manoj Kumar, Co-Founder and CEO, Social Alpha, said, “India can take a leadership role in creating multi-lateral market shaping mechanisms to promote innovative solutions globally and help drive down the cost of healthcare while improving both access and adoption. Moreover, home-grown technologies in India are an excellent market fit for several developing countries since they all share similar healthcare challenges. Innovations developed in India also have significant potential for translation and adoption in developed economies.”

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