C-CAMP launches Grand Challenges in Agriculture to solve key issues in nutrients, shelf life & coffee crop
- by Narayanan Suresh - 23 Jul, 2021
Bangalore, 23 July 2021: The C-CAMP Grand Challenges in Agriculture is part of the efforts of the K-Tech Center for Excellence in Agri Innovation, funded by the Government of Karnataka through the Karnataka Innovation Technology Society(KITS). The programme was launched from C-CAMP premises by Karnataka’s Deputy Chief Minister, Dr C N Ashwath Narayan. He is also the minister for IT, BT and S&T.
“I am very happy to launch this unique initiative to tap the state’s technological prowess to solve some intractable problems in agriculture not just in Karnataka but the entire country. The state will support more such unique programs,” assured Dr Ashwath Narayan.
The grand challenges program will run for next five years and will strive to identify 8-10 path breaking innovations with impact in agriculture. “ We will evaluate these for national level problem solving and facilitate their validation and deployment,” said Dr Taslimarif Saiyed, CEO & Director, C-CAMP. The Center for Cellular and Molecular Platforms(C-CAMP), a Patron Gold member of ABLE, is one of the country’s premier biosciences technology and innovation hub located in the GKVK Campus in Hebbal, North Bangalore.
The selected startups will get investment upto Rs 25 lakh, incubation, mentorship and handholding support from C-CAMP. Dr Saiyed said through the Grand Challenges Program, the incubator plans to introduce economically viable, problem-focused, deep science and deep technology driven entrepreneurship in the agriculture sector.
C-CAMP & K-Tech have identified 3 problem statements under the Grand Challenges program. These are:
A quick, accurate and affordable proof of concept (PoC) method for testing a) macro/micro nutrient density in soil and/or plant tissue and b) soil microbial diversity
A technology to enhance the shelf life of produce and minimization of post-harvest losses through chemical/biological/IR methods
A technology for detection and treatment of white stem borer infestation in coffee crop
These three problem statements were selected by a core committee of the incubator in a rigorous 6-month process, with an Agri Immersion program in Karnataka. A number of Indian and foreign experts were part of the committee.
It is the first of its grand challenges program to find technological solutions to critical issues facing the national agriculture sector by encouraging startups to using tech innovations.