Biotechnology Ignition Grant

Igniting New Ideas

Applications are in for 20th Call. Keep innovating and stay tuned to apply for 21st Call.


About the Scheme

Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG) is the flagship pioneering startup funding programme of BIRAC, DBT, GoI. With a grant-in-aid of up to INR 50 Lakhs over a period of 18 months, the scheme encourages and supports biotech entrepreneurs to establish and validate proof of concept (POC) for an idea with a commercial potential.

The purpose of the scheme is to:

  • Foster generation of ideas with commercialisation potential
  • Upscale and validate of proof of concept
  • Encourage researchers to take technology closer to market through a start up
  • Stimulate enterprise formation

₹ 50 lakhs Grant-in-Aid

For a period of 18 months

Who Can Apply

Individual Innovators with Graduate Degree in any discipline, Research Scholar, Scientist, Faculty.
Startups not more than 5 years

Focus Sectors

BIG scheme supports innovation under Healthcare, Lifesciences, Diagnostics, Medical Devices, Drugs, Vaccines, Drug Formulations and delivery systems, Industrial Biotechnology, Agriculture, Secondary agriculture, Waste Management, Sanitation, Clean Energy and related areas.

BIG Application Process

Call Opens

Generate a Letter of Intent (LoI) from us, which is an important document to be uploaded in the online application form.


After receiving the LoI, head to BIRAC Online Portal to complete the application.


Eligible applicants will go through multi-step selection process. 

  • Preliminary Screening Committee 
  • Blind Peer Review
  • Technical Evaluation Panel (Pitching Round)


Final results are declared after the ESC (Expert Selection Committee) round.

*  We have resources to help navigate your application process: Download Resources

Benefits with KIIT-TBI BioNEST

Business mentoring from industry
Networking Opportunities & Market Access
Office space & access to state-of-the-art lab facilities
Connect with Govt funds, leading Angels & VCs
In house IP, Tech Transfer, Legal, Finance & HR Support

Performance so far

Applications Received
Innovators Supported
Startups Catalyzed
0 M+
Funds Released
0 K+
Jobs Created
0 B
Follow-on Funding Raised
0 +
Women-Led Enterprises Incubated
0 +
IP Created

Partner with KIIT-TBI BioNEST

Reach us: [email protected] | +91-7377340477/ +91-9348880168

Frequently Asked Questions

Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG) Scheme is grant-in-aid funding to support individuals and startups in the field of Biotechnology. BIG scheme invests in ideas that have clear potential to translate into commercial products/technologies. The scheme provides funding, mentorship, access to incubation, other supports for ideation to proof of concept. Funding will be in the form of Grant-in-Aid up to INR 50 Lakhs. So, if you have an idea, strong rationale supporting it, addressing an unmet need, you can apply for BIG funding to progress from ideation to Proof-of-concept.

Healthcare, Life sciences including Drugs, Biologics, Delivery systems, Medical Devices, Diagnostics, Biomaterials, others; Industrial Biotechnology including enzymes, biofertilizers, bioprocesses, waste treatment, others; Agriculture and allied areas such as Nutrition, Fisheries, Poultry, Sericulture, Animal Husbandry, Aquaponics, others; Waste to value; Sanitation; Biofuels, Clean Energy; Bioservices and Bioanalytics including Big Data, Artificial intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Automation integrated in Biotech applications.

BIG award provides funding support for buying equipment, reagents, components, hiring skilled manpower for team building, travel, incubation charges, rentals, engaging services, etc in the 18 months of BIG grant.

During the BIG tenure, BIRAC extends several networking opportunity to connect with experts, mentors, industry, investors, peer-to-peer learning, specialized trainings & workshops, exposure to various platforms on merit basis. These opportunities are made available through BIRAC’s ecosystem supporting partners including BIG partners, BioNEST clusters, and a huge network of extended partners.

Yes, if you are pursuing translational research leading to formation of a startup. As a procedural requirement, you are required to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your institute/employer. Faculty members who are not willing to create a Startup within BIG term of 18 months are encouraged to apply under other schemes of BIRAC for Faculty.

Yes, you can apply as an individual but need to provide an undertaking that you will terminate your association with the current employer and take up the project full time if selected.

Or, your application should be submitted under Company/LLP category with the employer company being the applicant company.

The indicative criteria for evaluation of an application include Unmet need, Value proposition, Technical viability, Team strength. Proposed product/ technology must have Commercialization Potential.

It is 4 tier selection process. All eligible applications go through the following steps:

  1. Preliminary Selection Committee (PSC) screens the proposals for scheme fit, adequacy of details, plagiarism
  2. The PSC recommended proposals are then reviewed Online by subject experts
  3. The recommended applicants are then called for F2F presentations before Technical Evaluation Panel (TEP). The proposal will be scored on a scale of 100.
  4. Expert Selection Committee (ESC) will decide the final cutoff of marks and recommend the proposals for BIG funding.

It typically takes 4 months for the final announcement of BIG results from closing of the call. You will be updated at each stage by BIG Partners about your application status.

No, but only ONE will be eventually funded. It is encouraged to submit the best one proposal (the most prioritized) by the applicant. Submitting more than one project reflects poorly on the applicant’s ability to prioritize options.

Incubator is a center that has the required lab infrastructure, required network to support your proposed BIG work. Certain BioNEST incubators have been officially recognized as BIRAC’s BIG Partners. These incubators are mandated to implentthe BIG Scheme (Facilitate and mentor the aspirant applicants and BIG grantees). BIG Partners are responsible for initial screening of the proposal, technical due diligence, financial due diligence, project monitoring, fund disbursement, arranging for workshops etc.

The applicant will receive the fund in a separate dedicated, auditable no-lien account. The fund disbursement is linked with milestones through BIRAC’s BIG Partners.

BIG grantees on successful progression to commercialization are required to pay 5% royalty on net sales of the product/technology developed through BIRAC support till the time such royalty payment becomes equivalent to the grant-in aid assistance disbursed by BIRAC for the Project.

Confidentiality is maintained for all the proposals that are received under different schemes. All the external reviewers sign a non-disclosure agreement and no conflict agreement before viewing the proposals.