A $100,000 award for health innovation, including in mental health

The award is part of the Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) - India supported by the Department of Biotechnology and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for innovations in the health space.

health Updated: Jul 25, 2017 11:29 IST
mental health,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,Gates
A schizophrenic at a ward of the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Science in New Delhi.((Gurinder Osan/HT photos))

The Department of Biotechnology in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a $100,000 (around ₹ 64.3 lakh) award for researchers and entrepreneurs this month to promote innovations in health including in mental health.

The grant is part of the Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) - India programme, which issued its third call for proposals this month. Proposals are due by end of August.

“For the first time since the launch of the program, we have also expanded our focus to include mental health as a key development challenge,” Renu Swarup, Senior Advisor, Department of Biotechnology and Managing Director, BIRAC, said.

In India, 7.5% of the population suffers from mental health disorders, according to the WHO, that almost half of the cases go unreported. A deeply entrenched stigma persists in Indian society around mental disorders and people are reluctant to seek professional help.

The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a not for profit company under the Government of India, that facilitates partnerships between researchers and the industry .

GCE-India was launched in partnership with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and IKP Knowledge Park,which is jointly developed by ICICI Bank and theTelangana government.It is designed to promote development of innovations that tackle pressing problems like infectious diseases, maternal and child health, family planning, nutrition and mental health. The awardee will receive an initial grant of ₹ 50, lakh, followed by ₹10 lakh for meeting the targets on time.

GCE-India is designed on the lines ‘Grand Challenges Explorations’ program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and is open to researchers and entrepreneurs from within India, they can be faculty at colleges, universities, government laboratories and academic institutions, or start-ups, small and medium enterprises as well as NGOs.

First Published: Jul 25, 2017 11:29 IST