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#Innovate2BeatCOVID: Harsh Mariwala’s nationwide challenge seeks solutions from medical entrepreneurs

The challenge may be to expand the production of devices used in treatment of Covid-19.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Mar 30, 2020, 06.20 PM IST
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The window for submitting entries for Marico Innovation Foundation’s #Innovate2BeatCOVID challenge is open for 30 days, beginning March 29, 2020.
The window for submitting entries for Marico Innovation Foundation’s #Innovate2BeatCOVID challenge is open for 30 days, beginning March 29, 2020.
The Marico Innovation Foundation has announced a nationwide challenge for cost-effective innovations to scupper the spread of the coronavirus in India. The grant is worth Rs. 2.5 crore and the platform is being supported by the Marico Innovation Foundation and the A.T.E. Chandra Foundation.

The program calls on entrepreneurs, corporate, and inventors in the medical technology space to develop diagnostic tools, protective equipment, and pharmaceutical products to mitigate the risk of the outbreak.

The #Innovate2BeatCOVID challenge aims to combat bottlenecks in the healthcare sector, such as the short-supply of respiratory aids, face masks, protective suits, and ventilators. The jury is looking at solutions that can be scaled up immediately to meet the growing demand for these medical devices.

As the number of infections rise in India, the challenge may be to expand the production of devices used in treatment of Covid-19. The list of medical implements listed above may be expanded if the need arises, after consultation with doctors and policymakers.

“The effects of the pandemic are drastic on an already stressed world economy and the overstretched Indian Healthcare system. The medical community’s contribution and our government’s efforts have been commendable thus far but they need more hands-on-deck.

The #Innovate2BeatCOVID challenge aims to combat bottlenecks in the healthcare sector, such as the short-supply of respiratory aids, face masks, protective suits, and ventilators.
The #Innovate2BeatCOVID challenge aims to combat bottlenecks in the healthcare sector, such as the short-supply of respiratory aids, face masks, protective suits, and ventilators.

“The time is right for us to step in and play a catalytic role by enabling India’s best innovative minds to contribute meaningfully towards easing the healthcare community pressure and help save lives. The need of the hour is to create an opportunity for collaboration and build an ecosystem led support so that innovators are not bound by challenges of access or ability to scale,” said Harsh Mariwala, Founder of Marico Innovation Foundation, and Chairman of Marico Ltd.

Former Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Governing Council Chairperson of the Marico Innovation Foundation, Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar expressed confidence in the initiative to devise unique and economical solutions tailored to plug the holes in India’s healthcare system.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented global crisis. We must create and deploy breakthrough technologies on a war footing and on a huge scale. This pandemic requires specific solutions here and now. There will be a demand for a number of interventions, but we are focusing on two critical items for which there will be burgeoning demand, namely, ventilators and personal protection equipment,” Mashelkar said.

“Through this grand challenge initiative, we are igniting the creative instinct of Indian innovators, who, we are confident, will rise to the challenge of providing novel solutions, which will be affordable, simple, safe, scalable and sustainable,” he added.

The number of Covid-19 cases crossed the 1000-mark this week, even as the country continues to be in lockdown. Experts and medical practitioners at the frontline of the battle against the virus have warned that India’s high population density and its fragile healthcare system could be overburdened if the infection continues to spread. The window for submitting entries for Marico Innovation Foundation’s #Innovate2BeatCOVID challenge is open for 30 days, beginning March 29, 2020. Innovations that are “launch-ready” will be given preference.

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