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IIT Madras-HTIC MedTech Incubator is one of the SPARSH centres supported by BIRAC.   

Sparsh is the Social Innovation programme for Products: Affordable & Relevant to Societal Health. The programme is initiated by BIRAC under the aegis of Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India.

The programme aims at promoting the development of innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. The scheme tackles major social issues and offer new ideas for widespread change. The scheme aims to invest in ideas and innovations that improve health care of all Indians and encourage affordable product development in the social sector.

The scheme intends to create a pool of social innovators in the biotech arena who will identify the specific needs and gaps in healthcare. The social innovators will be provided financial and technical support for developing market-based solutions that have potential to bring cost effective health care breakthroughs to vulnerable populations in particular.

Thematic Areas

The program is being implemented through SPARSH centres, IITM HTIC MedTech Incubator being one of the SPARSH Centres would provide all the requisite support in the mentioned areas. The first call was aimed to foster in Maternal & Child Health (MCH) and the second call would be focussed on Ageing and Health (after the first 18 months cycle)

  • Maternity & Child Health (Applications closed)
  • Ageing & Health (Upcoming call for proposal will be announced here)

Aim and Objective

  • The objective of the theme is to enhance Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH) in a coordinated and integrated manner to bring significant impact through the development of affordable, accessible and adaptive technologies.
  • The focus of the theme Ageing and Health is to increase the average life expectancy and adding life to years. The call aims to enhance the quality of additional years in an individual’s life.

Grant- in Aid

  • Fellowship up to INR 50,000/Month for 18 months (timeline cannot be extended)
  • Kick-start Grant of INR 5 lakhs

Highlights of the Fellowship

  • Fully funded fellowship with a monthly stipend of INR. 50,000
  • INR 5 Lakhs mini kick start grant
  • Clinical/Rural Immersion
  • Access to a network of Mentors and Investors
  • Opportunities to seek funding on completion from other programs at SIIC – like BIG, PRISM, PRAYAS, EIR


  • Only Indian citizens
  • Indian undergraduate (B.Tech, BE, MBBS) or postgraduate (MSc, MS, M.Tech, MPhil, MD) & PhD below 35 years from fields of life sciences, Agriculture, Engineering, medicine & human biology are eligible to apply.

Selection process

  • The application for the fellowship will be invited at the National level.
  • The application should be submitted online through BIRAC portal.
  • The applicant will be requested to mention his/her choice of SPARSH centre.
  • The Centre-wise list of applicants will be generated. and sent to the respective Centre for eligibility checks and evaluation.
  • The respective SPARSH centres will call the shortlisted applicants for an Interview/presentation before an expert committee which will involve BIRAC representative.
  • The Selected applicants will be called as social innovators and will enter an agreement with HTIC SPARSH Centre.
  • For each thematic area, HTIC SPARSH centre will recruit 5 social innovators.

Why IITM HTIC MedTech Incubator

  • Access to IITM infrastructure like HTIC (R&D centre), incubator and lab facilities of other departments at IITM
  • Strong auxiliary support system – IP and Tech Transfer, Legal and compliance support
  • Collaborations with Hospitals, Universities, and with MedTech industry players
  • Mentoring by faculty members and alumni
  • Access to funds from existing SIIC programs, innovation fund and more

For the announcement on the upcoming call for proposal – https://birac.nic.in/desc_new.php?id=110