The Dept. of Biotechnology Grant, India



The Department of Biotechnology


The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) invites Indo-U.S., joint project proposals from interested scientists, engineers and NGOs to develop low-cost medical devices. The Indo-U.S. Collaborative Program on Low-Cost Medical Devices was established by a Joint Statement between the Department of Biotechnology of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Republic of India and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering on 4 October 2007. The goal of the present initiative is to 1) foster joint activities between U.S. and Indian scientists for the development of low-cost, medical devices, 2) address medical needs in low-resource settings, and 3) take advantage of opportunities and technological advances through the development of appropriate, low-cost medical devices.


The initiative is administered by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India; and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) ( and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services, United States of America. 


Investigators are invited to propose collaborative projects that are enhanced by the inclusion of both U.S. and India components.  Low-cost medical device development that could have an impact on low-resource settings may be proposed.  Funding for the U.S. component of collaborative projects will be through NIH research grant award mechanism (R03).  Funding for the Indian component will be in accordance with DBT terms and conditions regarding the release of research and development grants.


Collaborative Technology Development Project


A Collaborative Technology Development Project involves the preparation of collaborative grant applications for both India (DBT) and U.S. (NIH) funding.  Accordingly, it is essential that the DBT application and the separate NIH application contain an integrated Research and Development Plan with complete technical details, including a description of the connectivity and relative roles of the Indian and U.S. investigators. The Research Plan should include a full description of the proposed project. 


To facilitate collaborations between U.S. and Indian investigators, the NIBIB and DBT have established an online networking group at  Scientists, engineers and clinicians with common interests in appropriate medical technologies for low-resource settings can be found on the LinkedIn website group, Indo-U.S. Coalition for Low-Cost Medical Technologies: 

Interested U.S. and Indian investigators are encouraged to participate in this group.




Medical technologies developed through Indo-U.S. collaboration will benefit low-resource settings globally.  Emphasis will be placed on technologies that increase healthcare access, address global health disparities and/or address the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the poor.  A 2008 workshop in Hyderabad, India examined the opportunities for collaboration and the needs for low-cost diagnostic and therapeutic medical technologies for use in underserved settings. The full report from the workshop may be accessed at the following URL: ( ). Several areas of focus emerged that include devices that address chronic disease and conditions listed below:


·        Cardiovascular diseases

o       Immediate needs include detection and monitoring of cardiovascular diseases in low-resource settings.

o       New devices for the treatment of cardiovascular disease are also needed.


·        Cancer Screening

o       New technologies need to be developed as collaboration between engineers, clinicians, technologists and global health experts.

o       Screening technologies need to be simple enough to be operated by people with minimal education (10th grade).

o       Quantitative tools for monitoring therapy


·        Endocrine Disorders

o       Diagnostic and therapeutic technologies for endocrine disorders, and specifically diabetes, are needed


·        New or reengineered low-cost technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) tract diseases


·        Maternal/Neonatal/Infant Health

o       There is a need to focus on a high-priority problem and implement technologies that will have a significant impact.

o       There is a need to screen newborns for treatable conditions with high morbidity and mortality such as hemoglobinopathies, hypothyroidism, and other metabolic or inherited disorders

o       For example, technologies are needed to help prevent hypothyroidism.


·        Trauma and Injury needs include:

o       Low-cost prostheses and prosthetic materials

o       Low-cost imaging for tertiary care hospitals

o       Mobile or portable imaging devices

o       Low-cost EMS technologies such as a "trauma backpack"

o       Improved, low-cost telemedicine technologies

o       Low-cost hemostats, surgifoam, gelfoam, implants, sutures, pre-loaded syringes, fixative

o       Low-cost C-arm, ultrasound, and CT

o       Rehabilitation technologies, particularly for children who have been injured

o       Low-cost wheelchairs

o       Technologies for airway clearing

o       Technologies for CNS assessment


·        Diagnostic technologies

o       Glucose monitoring for diabetics

o       Low-cost platform technologies for multiple (multivalent) diagnostic tests

o       A multiplex, lab-on-a-chip technologies

o       Point-of-care diagnostics for screening infant diseases

o       Technology and assay development related specifically to screening newborns for heritable disorders

o       Appropriate, low-cost diagnostic imaging devices for low-resource settings


·        Translational Research

o       Technologies developed in the West need to be re-engineered to suit local needs in India. For example, technologies such as the flow cytometers, insulin pumps could be made using readily available standard components.


The examples identified above are intended to be illustrative only.  Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals for any collaborative technology development or device that would be appropriate in a low-resource setting.  Furthermore, applicants are expected to describe the impact of their technology in low-resource settings.


Application Due Date(s):

January 26, 2011, May 24, 2011, September 23, 2011, January 24, 2012, May 24, 2012, September 24, 2012, January 24, 2013, May 24, 2013, September 24, 2013

Where to Apply


The DBT invites joint project proposals from interested scientists, engineers and NGOs. The interested investigators should contact Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Block–2 (8th Floor), CGO Complex, Lodi Road, New Delhi – 110 003 Telefax: 011-24364065, Fax: 011-24362884


The DBT award will support investigators based in India who are collaborating with U.S. investigators. In addition, U.S. collaborators are expected to apply to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States.   For more information regarding funding for U.S. collaborators see PAR-11-044:  Indo-U.S. Collaborative Program on Low-Cost Medical Devices (R03) (


Budget and Project Period

Budgets for direct costs and a project duration of up to two years may be requested.

The budget for the DBT proposed portion of the project should be prepared separately, using a detailed breakdown of costs for the Indian components. The Budget must include specific justification for the need and viability of the Indo-U.S. collaborative project in terms of special resources or characteristics (e.g., expertise, equipment, techniques, human subjects, animals). All necessary supporting documents and signed agreements from the respective institutions should be included in the application packages.

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