Wadhwani Invent Program aims to help start-ups and small businesses transform their innovative ideas into marketable products and technologies followed by accelerated commercialization by focusing on high-risk and high-impact technologies which may have shown promise but their success either had not yet demonstrated or validated or has just been demonstrated or validated. Invent endeavours to foster innovation towards creation of small businesses and jobs and aspires be one of the largest sources of early-stage capital for technology commercialization. To develop and test the program process, the program is currently open for ideas in the area of biotechnology. Going forward, a partnership with the Government of India will replicate this model in other sectors including, Energy, Transport, Chemicals, Space, and Agriculture, among others.
Applicants need to refer to the Request for Proposals (RFP) for specific topics within biotechnology that may vary from one solicitation to another. Small businesses are required to submit a Pre-Application to determine whether their proposed project is a good fit for the program’s objectives to support innovative technologies that (i) show promise of commercial and high societal impact, (ii) involve a high level of technical risk, and (iii) have a high impact on job growth.
Once invited to submit a full proposal, Phase I proposal from a small business should be able to demonstrate technical feasibility of the proposed innovation and thereby bring the innovation closer to prototype development followed by commercialization. Similar to the Pre-Application, invited full proposals should describe the development of an innovation in a manner that demonstrates the following characteristics:
Involves high degree of technical risks like
- Uncertainty: since the idea has never been attempted and/or successfully implemented before
- Technical hurdles: that the Wadhwani Invent-funded R&D program is intended to overcome
Has the potential for significant commercial impact and/or societal benefit, as evidenced by
- Potential to disrupt the targeted market segment
- A good product-market fit (as validated by customers)
- In-built barriers to potential competition
- Potential for societal benefit through commercialization under a sustainable business model
Further, a proposal can be submitted for a Phase II and Phase II B (Commercialization Acceleration Grant) for development of a prototype / technology and accelerated commercialization, respectively.