AMR Challenge 2024 Announced, a SBI Foundation and C-CAMP Joint Call for Innovations in Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

AMR Challenge 2024, a SBI Foundation and C-CAMP Joint Call for Innovations in Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

SBI Foundation and C-CAMP are together kicking off the first India AMR Challenge 2024 under their recently launched program for AMR Innovation to identify mid to late-stage startups, companies or innovators developing technologies to tackle AMR.

The joint program was launched on 12th Oct 2023 in the presence of the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Govt of India in New Delhi, under the aegis of the India AMR Innovation Hub (IAIH), which is anchored by C-CAMP and chaired by PSA. The SBI Foundation-C-CAMP AMR Challenge is the first program under the joint initiative, and is also an initiative under the Innovators for Bharat program of SBI Foundation.

The inaugural edition of the AMR Challenge will be open to solutions for challenges spanning domains of I) AMR in Human Health (II) AMR in One Health, and III) Late-stage Innovations in AMR.

Welcoming the launch, Dr Taslimarif Saiyed, Director & CEO, C-CAMP, said, “We are excited to see the nationwide AMR Challenge in One Health being initiated with SBI Foundation. C-CAMP has a long history of identifying and nurturing world-class innovative AMR solutions from India. With this call, our support frameworks will expand beyond early-stage innovations to mid and late stage technologies in the last mile to market.

This is of critical importance since the alarm bells on AMR are ringing across the world and more so in developing economies like India. We have no time to lose in bringing  promising technologies to the mainstream in  public health initiatives.”

The winners of the SBI Foundation C-CAMP AMR Challenge 2024 stand to gain up to Rs. 50 lakh investment funding, mentorship from Indian and global experts, networking opportunities with key stakeholders from India and beyond, opportunity for validation studies, commercialization and deployment and technology showcase opportunity. Solutions sought must be Technology Readiness Level (TRL) >3, i.e Technology Demonstration stage and above.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Sanjay Prakash, Managing Director, SBI Foundation, highlighted SBI Foundation’s vision for innovation, “SBI Foundation has set up the Innovators for Bharat initiative to provide support to high-impact incubators providing incubation/acceleration support to start-ups working to address the most pressing development challenges in the country.  Our mission under this initiative is to support indigenous innovation for India’s unique challenges. Through our partnership with C-CAMP, this mission’s scope has expanded to include solutions for the grave threat posed by AMR. We encourage all Innovators to apply under this Challenge and contribute their efforts towards improved public health for India.”

More About the Call-

The SBI Foundation and C-CAMP AMR Challenge in Human Health are

i) Rapid Detection of Neonatal Sepsis: that achieves a) pathogen identification, and b) drug susceptibility analysis from a minimal biofluids taken from a neonate with symptoms of sepsis.

India has one of the highest incidence rates of neonatal sepsis which is a major contributor to child mortality rates. Factors like poor maternal nutrition, and poor hygienic conditions add to the risk factors for Indian neonates. Due to the critically narrow window available for clinicians to begin life-saving therapy and the diagnosis of sepsis being qualitative in general, the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics is common which increases the susceptibility to the development of AMR.

ii) Urinary Tract Infection: The call seeks rapid and reliable solutions for a) pathogen identification, b) antibiotic susceptibility analysis, and c) Presence of inflammatory markers, for suspected individuals with UTI.

Around 50% to 60% of women, and 12% of men develop at least one UTI at some point during their lifetime. Uncomplicated UTI (uUTI) is one of the most common infections seen in outpatient settings, including in India. Overuse and uninformed use of antibiotics for uUTI is contributing to the rise of AMR.

Under AMR in One Health the Challenges are related to animal husbandry encompassing dairy, aquaculture and poultry. The unregulated therapeutic and prophylactic use of antibiotics is commonplace in animal husbandry. Zoonotic transmission, and resistance to antimicrobials in humans passed on through the food chain are thus a grave concern.  The SBI

Foundation & C-CAMP AMR Challenge will seek solutions for

  1. Identification of early infection or inflammation in milch cattle associated with sub-clinical mastitis.
  2. A portable detection and monitoring test to directly measure antimicrobial traces, or indirectly measure indicators like metagenome, biochemical levels, etc. in spent water of aquaculture farms, or of aquaculture produce.
  3. Rapid and portable detection of resistant microbes/antimicrobial traces/indicators in poultry produce

The third focus area within the current AMR Challenge is on platform technologies with demonstrable applicability in AMR, substantiated with lab-based or pilot data. The innovations in this category need to be Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 or above, with demonstrable evidence of their application in any domain of AMR, prevention, control, diagnosis, detection, surveillance, or data science. While the domain is broad, the aim is to identify technologies that can reach pilot or field trial stage within 18 months or less.

The call opened on 27th Dec, 2023 and will accept applications until January 21st, 2024. Complete the Application Form (here)

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