Marico Foundation selects three innovations for affordable ventilator, respiratory solutions

NEW DELHI, July 11: Marico Innovation Foundation (MIF) on Saturday said it has selected three innovations to provide affordable ventilator solutions amid COVID-19 crisis for funding.
MIF will help the selected innovators by providing access to business opportunities, mentorship and guidance on business operations, so that they can reach the right pockets of India.
Concluding its #Innovate2BeatCOVID challenge, MIF has selected three innovations in ‘Ventilators and Other Respiratory Solutions’ and offered Rs 85 lakh grants, it said in a statement.
MIF has already announced the three winners for providing innovative solutions in ‘Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)’ category, where it had distributed Rs 1.60 crore in grants.
In March, MIF, A T E Chandra Foundation and Marico Chairman Harsh Mariwala in his personal capacity launched a nationwide hunt for innovative solutions to healthcare challenges during COVID-19 crisis.
They had offered a grant of Rs. 2.5 crore for cost-effective and innovative solutions to combat a short supply of ventilators and personal protective equipment.
The challenge had received over 1,500 interests from across the country during the 20 days – from March 29 to April 18 2020, it said.
The winners under ‘Ventilators and Other Respiratory Solutions’ category are – Shreeyash Electro Medicals, KPIT Technologies and Nocca Robotics.
“These are innovative and much cheaper than the current option available in the market with similar features. The cost is around 20 to 30 per cent of the currently available products in the market,” Marico Chairman and MIF Founder Harsh Mariwala told PTI.
These devices are innovative, disruptive, accessible and affordable, which is the need of the hour, he added.
According to Mariwala, the selected products have completed the clinical validations and now they would apply to central drugs standard control organisation for registration.
He also said that some of the products have either commercialised or about to commercialise.
“The challenge is to convince the hospitals and the potential buyers for evaluation because they have some fear, as they have some negative experiences of some ventilators, which were supplied in the past. Organisation and hospitals do not want to take any risk.
“That’s why we are going overboard and helping them to get a certification,” Mariwala said.
The company will also help them to market through its channels.
“We have decided to help them in funding, get certification through our network, which was getting delayed and in the market. I can write to the head of some hospitals, asking them to evaluate it,” he said, adding “our role is only catalytic and not financial”.
The jury panel for Innovate2BeatCOVID challenge was chaired by R A Mashelkar.
Other members of the panel include Dr N K Ganguly, Dr Indira Chakravarty, Dr Arjun Alva, Dr Dilip Karnad , Dr Ashok Mahashur, Dr Anant Bhan and Milind Shah. (PTI)