Honeywell has partnered with the Society for Innovation and Development (SID) at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to support deep science startups with societal impact.
Honeywell’s partnership with SID opens up opportunities to support startup ventures working on science and technology projects not related to the company’s core areas of work, but intended to address large, societal problems.
Honeywell’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) contribution will also target needs relating to COVID-19, including building a new class of eco-friendly specialty fluorescent dyes and a rapid point-of-care diagnostics test for use in low resource settings.
Dr. Akshay Bellare, President, Honeywell India, said, “As a responsible corporate citizen, we see this partnership as a path to fostering a vibrant startup ecosystem, driving innovation to solve societal challenges, and opening up pathways for job creation and economic stimulation.”
Professor B. Gurumoorthy, Chief Executive, SID, said, “At SID we are well positioned to nurture and grow startups by providing access to the right technology, lab infrastructure, seed funding, mentoring and human capital. We are hopeful that this collaboration with Honeywell, which is a leading technology company, will encourage more corporates to support technology incubation through CSR funding.”
Honeywell CSR funds have been deployed to support six startups to begin with. These include:
1. Azooka Labs Private Limited, which recently received the National Startup Awards 2020 in the category of women-led startups. Founded by Dr. Fathima Benazir and Alex Paul, Azooka is developing a new class of safe fluorescent dyes and consumables for genomics research and molecular diagnostics. Azooka has also developed a safer and more stable viral transport medium, and working on a rapid, easy-to-deploy point-of-care diagnostic kit that will be useful for testing COVID-19.
2. Siamaf Healthcare Private Limited is developing magnetic nanotechnology for radiation-free and affordable cancer diagnosis and therapy.
3. Protein Design Private Limited works on protein biotechnology and has developed a unique yeast expression technology that produces glycoproteins like human-like glycan moieties, which are useful for producing cancer immunotherapeutic treatments. In addition, they have produced viral antigens for diagnostics and vaccination for COVID-19.
4. Mimyk Medical Simulations Private Limited is building an augmented reality/virtual reality-based laparoscopy simulation platform to train surgeons.
5. HealthSeq Precision Medicine Private Limited is working towards developing solutions in precision medicine to enable targeted therapy, reduce risks, and increase efficiencies in the healthcare system.
6. PathShodh Healthcare Private Limited is re-purposing its technology for rapid and accurate COVID-19 diagnostics, while also eliminating the need for PCR machines.
Three of the startups that Honeywell is supporting are led by women entrepreneurs, including Dr. Fathima Benazir, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Azooka Labs.
Dr. Benazir said, “The National Startup Award for Women-led Enterprise is a big win for women in science. We would like to thank SID for their continuous nurturing and Honeywell for their timely support. We hope our success will encourage the small but dedicated community of scientists and entrepreneurs working on new frontiers of science.” Honeywell CSR and SID are currently evaluating a new crop of startups to support, which will have societal impact.
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