The Department of Pharmaceuticals has recommended allocation of a fixed percentage of not less than 1 per cent of annual budget of institutes to fund and promote innovation and startup-related activities in the sector.
In its common guidelines on pharmaceutical innovation and entrepreneurship for academic institutions, the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) also said that institutes may take a fixed percentage of (2 per cent to 9.5 per cent) equity in startup/spin-off companies in return for the services and facilities they provide.
In order to encourage innovation and research and to facilitate entrepreneurship in NIPERs (National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research), the DoP has prepared the ‘common guidelines on pharmaceutical innovation and entrepreneurship’ for academic institutions under its control, an official statement said.
The guidelines have been prepared after considering the National Innovation & Startup Policy 2019, National IPR Policy 2016 and similar policies of other institutes, departments, it added.
“The policy aims to transform the academic research into innovative and commercially applicable technologies/products; build a strong ecosystem for nurturing creativity and entrepreneurial activities and contribute to the self-reliant India mission (Atmanirbhar Bharat),” the statement said.
It aims to encourage faculty/staff members and students to pursue entrepreneurship, while formulating policies and fostering an ecosystem to generate ideas across disciplines that can be transformed into successful technologies, products, and services, it added.
For institutes, as per the guidelines, the availability of resources needs to be ensured for pre-incubation and providing common facilities as part of the institute’s financial strategy for prospective inventors and entrepreneurs.
Budgetary provisions should be available in terms of allocation of a fixed percentage (such as not less than 1 per cent) of institute’s annual budget for funding, promoting and supporting innovation and startup-related activities.
In return for the services and facilities provided, an institute may take a fixed percentage of (2 per cent to 9.5 per cent) equity in the startup/spin-off company, based on employee contribution, support provided and use of the institute’s Intellectual Property (IP).
According to the guidelines, the entrepreneurial initiatives shall be evaluated on a regular basis using well-defined impact assessment parameters such as IP filed, products developed and commercialised and number of employment generated, and startups created.
To encourage students, relaxation in attendance should be provided to enable them to dedicate time for entrepreneurial activities, and they should be allowed to sit for the examination, even if their attendance is less than 75 per cent, it said, adding institutes should provide relaxation to the PhD students in terms of a semester/year break or more, if needed, to devote time on startup ventures.
The guidelines also asked institutes to facilitate startups founded by graduated students till a particular time period such as 3 years from their graduation, while also allowing faculty or staff members to take a semester or a year break or more if needed as sabbatical leave for working on technology transfer/startups.
“A maximum period of 2 years of such break may be permissible,” it added.
The vision of the DoP is to promote the Indian pharma sector as the global leader for quality medicines and to ensure availability, accessibility and affordability of drugs and medical devices in the country, the official statement said.
One of the measures to achieve the vision is to concentrate on research and development and innovation, and the DoP has set up seven NIPERs as institutes of national importance all across the country for imparting quality education and conducting high-end research, it added.
These policy guidelines, finalised with approval of the minister for chemicals and fertilizers have been forwarded to all NIPERs for taking up further steps for their speedy and effective implementation, the statement said.