Request for Proposals from all Bio-Professionals to research on COVID-19

Looking at the crisis with regards to COVID-19 pandemic, Department of Biotechnology and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) have released the COVID-19 research consortium. Applications are invited from all bioscience professionals to work on the COVID-19 research. If you are interested, read the complete article to know the details of RFP.

About COVID-19

Coronavirus disease is a highly infectious and contagious disease outbreaking all over the world. It is commonly called as COVID-19. Currently, more than 160 countries are battling with this deadly disease. The first case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was first reported in Wuhan, China on 31 December 2019. The disease is caused by a new virus namely Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or Novel coronavirus. The virus had not been previously identified in humans and similar to the SARS virus (SARS-CoV-1).

Reason for RFP on COVID-19

COVID-19 has been declared as a pandemic by WHO due to the alarming levels of spread and severity. What makes it worst is as of now there is no specific medicine or vaccine to treat or prevent this disease. Project proposals are being requested for developing Diagnostics, Vaccines, Novel Therapeutics, Repurposing of Drugs or any other intervention for control of COVID-19 by companies, industries, LLP, Academia etc to support the preparedness, readiness and response for COVID-19.

Theme of the RFP

The theme of the RFP is: "Developing Diagnostics, Vaccines, novel Therapeutics, repurposing of drugs and any other intervention for control of COVID-19 outbreak".

Scope of the RFP

The scope of the RFP is inclusive of and not exhaustive of the following areas:
Development of technologies for the diagnosis of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) including various diagnostic methods like ELISA, Molecular diagnostics (PCR and Real-Time PCR), Lateral Flow assay, cell culture, Chemiluminescence, Colorimetric tests, Immunoassays etc.

Studies of vaccine technology platforms, novel vaccine manufacturing technologies, vaccine candidates including DNA, RNA, Live Attenuated Virus, Non-Replicating Viral Vector, Protein Subunit, Replicating Viral Vector at any stage of development and enabling disciplines for coronavirus vaccine development. To study in-licensing technology for optimization, scale-up and manufacturing

Novel Therapeutics
Development of in-vitro assay/animal models, new methods of B-cell isolation, monoclonal antibody development and standardize challenge studies. Besides, screening of existing libraries (Biologicals and Chemicals) and identify potential hits for development.

Repurposing of Drugs
Development of precautionary measures and treatment action studies and evaluation of the effect of existing marketed drugs in patients of COVID-19 under a standard protocol.

Any other
Any other technology related to outbreak prevention and control of SARS-CoV-2.

Main Requirements for the Proposal Consideration

  • The proposed process should be sustainable from an economic and environmental angle.
  • The proposed technology should be scalable and adaptable.

Areas of Exclusion

  • Proposals related to SARS-CoV-2 will not be considered.
  • Projects proposal without any product development component will not be considered.
  • The proposal without commercialization potential will not be considered.
  • It is not a research fellowship grant.


Project duration will be maximum up to 24 months. However, it is encouraged to develop the solution earlier if possible in 6-12 months.

Funding Support

Funding assistance will be provided based on the activities proposed in the proposal, available under DBT/different schemes of BIRAC/Ind-CEPI/National Biopharma Mission.

Eligibility for Proposals Submission

  1. Any start-up company, small scale company, medium company, or large company established by an Indian Citizens running under the Companies Act, 2013 having a minimum of 51% of the shares of the Company.
  2. Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) running under the LLP Act, 2008 having an Indian Partner.
  3. Any academia including Public or Private Research Institute, University has a well-established support system for research and recognition from NAAC/UGC/ AICTE or any other Public/Government supported organization.
  4. Non-academic Individuals (NAI)

Note: The applicant Company/LLP should have sufficient in-house facility for the proper project implementation.

The application can be submitted by any of the above entities (a – d) jointly or individually.

Application Process

  • Proposals or Letter of Intent (LOI) will be accepted online only.
  • To submit an online proposal company or industry or individual have to be registered themself online by clicking on the link New User.
  • RFP is open only for 12 days.
  • To submit an online proposal following steps can be followed:
    • First of all, the user has to log on the BIRAC website ( using their credential i.e. user ID and password.
    • Upon login, the user is navigated to the page displaying the specific scheme link and then active RFP.
    • After clicking on the active RFP, the user can submit the proposal.

Important Dates

  • Publication of RFP: 19th March 2020
  • The end date of submission of RFP: 30th March 2020 at 2.00 pm

Selection Process

The evaluation process will include the following steps:
  1. Mandatory legal parameters will be checked.
  2. Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) will review the Letter of Intent or proposals submitted.
  3. Selected proposals will be called for presentation in front of SAG.
  4. Selection of proposal based on the final recommendation.
  5. The signing of finding agreement between successful applicants and BIRAC.

Evaluation Criteria

Selection of proposal will be based on the following criteria:
  1. Scientific Merit
  2. The technical strength of the proposal
  3. Clarity of technical strategy
  4. Innovation level
  5. Level of Risk
  6. Investigator's Credentials and/or collaborative team's expertise.

Project Monitoring

An expert committee will be formed by BIRAC to monitor each project. Site visits shall also be done by 2-3 technical experts and one financial expert of Expert Committees comprising. The Project Monitoring Committee (PMC) will monitor the project progress, the outputs, milestones, targets and objectives as per the Agreement. BIRAC will release next instalment of grant only after the review of the project progress.

Reporting of Progress

  1. A detailed Milestone Completion Report (MCR) is required to be submitted on completion of each milestone. (Format provided on the website)
  2. Project Monitoring Committee will review the submitted MCR. Based on the recommendation of the PMC, the next Milestone instalment will be released.
  3. A duly certified Utilization certificate and statement of expenditure will have to be submitted by the applicant on or before every 30th September and 31st March. (Format provided on the website)

Terms and Conditions

  1. Agreement of funding
    All successful applicants need to sign the Grant-in-aid Letter Agreement (GLA) with BIRAC.
  2. Other Requisites for Funds Disbursement
    In addition to the signing of an agreement between all the concerned parties, the following requirement needs to be completed before the first instalment can be released:
  • A Board Resolution needs to be passed for acceptance of the Grant-in-aid offer by theBIRAC.
  • Opening up a No-Lien Account with a scheduled/nationalized Bank in case of a Company.
  • Letter of Authorization in case of Institute in the prescribed format of BIRAC.
  • MoUs related to IP arrangements/collaborations/outsourcing etc needs to be in place.

Contact Information

In case of any query regarding RFP, candidates can contact
  • Dr Artee, Manager-Investment

Further information can be obtained on the website of BIRAC.


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