KOCHI: Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) is all set to open the first cancer technology incubator in the country at the Kerala Technology Innovation Zone in KINFRA Hi-Tech Park here. The new Centre for Biomedical Research, Innovation and Commercialization in Cancer (BRICS) is aimed at creating India-focused innovations and developments in the cancer care sector. Cochin Cancer Research Centre (CCRC) will be signed for clinical expertise. The MoU between CCRC and KSUM will be signed on January 13.
The incubator and incubated start-ups, which will be cancer-specific, will focus on technology innovations in cancer care, frugal innovations that can improve the access of best cancer treatment for the public, sector-specific fintech innovations and converting academic researches to products. The incubator will have Deep Tech infrastructure, various labs for cancer research including Cytology, and an advanced prototype creation and validation facility.
“This is basically an entity floated by CCRC for supporting research converted into entrepreneurship in the cancer care sector and down the line it may become a separate society. We are providing the basic infrastructure now. We hope that international start-ups and companies will join in future. Developing countries have a bigger cancer challenge because of late detection and financial issues. The solutions created here should increase the productivity of doctors, too,” said KSUM CEO Dr Saji Gopinath.
“Most of the studies are done abroad and purely based on the needs and types of diseases faced by their population. We need a unique platform for ourselves and this would be the first step towards it. The use of imported technology is also the reason why the cost of cancer care treatment goes high. If we can develop our own technology, the expenses will also go down,” said CCRC Director Dr Moni Abraham Kuriakose.
Cochin Cancer Research Centre (CCRC) Director Dr Moni Abraham Kuriakose said: “We will be guiding the programme by bringing out the key areas where research and innovation is necessary. Our doctors will help out in their specific field of expertise.”
University of Illinois, which have recently signed an MoU with KSUM, will also be part of the research. Industry partnership with private players like Biocon, Siemens Healthineers, NeST Technologies, and IBS are being explored in order to address the issue of marketing channels for the products in future.
The gestation period in cancer research is relatively higher and therefore each start-up will get a maximum incubation period of three years without extension. “An additional one year will be considered if an expert committee recommends it,” said Jith Thomas, Senior Fellow, Health and Medical Technology, KSUM.
- Engage end-users, clinicians and beyond to inform and improve technology development by installing research infrastructure attached to a cancer clinical facility open for entrepreneurs.
- Identify special clinical needs relevant to Indian society and address them with innovative and cost-effective solutions.
- Catalyse cross-disciplinary collaboration between engineers, clinicians and entrepreneurs.