CAWACH - An Overview

The Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH) is an initiative by National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.

Given the impact of COVID-19 globally and in India, the need of the hour is to support R&D efforts in this direction and end any further damage to the economy. Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India is supporting innovations offering comprehensive solutions for through the startup-ecosystem.

DST has nominated Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), IIT B to implement Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH) to source and support startups having solutions to fight pandemic COVID-19 by way of funding. SINE will be supported by Indian STEPs and Business Incubator Association (ISBA) in implementation of the program.

CAWACH  supports  innovations in the areas of diagnostics, devices, informatics including bio-informatics &  information management systems, any intervention for the control of COVID-19 and/or startup ideas to address/mitigate various challenges faced by country / society due to severe impact of COVID-19.

NSTEDB, DST, Govt. of India 

The National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), established by Government of India in 1982 is an institutional mechanism, with a broad objective of promoting gainful self-employment amongst the Science and Technology (S&T) manpower in the country and to setup knowledge based and innovation driven enterprises.

NSTEDB functions under the aegis of Department of Science & Technology (DST). It has representation from socio-economic and scientific Departments / Ministries, premier entrepreneurship development institutions and all India Financial Institutions.


  • To promote and develop high-end entrepreneurship for S&T manpower as well as self-employment by utilising S&T infrastructure and by using S&T methods.
  • To facilitate and conduct various informational services relating to promotion of entrepreneurship.
  • To network agencies of the support system, academic institutions and Research & Development (R&D) organisations to foster entrepreneurship and self-employing using S&T with special focus on backward areas as well.
  • To act as a policy advisory body regarding entrepreneurship.

SINE, IIT Bombay

Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), is an umbrella organisation at IIT Bombay for fostering entrepreneurship and nurturing tech start-ups. It administers a business incubator which provides ‘Start to scale’ support for technology-based entrepreneurship and facilitates the conversion of research activity into entrepreneurial ventures with a focus towards economic growth, strategic value and social relevance.  SINE has a robust incubation program wherein holistic support to start-ups from pre-incubation to commercialisation for a period of 3 years is provided. SINE is a broad-spectrum Technology Business Incubator (TBI) supporting sectors such as of ICT software, Healthcare, Clean tech, Energy tech, Hardware, Media, IOT, Edutech, Mechatronics, Fintech and other emerging sectors.

 Established in 2004, SINE has completed 15 successful years and has gained recognition as one of the pioneers of the startup ecosystem in India. SINE has been established as:
– Centre for Excellence (CoE) by DST, GOI
– Bio-Incubator (BIONEST) & BIG partner by BIRAC and DBT, GOI
– Mentor for upcoming incubators- TIDE program by MeitY- GOI

SINE has supported:
– about 170 start-ups
– more than 550 entrepreneurs
– generated 4000+ job opportunities
– spun out nearly 40 intellectual properties from IITB. 

All the startups collectively have generated more than 100 IPs.

SINE regularly implements new programs in collaboration with Government Industry / corporate and Academia.  It has also expanded its scope of activities with cross border entrepreneurial programs and has built a vast network of industry, investor, experts, professionals, media etc in the country. 

SINE also provides state of the art lab facilities for prototyping and low volume manufacturing for innovators / entrepreneurs.

More details:

Indian STEPs & Business Incubators Association – An Overview

ISBA was started a decade ago (2004), by a small motley crowd of Science & Technology Entrepreneur Parks and Technology Business Incubators that were established under the umbrella of the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India. Today it has grown to a membership base of 100+ incubators that are into entrepreneurship development custom writing here and incubation.

ISBA is registered as a not-for-profit Society under the Societies Registration Act 1860. Its main objective is “To promote business incubation activities in the country through exchange of information, sharing of experience, and other networking assistance among Indian Business Incubators (TBIs), Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Parks (STEPs) and other related organizations engaged in the promotion of start-up enterprises.”

ISBA is the only pan India network of Business Incubators and has an abundance of expertise and knowledge base in technology business Incubation that has been acquired over a period of 25 years. A unique feature is its diversity, with member organisations coming from Academic Institutions / Universities of repute such as IIM-A, IIT Bombay, IIT Kanpur, University of Pune, NIT Trichy, NIT Surathkal, NID, VIT University, PSG etc., Research & Development organisations such as NCL, ICRISAT, NDRI etc. and Technology Parks such as ICICI Knowledge Park, Technopark etc. Further, virtually every emerging technology sector are addressed beginning with ICT and covering Life Sciences, Electronics, Design, Agri-Business, Manufacturing, custom writing here Textiles etc. by the Incubator members.

The main activities of ISBA include:

  • Conduct of an Annual Conference that brings together Incubators and other players of the eco-system for networking, experience sharing and new learnings.
  • Advocacy initiatives with Central and State Central government on policy, regulatory frameworks, incubation development etc.
  • Providing facilitation and escort services to establish more Entrepreneurship Development Centres and Business Incubators in the country.
  • ISBA Awards – an annual awards programme for recognizing outstanding achievements of startups and ventures from the member fold.

More details:

SINE, IIT Bombay

Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), is an umbrella organisation at IIT Bombay for fostering entrepreneurship and nurturing tech start-ups. It administers a business incubator which provides ‘Start to scale’ support for technology-based entrepreneurship and facilitates the conversion of research activity into entrepreneurial ventures with a focus towards economic growth, strategic value and social relevance.  SINE has a robust incubation program wherein holistic support to start-ups from pre-incubation to commercialisation for a period of 3 years is provided. SINE is a broad-spectrum Technology Business Incubator (TBI) supporting sectors such as of ICT software, Healthcare, Clean tech, Energy tech, Hardware, Media, IOT, Edutech, Mechatronics, Fintech and other emerging sectors.

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The Foundation for Innovation & Technology Transfer (FITT) is the foremost Industry Interface organization set up by and at IIT Delhi in 1992 as a registered society. FITT has immensely contributed to the promotion of industry engagement programs, technology commercialization and start-up ecosystem from academia. One of the pioneering academia-based technology transfer offices and technology business incubator systems in the country, FITT has a strong footprint in the innovation ecosystem in India having enabled >900 patent filings, >110 Tech transfers, >2000 consultancy projects etc.

Since 1999, FITT has supported more than a hundred start-ups through the Incubation program at IIT Delhi. The Biotechnology Business Incubation Facility is helping life-science startups since 2014. Through various other funding and mentoring schemes, FITT has directly supported more than 250 start-ups and entrepreneurs. FITT plays a vital role in developing an entrepreneurial culture amongst the academic community at IIT Delhi and in the region. FITT draws on the tremendous strength of IIT Delhi’s intellectual and infrastructural resources, and its’ strong alumni base for enabling R&D collaborations, innovation projects and entrepreneurship programs. Besides partaking in international consortia projects, FITT regularly executes support programs of Governmental/Industry and other organizations towards various development activities. FITT is now organizing IIT Delhi’s Research Parks to complete the innovation value chain.

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SIIC, IIT Kanpur

The incubation Centre at IIT Kanpur, SIIC was set up in collaboration with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to foster innovation, research and entrepreneurial activities in technology related areas. Established in 2000 with the vision of transforming knowledge into wealth, the center has a twofold vision:

· To create a generation of zealous entrepreneurs.

· To convert novel research into valuable intellectual property.

SIIC is a one-point contact for all matters related to innovation, incubation, entrepreneurship, technology transfer and commercialization at IIT Kanpur

SIIC boasts of an ecosystem tailor made to nurture, accelerate and successfully graduate start-ups in the best possible way. For the past 16 years, SIIC IIT Kanpur has supported and nurtured innovators/start-ups by facilitating a robust Innovation and Incubation ecosystem, business and funding support, access to technical mentoring in all spheres at various phases of their entrepreneurial journey such as ideation, pre-incubation, prototyping, product development and market launch. Our portfolio comprises of technology driven start-ups working in various fields such as agriculture, water conservation, clean energy, MedTech, Biopharma to name a few leaving no area of technology untouched.

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HTIC, IIT Madras

Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre (HTIC), a multi-disciplinary R&D centre, is a joint initiative of Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) and Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India that brings together technologists, engineers, doctors and healthcare professionals, industry and government to develop healthcare technologies for the country. The vision of HTIC is to develop technologies that create impact and drive innovation in healthcare and be a leader known for technical excellence and collaborative spirit.

The MedTech incubator is part of HTIC and supported by BIRAC. The MedTech Incubator’s prime focus is to build a community of healthcare entrepreneurs who can deliver innovative, affordable and valuable Medtech solutions and products for the Indian society. The incubator provides wide-ranging support to start-ups and entrepreneurs working at the intersection of healthcare and technology.

More details: or
Venture Centre, NCL, Pune

Entrepreneurship Development Center (trademarked and famously known as Venture Center) hosted by CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) in Pune is India’s largest inventive enterprises and science business incubator.  Venture Center strives to nucleate and nurture technology and knowledge-based enterprises by leveraging the scientific and engineering competencies of the institutions in the “Pune region” in India. The Venture Center aims to empower and enable scientists and engineers in pursuing technology, innovation and entrepreneurship objectives.

It is home to more than 75+ resident start-ups at any given time and in the last 13 years since inception in 2007 Venture Center has supported >450 knowledge intensive enterprises, innovators and entrepreneurs through its various incubation programs.

Venture Center was founded with support from NSTEDB, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. Venture Center is NIDHI Center of Excellence, national implementation partner for the NIDHI-Entrepreneur in Residence Program and NIDHI Prayas Center. Venture Center also hosts a BIRAC BioNest (Bioincubator), BIRAC Regional Bioinnovation Centre, Center for BioPharma Analysis and Technology Transfer Hub. Venture Center is a BIRAC-Biotechnology Ignition Grant partner and home to NIDHI Seed Support System of DST-NSTEDB and BIRAC Seed and LEAP fund.

Venture Center is the winner of National Award for Technology Business Incubator 2015, Asian Association for business Incubation (AABI) Incubator of the year 2018 & National Entrepreneurship Award ( for Eco-system Builder) 2019.

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IKP Knowledge Park, Hyderabad

IKP Knowledge Park is a not-for-profit, 200-acre Research Park and Incubator headquartered in Hyderabad and having offices in Bangalore and 5 other cities, with a cumulative incubation space of 400,000 sq. ft. Its mission is to advance deepteching and co-create solutions for tomorrow in health and plant systems. IKP has over 20 years of experience in promoting research-based companies and has served 600+ companies and innovators directly and touched over 8,000 innovators through various programs. It has enabled creation of over 10,000 direct jobs. IKP works closely with various national and international agencies including NSTEDB, DST, BIRAC, DBT, Govt. of Telangana, Govt. of Karnataka, USAID, DFID and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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KIIT-TBI, Bhubaneswar

KIIT Technology Business Incubator (KIIT-TBI), recipient of National Award for TBI in 2017 is a non-profit Section (8) incubator established in 2009, as an initiative of KIIT Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar and is supported by Government bodies like NSTEDB, DST, MeitY, MSME, BIRAC, TDB to boost the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country.

Today KIIT-TBI is recognized at a Centre of Excellence in Incubation awarded by DST, Govt of India.

KIIT-TBI provides an appropriate platform and environment with a world-class infrastructure of around 120,000 sq. ft. that offer a range of incubation facilities and services to the prospective entrepreneurs to convert their innovative ideas into commercially viable products and till date, it has already incubated and mentored 200+ startups.  

KIIT-TBI is incubating startups in the domain of IT and Engineering, Cleantech, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Biotechnology, Agri and Food Tech and other social innovation areas.

More details:

PSG-Science & Technology Entrepreneurial Park (PSG-STEP)

Over 2 decades of empowering and enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the region, PSG-Science & Technology Entrepreneurial Park [PSG-STEP] – the incubation centre of PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, has been established in the year 1998, with the support from National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board [NSTEDB], Department of Science & Technology [DST], Government of India.

PSG-STEP is one among vibrant incubators with inclusive incubation facilities and hosts NIDHI-CoE in Advanced Technologies, Nanotechnology – Research, Innovation and Incubation Centre, BioNEST – the bioincubator with the support of BIRAC, TIDE 2.0 – the initiative supported by MeITY.

PSG-STEP extends funding mechanisms for innivators and startups in multiple technology domains with the support from various government agencies.

More details:

VIT-TBI, Vellore

Vellore Institute of Technology-Technology Business Incubator (VITTBI) was established in 2004 at Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore with the support of DST. VITTBI has a mature incubation program and has been catering the needs of hundreds of innovators and startups in its region.

More details:

Supported Products & Solutions

  1. High thrust products and solutions
    • High impact products based on frugal innovations that address COVID-19 challenges
    • Ventilators and PPE
      • Portable ventilators, Respirator, Resuscitator, Pulse oximeters, Oxygen concentrators and other peripheral medical equipment such as Contactless thermometers & Stethoscopes, Patient monitoring system, accessories
      • Personal Protective Equipment (Masks, Shields, Suits, Goggles, Linen and disposable gowns, gloves, lab shoes), relevant medical accessories, 
    • Sterilizers and Disinfectants: Sanitizers, Disinfectants and allied systems such as Booths / Community disinfectant stations / chambers, Bio-hazardous waste management solutions, Large scale sanitization and sterilization, Surface sterilization units (preferably automated & IoT enabled)
    • Diagnostic: Rapid Antibody & Antigen diagnostic kits, Other diagnostic kits, Genomics based mapping solutions, Reagents, Safe sample collections
    • Informatics: Health care information systems, Movement tracking & tracing, Crowd management, Geofencing, Logistics, any containment solutions involving software / mobile applications, Patient tracking / monitoring systems
  2. Any solution that addresses / mitigates various challenges faced by country / society due to severe impact of COVID-19
  3. Product / solution near-ready, ready for deployment or manufacturing scaleup or repurposing of existing products and services that can be quickly deployed

Who can Apply?

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Less than 7 years in existence
  2. The startup should have DIPP recognition with Startup India, In case the startup does not have DIPP recognition while applying in the CAWACH program, the startup should ensure DIPP recognition before availing of funding under the CAWACH program
  3. Founders of applicant company should have at least 51% Indian shareholding
  4. Should have qualified team in place
  5. Preferably at revenue stage or has raised fund earlier
  6. Preferably to have already deployed or ready to deploy product within a few of weeks
  7. Startups which are not incubated at any Incubation centres will have to associate with one of the Satellite or Affiliate centre for the entire project duration. The startup is required to give an undertaking on the same while submitting the application form.
  8. List of documents to be submitted by the startup while filing the application form
    • Company Registration certificates
    • GST registration certificate
    • KYC of promoters – Aadhar card and PAN Card
    • Shareholding pattern
  9. The below documents to be submitted by the startups after selection under CAWACH program 
    • Constitution documents – Memorandum of Association and Article of Association.
    • Annual report for previous 3 years
    • Bank statements for 6 months
    • Proof of business address
    • Reference from an established incubator or institution

Funding Mechanisms

Quantum of Funding:

  • Rs 50 lakhs to Rs 200 lakhs per startup.

Mode of Funding:

  • Returnable grants / soft loans or conditional grants or combination thereof.
  • Soft loan / grant amount to be repaid / returned by the startups in 3-5 years.

Selection & Funding Process:

  • Initial Scrutiny of application
  • Selected applications will be evaluated by high-level technical and industry experts committee
  • Shortlisted applicants shall make a presentation (online or in person) before the CAWACH-Investment Committee
  • Preference to be given to the companies who can fast deploy their solutions at scale.
  • Selected companies which are not incubated with any incubation centre will mandatorily be required to be affiliated with any of main, satellite or affiliate centres (refer list of centres) at no additional incubation cost. | | +91 82173 20119