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ACHIEVEMENTS AND SUCCESS STORIES

HTM BPD at IIHR, which has started operations since May 2013, with a total sanctioned budget of Rs 4.7 crores has successfully initiated the processes of incubation and business process development. Within a short span of 8 months, the HTM BPD has a total enrollment of 70 members representing different membership categories, earning the BPD membership revenue of Rs 2.135 lakhs. The BPD organized two Entrepreneurship Development Programmes (EDPs), business mentoring and awareness campaigns  for enthusiastic horti-preneurs and research scientists, facilitated research collaborations, patent search facilitation and patent filing and has several success stories to highlight and share. A gist of few such success stories and events across different facets of the HTM BPD incubation facility of IIHR has been presented here for reference and review.

 

 

BPD – IIHR Incubates its “First Tenant” Client, M/s Krishi Biosys

Horticultural Technology Management & Business Planning and Development Unit, IIHR incubated its first tenant client on September 7th, 2013 for scaling up production of 6 bio pesticides from 1 tonne to 10 tonnes, through handholding and incubation.

The HTM-BPD as an incubator offers its clients access to infrastructure, hand holding in technical expertise, facilitate networking, mentoring and financial assistance. Companies can spend up to two years as an incubatee on campus before they graduate to be able to operate independently and expand.

M/s Krishi Biosys a startup company has licensed 6 Bio – pesticide technologies from IIHR and has been operating independently for over a year. In an effort to scale up their production operations tenfold, the company opted to become a member of BPD- IIHR as an incubatee starting 7th September 2013. The HTM-BPD will be assisting the company market the produce and handhold the company in its up scaled production processes.

In a matter of five months, Ms. Krishi Biosys has produced over 5 tonnes and has marketed around 3 tonnes through IIHR’s ATIC. Sale through ATIC attracts a 5 % charge, which is shared between the Institute and the BPD. HTM BPD also procured over 700 kg of three different types of biopesticides for the demonstration and distribution to farmers in Thuraiyur region of Tirchy district, TN as a part of the BPD’s promotional activity.

The model of Onsite incubation adopted in this case has been a win-win model for both the incubatee and the innovator and the BPD. While the incubatee benefitted through the technical guidance in scaling up of the technologies licensed, the innovator benefitted through the large scale production of his products that could be distributed and demand enhanced. The BPD benefitted from the early stage incubation processes and earning rentals and other royalty payments. The experience taught the BPD the need to create operational space for housing incubatees, helping them scale up and creating demand for their produce.

 

Onsite incubation M/s Hi7agribio solutions

Mr. Nagendra and Mr. Srinivasalu, a software employee and a graduate, wish to venture into agriculture as their profession. They plan to move in a professional way and take it as a business venture on their own. While doing their ground work, they came across a newspaper article in The Hindu titled “Expert help at hand for aspiring horticultural entrepreneurs”, published on September 27, 2013. Based on this background, they approached BPD IIHR and expressed their interest. They were provided with list of technologies available with IIHR which are ready for commercialization. After thorough deliberations with innovators they decided to license 3 technologies and become on site incubatees with HTM BPD.

The entrepreneurs finalized Banana and Vegetable micronutrient formulations and wish to licensee it. BPD IIHR has helped them to register their company M/s Hi7agribiosolutions and other compliance required to register the company and license the technology through NRDC.
The entrepreneurs were given hands on training on production of Micronutrient formulations. Since they requested BPD IIHR to provide space for onsite production and sales through ATIC, despite space constraints, BPD IIHR after several discussions with Director, Innovator, Heads of the department and Chairman Works, has provided them production and office space. BPD will get revenue of 3% from the entrepreneurs product sales through the ATIC, and 2% to ATIC . The onsite incubation period is permitted up to 12 months.

Addressing clients needs through Offsite Incubation

M/s Madhavi Foods licensed Tomato Crush technology from IIHR and enrolled as client for offsite incubation. After the technology transfer, the clients were provided with initial hands on training for the production of tomato crush. HTM BPD also helped them in obtaining the requisite approvals such as the FSSAI Certificate to start their production process. The offsite incubatee soon encountered difficulties in their production process and indicated to the BPD their inability to produce within the stipulated time or cost as suggested by the innovator. HTM BPD addressed the clients issues by visiting them along with the technical experts and successfully demonstrated the scaling up process efficiently with lesser time and cost.

The timely intervention by the HTM BPD helped the client in reducing the production process to 4 hours from their earlier effort of 12 hours; helped bring down their production cost 9 fold; modified their production process for commercial scale. A satisfied client not only enhanced their production but also willingly supplied over 2000 packets of their produce for distribution during the two day women in agriculture programme of the institute during December 2013.

An article entitled, “Crush tomatoes and preserve it for six months”, that was published in the Hindu on January 21, 2014, enthused a number of potential entrepreneurs for attempting to license the technology and scale it up as well.

 

Passion towards Floriculture

Mr. Dhusyant, an auditor by profession quit his job and wished to venture into floriculture. He being new to agriculture in general and to horticulture in particular, approached BPD and has enrolled as a member. HTM BPD supported him through his endeavors by linking him with other successful entrepreneurs growing cut flowers and also with various other State Government staff for other details on subsidy etc., HTM BPD also has been actively supporting him with soil and water testing, introduction to commercial banks for financial support and other related activities.

A satisfied client today is ready for starting his hitech floriculture venture as an offsite incubatee of HTM BPD.

 

Towards Osmotic dehydrated Fruits

Mrs. Maya, a software engineer by profession finds her interest towards Osmotic Dehydrated Fruits. She visited IIHR to learn more about various products, processes and the potential. She has enrolled with HTM BPD and has hence registered her company in the name of M/s Divine clique foods and licensed three technologies viz, Osmotically Dehydrated Mango D, Papaya and Fruit bar technology. She has hence been trained on these technologies and is likely to undertake on site production till she is confident of handling the produce independently.

M/s Divine Clique foods will enroll the women in need of employment and actively involve NGOs to produce and sell the products. This has given the HTM-BPD an opportunity to be a part of the Corporate Social Responsibility of the firm as well.

Auditing to orchard

Mr. Karthikeyan, an auditor by profession, had a keen interest in horticulture and organic farming. He desires to start his own farm cultivating horticultural crops.  The news paper advertisement for an EDP on protected cultivation of high value vegetables by HTM BPD attracted him to the programme there by providing him an opportunity to transform his passion into a reality.

Through repeated interactions with HTM BPD, Mr. Karthikeyan has zeroed in on starting a Pomegranate farm and license neem and pongamia soap technologies from IIHR. HTM BPD actively pursued his interest and assists him in acquiring technical knowledge relating to cultivation of horticultural crops including irrigation, production of quality tissue culture pomegranate seedlings and package of practices. He was also suggested to test the Neem soap and Pongamia soap in the field, before licensing the technology. His incubation facilitation included field visits, hands on experience of different operations.

NBA Clearance

Foliage Crops Solutions Pvt Ltd., a sister concern of Southern Petrochemical Industrial Cooperation (SPIC) approached IIHR for licensing of few technologies to increase their product line. Foliage Crop Solutions Private Limited is a new generation Agribusiness company involved in sourcing, manufacturing and supply of superior quality crop seeds, plant growth regulators, bio pesticides, herbal pesticides, bio fertilizers, micro nutrients etc.
The company believes in retailing rather than distribution through dealers. With its Pan-India presence (except J&K and Orissa) the company has over 110 staff and generates around Rs. 35 Crore turnover annually. The company faced problems in the production and marketing of some of their products in few of their domain states. As one of its products, Spic Cytozyme is prepared from press mud and in 2008 press mud was declared as organic manure by FCO leading to marketing problems in several of the domain states. The company therefore proposed to expand their production lines and hence was interested in some of the technologies from IIHR. List of technologies that aroused the curiosity of the company for licensing were Okra Male Sterile lines, Neem and Pongamia Soap, Seed Pro, Sealer cum Healer, Micronutrient formulation (Banana, Vegetable and Citrus) and Microbial Consortium etc., The company evinced interest in becoming a member of the HTM BPD, and hence has enrolled. However, BPD & ITMU advised the company to obtain a clearance from NBA as the company has 98% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from a Singapore based venture capitalists and 2% investment from domestic investors, as it is carved out of SPIC after SPIC decided to concentrate on its fertilizers business. This case highlights the need to follow the legislative guidelines while enrolling and commercializing technologies taking into account the prevailing rules and guidelines.

Successful Public Private Partnership, M/s Natural Remedies

M/s Natural Remedies in Collaboration with Odisha Agricultural University successfully developed three products/processes under component-II of NAIP project titled “A value chain on Ginger and Ginger products.” NAIP-PIU, New Delhi adviced HTM-BPD to facilitate the process of filing patents on the above Ginger products/processes developed by M/s Natural Remedies Pvt Ltd in the name of Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

HTM-BPD has hence been facilitating this process with the legal advisory from its empanelled Patent agent and successfully filed a provisional patent application for “A novel water soluble composition obtained from ginger and process of preparation thereof" vide Patent application No.: 231/CHE/2014 on 17 January 2014.

HTM-BPD has also facilitated M/s Natural remedies in Prior Art Search for Ginger product based technology and shortly will be facilitating Natural Remedies in filing another complete Patent application on Ginger product.

 

Patent Services for in-house Scientist

Dr. V Ravindra, Principal Scientist at Division of Plant Physiology & Biochemistry IIHR, Bangalore’s extensive work on internal breakdown disorders like spongy tissue in Alphonso and Mallika and jelly seed in Dasehari and Amrapali cultivars of mango has led to the innovation This novel formulation also induces uniform color development, firmness and enhances shelf life of the fruit to withstand cold storage conditions and transport during export. There is no technology till date in the world to overcome the internal breakdown disorders which were affecting the quality and shelf life, severely impeding the marketing including export of mango.

Institute Technology Management Unit of IIHR facilitated Dr. Ravindra in Patent Search in 2011. But due to several constraints, the patent for the above innovation could not be filed. Though these issues were rectified in 2013 the process of filing of patent could not be initiated.  

HTM- BPD with its patent facilitation service revoked the patenting process with the help of their empanelled Patent Agent in December 2013 and facilitated the Patent Search for determining the Novelty and Non-obviousness of this invention. After ascertaining the novelty and preparation of the Prior art Search report, HTM BPD is in the process of drafting the patent application with the help of an empanelled patent agent and will shortly file a complete patent application.

 

New product development

Mr. Karthick was introduced by BPD- TNAU to enter into research collaboration with IIHR’s BPD for product development. Mr. Karthick is already in the business of procuring and marketing Humic acid. He wishes to enhance the product through microbial inoculation.

With the efforts of HTM BPD, Mr. Karthik has initiated effective research collaboration with Dr. Pannerselvam, a Microbiologist, to test the feasibility of microbial inoculation for enhanced end product which could be used in several crop production systems. 

The product enhancement includes reducing the alkalinity of the product from a pH of 9 - 9.5 to pH 8. The test trails were completed and promising outcomes resulted to enhance the products with VAM and few bacteria. Now the client is entering into research collaboration to enrich the humic acid with VAM.