SPARSH | BIRAC’s Social Innovation Fellowship/Award Program for Biotech “Social Innovators” | Call for Apllication

About SIIC IIT Kanpur

Established in 2000, Start-up Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC), IIT Kanpur, is one of the oldest technology business incubators with many successes under its belt. In 2018, the leadership brought the incubator’s operations under Foundation for Research & Innovation in Science & Technology (FIRST), a Section-8 company promoted by IIT Kanpur. The multifaceted, vibrant incubation ecosystem nurtured over two decades continues to fill all the gaps on the road to convert an idea into a business.

With path breaking innovation brewing at FIRST’s startups, the incubator aims to create impact at the bottom of the pyramid. FIRST has developed the experience base and ecosystem that become critical ingredients in nurturing early-stage, technology-focused startups disrupting domains such as agriculture, healthcare, aerospace, energy, water, and education.

SIIC offers individuals and startups opportunities to:

  • Discover new ways of thinking and acting so that you can solve your biggest business challenges

  • Learn to break free from the way things have always been done

  • Make real change to your organization/ society/ area of expertise


SPARSH is BIRAC’s social Innovation fellowship/award program aimed at creating a pool of biotech “Social Innovators” who could identify the needs & gaps within communities and then can help bridge the gaps either through an innovative product development or services. The Program is implemented through SPARSH Centers. SIIC IIT Kanpur is one among the 14 SPARSH centres pan India. 

The programme aims to promote the development of innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. The scheme tackles major social issues and offers new ideas for widespread change. The scheme aims to invest in ideas and innovations that improve health care of all Indians and encourage affordable product development in the social sector.

The Fellows will be stationed at one of the SPARSH Centre who would provide all the requisite support to the Social Innovators in following thematic areas:

  • Maternal and Child Health

  • Ageing and Health

  • Food and Nutrition

  • Waste to Value

  • Combating environmental pollution

  • Agri-Tech

SIIC will be hosting fellows implementing solutions in Maternal & Child Health for the upcoming cohort.

Highlights of the Fellowship/Award:

  • Fully funded fellowship with monthly stipend of Rs 50,000 pm

  • Rs 5 Lakhs mini kick start grant

  • Clinical/ Rural Immersion

  • Access to BIRAC network of Mentors and Investors

  • Mentoring by SPARSH Knowledge partner and 14 SPARSH Centres

  • Opportunities to seek funding on completion


  • The Social Innovation fellowship is a prestigious award which will be provided to only Indian Citizen Indian undergraduate (B.Tech, BE, MBBS) or postgraduate (MSc, MS, M.Tech, MPhil, MD) & PhD below 35 years from fields of life sciences, Agriculture, Engineering, medicine & human biology are eligible to apply.


The fellowship is for a duration of 18 months and cannot be extended further. 

Links to SPARSH application material

  1. BIRAC reference document 

  1. Application Link 

  1. Program FAQs 

  1. Application flyer 

Reach out to for any queries.

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