Covid-19: MoITT offers financing for high-impact, short-time ideas

ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom (MoITT), through Ignite – National Technology Fund, has called for applications on marketable ideas that can be developed to tackle challenges posed by Covid-19 outbreak. 

The ministry will provide funding support to high-impact and short-time ideas.

The ministry posted, “In light of the urgency and importance of addressing the COVID-19 virus outbreak issue in the world and in the country as well, Ignite is looking forward to provide funding support to high-impact and short time-to- market ideas that can be developed to tackle the most pressing challenges by COVID-19 outbreak.”

Applications are expected from legally registered local entities including manufacturing companies, research groups from academia, Research and Development (R&D) based industrial setup, startups and other relevant organisations. All COVID-19- related proposals would be processed on priority basis.

Focus areas outlined in Ignite’s call to application are:

  1. Point-of-care diagnostic
  2. Monitor and control
  3. Prophylactics and therapeutics
  4. Electromedical equipment
  5. Personal Protective Equipment
  6. Predictive modeling using AI
  7. Innovation in industrial raw materials
  8. Developing production processes/methods
  9. Innovation for production line automation
  10. Solutions to monitor food/ration supplies
  11. Awareness and understanding COVID-19
  12. Others

 The application form further clarifies that development grants will be awarded for high-level and promising ICT-related development projects by individuals or groups from academia or industry actively involved in development of such products individually or collaboratively. These projects should be based on either a universally known technology or a new technology developed by the applicant and should be aimed at achieving economically viable systems, products, or processes beneficial to the nation.

The grant will cover the honoraria of the Project Director and Project Managers, salaries of professional developers at market rate, stipends for student assistants, and supporting staff. It will also cover travel(s) within and outside the country for project-related activities. The grant may be used to purchase very specific unavoidable equipment kept to the bare minimum, consumable materials, and other items needed for the project.

The project proposal may be jointly funded by Ignite and other funding agencies/industry. The efforts to obtain joint funding will be at the discretion of the Project Director’s Organisation (PDO) to which Project Director belongs. A written agreement will be made between Ignite and PDO. The PDO will undertake to administer the grant according to the agreement and to provide laboratory space, and other facilities necessary for the project. The equipment purchased from the grant of Ignite for the approved project will remain the property of Ignite and will be returned to Ignite after completion of the project. The grantee is required to submit a final narrative and accounts within one month of the completion of the project. The IPR issues will be sorted according to the policy in vogue.

There is no deadline for submission of the application forms for Unsolicited Projects. The deadline for Solicited Projects will be given in the RFPs [request for proposal] whenever floated.

Syeda Masooma
Writer is business reporter at Pakistan Today

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