The initiative aims to support startups engaged in deep science to create innovations that can have a positive societal impact.
Honeywell Hometown Solutions India Foundation (HHSIF), the philanthropic arm of Honeywell, in partnership with Indian Institute of Science’s (IISc) Society for Innovation and Development (SID) will continue to support deep-science startups to encourage entrepreneurship and scientific innovations to support society. The objective of the initiative is to bridge the gap that startups face between incubation and early seed investments.
This initiative is a part of Honeywell’s Start Up Support Program, which has been running for the past few years. The initiative also helps to increase collaboration between industry and technology-based start-ups in furthering the innovations for successful outcomes. The startups supported through the program range from highly advanced healthcare start-ups like Azooka Labs, HealthSeq Precision Medicine, Equine Biotech, Protein Design, Siamaf Healthcare, Mimyk Medical Simulations, PathShodh Healthcare, and Theranautilus, to those in the sustainability space such as Openwater.in.
Close to 30 startups have already been funded by Honeywell’s CSR arm HHSIF in the past years. Most of these startups are led by either women or teams that are from the underprivileged communities. These startups are focused on finding solutions in the fields of biotechnology, healthcare, and nanotechnology that have the potential to offer advanced scientific solutions to some of the pressing needs in healthcare and environment.
“Deep Science startups are problem-oriented and map to at least one of the sustainable development goals. Support for such ventures is inadequate and one of the reasons is the lack of understanding of the underlying science and technology that tends to be diverse and complex. Honeywell and HHSIF have recognized the need to support such startups and we are delighted with their continuing financial support. SID and HHSIF will work together to provide startups with the necessary support and resources to thrive. HHSIF will provide seed capital, while SID will provide infrastructure and technical support. This year, Honeywell’s CSR grant has helped nine startups and three EIRs in diverse areas such as energy, water, medtech, and packaging materials, last year. MagHeals, IndiaSpeaks Research Labs, Dfine Bio-Innovations, HEM Dimensions are a few of the startups that will be funded this year,” said Prof. B. Gurumoorthy, Chief Executive at SID.
Honeywell aims to increasingly involve experts from the company in mentoring the startups, building their capacities, and helping them scale up.
“Deep science startups are the engine of innovation, and they are critical to shaping the future. By supporting these startups, we are able to tap into the boundless potential of research ecosystem and support development of solutions through premier research institutes like IISc in our country. By funding these startups, we are fostering the next generation of game-changing technologies that will address some of the world’s most pressing health and environmental challenges. Through this, we hope to give initial support to the deserving innovators who have the potential to make a lasting impact on the society,” Pooja Thakran, Director, HHSIF, said.
Honeywell partnered with IISc-SID in 2019 to support the science and technology startups and Entrepreneurship-in-Residence (EIR) programs with specific support to entrepreneurs who have the potential to offer solutions that can significantly address societal issues and challenges in healthcare and environment. Since 2019, Honeywell has supported in incubating close to 30 startups.
The following are the startups supported by Honeywell and incubated at IISc-SID this year:
1. MagHeals Pvt Ltd
Founder: Shilpee Jain and Rajesh Katoch
MagHeals Pvt Ltd is developing an innovative, efficient and affordable therapy to significantly enhance the experience of people battling with cancer during and after treatment. They use nanotechnology to target and selectively kill cancerous cells with localized heat energy causing minimal side effects or functionality loss. This therapy can be used as a stand-alone or as an adjuvant to radiation and chemotherapy and can enhance their efficiency by sensitizing the cancerous cells to chemo and radiation therapy. As an affordable treatment option, it will be easily accessible and benefit all sections of the society.
2. IndiaSpeaks Research Labs
Founders: Dr. Madhavaraj, Mr. Sasidharan, Dr. Ganesh, Prof. N. Viswanadham, Lt. Col. Saurabh Sharma
IndiaSpeaks Research Labs is a team of passionate researchers and engineers set out to make businesses accessible to common man through Voice Tech. They develop language technology tools for Indian languages enabling businesses to reach out to their customers in local languages. Since Indian languages are morphologically different from that of English, special models need be designed to cater to these specific problems of agglutination and inflexion. Their core products use proprietary voice recognition, text-to-speech and natural language processing tools. The mission of IndiaSpeaks is to break the language barrier in the internet space and provide easy accessibility of services for millions of Indian users. Their vision is to provide Language-as-a-service (LaaS) and become a successful leader in voice-first interaction by creating value to our customers and end users.
3. Dfine Bio-innovations Pvt Ltd
Founders: Divya Acharya, Afser Shariff, Lokesh Murthy KM, Prathap M
Dfine Bio-innovations Pvt Ltd, is an aspiring MedTech Start-up focused in the IVD Sector and are based out of Bangalore. Founded during December of 2020, they belief that they could deliver affordable, leading edge diagnostic solutions to the smaller clinical labs globally, manufactured locally. They foresee themselves as a significant player in the highly evolving healthcare industry. As a first product they have designed a coagulation device that would help the clinicians understand the patient bleeding and thrombotic tendencies. The team has completed the POC stage of the product and successfully demonstrated the MVP. Currently they are actively prototyping the instrument and soon would deploy units in certified labs for product validation and feedback.
4. Reti Ecotech
Founders: Indrayani Kadu and Jahnavi Rao
Textile waste is a huge and often ignored problem that the world is facing today. A whopping 90 million tonnes of textile waste is generated every year around the world, with most of it ending up either in landfills or getting incinerated. Reti wants to change this by converting textile waste into construction materials.
The idea is to extend the life of textiles much beyond their conventional use. Compared with apparel (2–3 years), construction materials are used for much longer (7–10 years), keeping the textiles in the loop for a longer time. Moreover, textiles provide unique functionalities—their textile panels are extremely lightweight, aesthetically appealing, and have great insulation properties. The startup focuses on two main applications: compressed textile panels to build indoor partition walls and porous textile panels for acoustic insulation. Currently, they are in the prototyping stage, and are conducting pilots to test their prototypes
5. 14Si Silcon Solutions Pvt Ltd.
Founders: Ashutosh Bhabhe, Vipin Hatmode
Contamination Control is a critical need in the semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem enabling higher yields and performance reliability of semiconductor devices. As unknown, untraced and/or uncharacterized contamination percolates through this ecosystem from the raw material to end use, the financial and societal costs escalate exponentially.
14Si Silcon Solutions uses an “Applications Engineering as a Service” based deep tech startup, provides a niche, end-to-end services platform to identify, trace, and mitigate contamination at the source. Here, they leverage their extensive background in the 4M’s (Materials, Metrology, Manufacturing, & Methodology) of contamination control to improve products from and processes at component, chemical, and tool suppliers, to further enable semiconductor device manufacturers.
6. Startup: Ikshana Medical
Founders: Komal Shah and Dr. Manish Arora
This startup works in healthcare towards the design and development of an integrated system for adaptive stimulation treatment of urinary incontinence in women.
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary flow of urine, affects 1 in every 3 women above the age of 30 globally and is widely treated with electrical stimulation. The treatment is long-term in nature and requires patients to make time for in-clinic procedures regularly for months before they can see an improvement in their medical condition. Ikshana is an aspiring start-up that is developing a novel “adaptive stimulation treatment” solution, specially designed for portable, home-based self-administration. “We aim to empower millions of women by making it easy for them to take control of their pelvic health anytime, anywhere. Version 2.3 of the functional prototype is ready. Version 3.1 is now being developed in compliance with medical standards.”
The startup is a winner of the International W2W Competition, by IEEE Women in Engineering, USA organized June 2022.
7. Startup: Open MedLabs
Founders: Deval Karia, Dr. Manish Arora, Neha Bhatia
More than 2,30,000 children are suffering from T1DM in India. A meagre 1% of these are estimated to be on insulin pump therapy. A significant number of patients with T2DM are also expected to utilize insulin pump therapy. Adoption of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) is sparse, particularly in resource constrained settings like India, despite overwhelming evidence in support. Institutional factors aside, costs of such a device are often found to be a withholding factor to widespread adoption. The insulin pump market in India is valued at 80 Cr. INR (2018), with a CAGR of 9%.
The startup is developing an affordable, open loop insulin pump for type-1 diabetic patients in resource constrained settings. The device is at the prototype stage with clinically accurate delivery accuracy established and an upcoming animal study. Efforts are underway to advance the TRL level and reduce the device size to be comparable to competitors.
8. Nature Wrks Technologies
Founders: Lakshminath Kundanati, Ankur Kulkarni
Naturewrks is a Bangalore-based deep tech startup working on developing biodegradable packaging materials to reduce plastic pollution. They aim to replace or substitute some of the plastic foam-based packaging with our products. Using a circular economy approach, their process converts cellulose-based waste materials like wood waste and agricultural waste into value-added biocomposites. Their biocomposites have mechanical performance comparable to that of EPS foam (Thermocol) and can be disposed of in the garden soil to degrade in a couple of months- time.
9. HEM Dimensions Private Limited
Founders: Hemang K. Jayant, Dr. Manish Arora
HEM Dimensions is capable of printing mechanical structures and functional electronic devices using metal and polymer. They are focused on the design and development of desktop-based hybrid metal/polymer additive manufacturing system. The startup’s solution is the direct printing of functional electronic devices using a novel metal/ polymer printer. Designed for OEMs (For developing an electronic prototype/product), startups/Entrepreneurs (For developing an electronic prototype/product) and academic institutions, the system provides a simple manufacturing process of functional electronic device by just one click using hybrid metal/polymer printer. It also allows customization in the design of prototype/product. The hybrid metal/polymer system is the first printer in world to print functional electronic devices using metal and polymer (PLA/ABS). designed and developed at UTSAAH Lab, CPDM, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, the system is 50% times faster than current prototyping process, thus increases productivity. It eliminates the use of Chemical for PCB manufacturing.