News & Announcements

OUR PURPOSE

Making science work for India

For Scientific research to drive economic prosperity it has to be: funded adequately, executed with precision and coupled to market mechanisms that leverage scientific discoveries for social benefit.

Ignite will use funding provided by enlightened Donors to accomplish all three objectives.

By transforming how research is funded and executed, we will amplify the positive impact of the work our scientists do!

WHAT WE DO

Grant funding and Sustainability initiatives

We fund good science! But we actually do much more than that. We lower barriers for young and promising investigators to get funding. We simplify the process for obtaining funding even as we put greater emphasis on the scientific merit of the projects we fund. Efficient project execution is key. We support the investigator through the life cycle of the project to ensure high-quality project execution. Upon project completion, we support the investigator in the translational work needed to make the project outcome ready for practical use and commercial development (when appropriate).

Along with project funding, we help build scientist communities, partner with other private foundations with similar goals, help train young scientists through the Ignite Fellow program and fill gaps in the research ecosystem. These make up our Sustainability Initiatives that sustain the impact of what we do over the long-term...

WHO WE ARE

BOARD MEMBERS

Pankaj Chandra, (Chairperson - IgniteLSF)

Vice Chancellor - Ahmedabad University

Anand Anandkumar

CEO - Bugworks

Jogin Desai

CEO - Eyestem Research

Jyotsna Dhawan

Emeritus Scientist - CCMB, Hyderabad

Shahid Jameel

Fellow - Green Templeton College, University of Oxford

K. Jayshankar

Managing Director - Empowered Learning

Bhairavi Madhusudhan Shibulal

Director - Solis Health

Ramaswamy Subramanian

Director - Bindley Bioscience Center, Purdue University

Swami Subramaniam

CEO - Ignite LSF
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Prof. Shahid Jameel, PhD

Fellow - Green Templeton College, University of Oxford

Dr. Shahid Jameel is presently a Fellow at the University of Oxford. Before this he was Director - Trivedi School of Biosciences at Ashoka University and Chief Executive Officer of The Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance. Prior to this, he was instrumental in setting up and leading the Virology Group at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi for 25 years where his research focused on human viruses.

Dr. Jameel is an elected Fellow of the All Science Academies of India. His research has also been recognized with many awards and grants, notably the BM Birla Science Prize in Biology (1995), the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in Medical Sciences (2000) and an International Senior Research Fellowship of The WellcomeTrust, UK (2001-2006).

He serves as a member and Chair of many national and international bodies and has also been active in science policies and administration for over two decades.

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Anand Anandkumar, PhD

CEO - Bugworks

A PhD in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering with more than 28 years experience spanning Semiconductor, Electronic Design Automation and Bio-pharmaceutical industries, Anand is the Co-founder Bugworks, Cellworks and Escape Velocity Accelerator.

Bugworks, a US and India based company solving Global Antibiotic crisis using novel techniques to design next-generation Antibiotics. Escape Velocity Accelerator is a first of its kind accelerator aimed at promoting entrepreneurship in medical technologies.

His specialties cover the Semiconductor and Bio-Pharma industry, with emphasis in setting up and managing International operations particularly out of India and China, managing Operations, RD groups, WW business development and Sales channels.

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Prof. Pankaj Chandra, PhD (Chair)

Vice Chancellor - Ahmedabad University

Pankaj is currently a Professor, Vice Chancellor, and Chairman of the Board of Governors of Ahmedabad University. Before this he was the Director of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. He is a PhD from the Wharton Business School and is a committed Educationist and innovation expert. He is on the Board of several organizations including the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), which he helped found. BIRAC is the largest public funding agency for Biotech Startups in India. He has authored "Building Universities That Matter: Where Are Indian Institutions Going Wrong?”.

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Dr. Jogin Desai

CEO - Eyestem Research

Jogin is the Founder and CEO of Eyestem Research, a startup working to make stem cell therapeutics an affordable reality for multiple therapeutic indications, starting with dry age related macular degeneration. Eyestem’s first product aims to treat dry age related macular degeneration- a blinding, incurable disease that affects 170 M people worldwide. Jogin brings more than 15 years of experience in growing and nurturing businesses to his newest venture. Prior to Eyestem, he was part of the global leadership team at Quintiles and led their cardiac safety business from 2001 to 2007. More recently, he was the CEO of Cenduit, the world’s largest standalone clinical trial randomization company with offices in Bangalore, Basel, Philadelphia and North Carolina and a joint venture between Quintiles and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

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Prof. Jyotsna Dhawan, PhD

Emeritus Scientist - CCMB, Hyderabad

Dr. Jyotsna Dhawan obtained a PhD in cell biology and biochemistry from Boston University in 1991 and pursued postdoctoral work on stem cells and gene therapy at Stanford University. She joined the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad, India in 1996. After retirement she continues to run an active research program as Emeritus Scientist. From 2009-2014, she helped establish the Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine (InStem) in Bangalore. She has won many honors and awards, as well been an active member of several committees and international panels, including the Human Frontier Science Program.

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K. Jayshankar

Managing Director - Empowered Learning

Jay is the Managing Director of Empowered Learning. A Certified Management Consultant (CMC) with over four decades experience in industry, he specializes in supporting Family businesses achieve greater success, and empowering learning throughout organisations. Further, he has been an Executive Coach for senior business leaders for many years.

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Prof. Ramaswamy Subramanian, PhD

Director - Bindley Bioscience Center, Purdue University

Professor of Biological Sciences Biomedical Engineering; Director, Bindley Bioscience Center at Purdue University.

Rams is known as an outstanding Scientist, Science Administrator, Institution Builder, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Advisor, Teacher, and Enabler. He is a structural biologist with expertise in protein crystallography and electron cryo-microscopy, who earned his Ph.D. in molecular biophysics from the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore. After graduation, he moved to Uppsala, Sweden, for a fellowship at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Ramaswamy stayed at SLU for eight years, serving as a researcher and docent before moving to Iowa City for a faculty position at the University of Iowa. While working as assistant dean and director of core research facilities in Iowa, Ramaswamy helped create a unique structural biology program -- an accomplishment he later duplicated at inSTEM in India. Ramaswamy was the founding Dean at inStem also co-founded and served as the first CEO of the Center for Cellular and Molecular Platforms, Bangalore, a life sciences innovation hub for academia, industry and start-up companies.

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Bhairavi Madhusudhan Shibulal

Director - Solis Health

Bhairavi Madhusudhan Shibulal is the Founder and Director of Solis Health - India’s first suite of empathetic and person-centric healthcare solutions. Solis Health empowers patients, caregivers and families with the tools and information to make informed treatment decisions. Solis Health democratizes access to healthcare and allied health services.
She is also an active healthcare investor and has backed innovative enterprises, both within India and overseas, working in diverse areas ranging from therapeutics to genomic analysis to comprehensive care platforms.
After working in private equity, strategy consulting and retail research firms Bhairavi moved back to India to care for her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. This sensitized her to the gaps that exist in the healthcare system and she founded Solis Health in her mother’s memory.
She is a Trustee of The Shibulal Family Philanthropic Initiatives, which is focused on transforming lives through impactful interventions in education, and a Founding Supporter of The/Nudge Institute, an action institute that partners with governments, markets, and civil society to work towards poverty eradication in India.
Bhairavi is an alumnus of the prestigious dual-degree Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Swami Subramaniam, MD, PhD

CEO - Ignite LSF

Swami is a physician-scientist who has trained both as a clinical pharmacologist (MD, PGI-Chandigarh) and as a molecular neuropharmacologist (PhD - University of Pennsylvania). As a visiting scientist at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda (Maryland, USA) he studied the modulation of excitatory receptors in the brain using electrophysiological techniques. After his return to India Swami has worked in drug discovery, drug development, and business development in the biopharmaceutical industry for over twenty years. He led the filing of the first IND by an Indian company for a novel topoisomerase inhibiting anticancer drug and then led the execution of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies. He was responsible for giving shape and initial impetus to Dr Reddy’s foray into providing pharmaceutical services. In 2002 he led the founding of Aurigene Discovery Technologies, a discovery start-up in Bengaluru. He has worked for Merck and Co., Inc. as a licensing and business development lead for the South and South-East Asia regions in which role he was responsible for managing multiple discovery partnerships between Merck and Indian companies. In his last corporate position he was Head–R&D for Abbott Nutrition in India.

He won a Gurukul Chevening Fellowship in 1999 for leadership excellence at the London School of Economics. He has also trained in executive programs at Stanford GSB, IIM Ahmedabad and Indian School of Business.

Swami has authored two books - “Mastering Sleep” and “Healing Hands”.

SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD

T.S. Balganesh

President, Gangagen Biotechnologies Pvt Ltd.

Richard Henderson

Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge

Ajay Kohli

Research Director, International Rice Research Institute, Manila

Satyajit Mayor

Distinguished Professor, NCBS-TIFR, Bengaluru

K. K. Narayanan

Founder-Director Sthayika Seeds Private Limited

Soumya Swaminathan

Chairperson, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF)

Venkatesan Thirumalai

Director, Center for Quantum Research and Technology, University of Oklahoma

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Dr. T.S. Balganesh

Dr. T.S. Balganesh is trained as a Medical Microbiologist from Jawaharlal Institute Post-Graducate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry and Ph.D from University of Calcutta. He has also awarded an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Uppsala, Sweden, in 2009.

Possessing more than three decades of experience in antimicrobial drug discovery, Dr Balganesh served as Head of Research at AstraZeneca’s antibacterial drug discovery unit in Bangalore before rising to become the Managing Director and member of the board of AstraZeneca India Pvt. Ltd. Currently, he is holding the position of President and a Director on the board of GangaGen Biotechnologies Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore. He also serves as an advisory member of several national and international grant committees.

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Dr. Richard Henderson

Dr. Richard Henderson, is a scientist at the MRC laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge, England. He joined MRC in 1973 and was the Director of the center from 1996-2006. He is a pioneer who was involved in developing high resolution electron cryo-microscopy for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2018. He has many awards and honors to his credit. He has also been closely associated with India and has helped develop Structural Biology in India.

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Dr. Ajay Kohli

Dr. Ajay Kohli brings 33 years of experience in biological research and leadership. Most of his experience is in rice molecular biology and biochemistry but he has also handled Azospirillum, mung bean, Jatropha, and human DNA. Over the last few years, he held sequential leadership positions at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) as Senior Scientist, Head of Department, Platform Leader, and now Deputy Director General for Research and Innovation. Ajay has held positions in India, Philippines, UK, and USA, with short stints in Germany, Italy, Taiwan, and Australia. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Science (NAAS) India. Ajay is interested in rice-based food system solutions to food and nutrition security, climate change and social equity and is passionate about linking basic upstream science to downstream products for the One-Health concept encompassing society, economy, and environment.

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Dr. Soumya Swaminathan

A globally recognized physician-scientist in the area of tuberculosis and HIV, Dr Swaminathan brings with her 30 years of experience in research, clinical care, policy and translation of research into impactful programmes. She was most recently Chief Scientist and before that, Deputy Director-General for Programmes at the World Health Organization. Prior to that, Dr Swaminathan was Secretary to the Government of India for Health Research and Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (2015 to 2017). In these positions, she brought science and evidence into health policy-making, building research capacity, and forging international partnerships in health sciences.

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Dr. Venkatesan Thirumalai

Dr. Venkatesan is a Physicist. He got his PhD working in Bell Labs and is an academic and entrepreneur. Besides Bell Labs and Bellcore as scientist/ manager, he was a Professor/ Director at Rutgers, Maryland and NUS. He is the inventor of the pulsed laser deposition (PLD) process, a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), winner of the Bellcore Award of excellence, George E Pake Prize of the APS. Besides he has published over 780 papers and has 32 patents. He is the founder and chairman of Neocera (since 1989) and is also the co-founder of Blue Wave Semiconductors, Cellivate and Breathonix. He has not forgotten his roots and he and his family are involved in a number of social activities in India.

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Dr. Satyajit Mayor

Dr. Satyajit Mayor is one of the most celebrated biological scientists in India today. He is former Director of the National Center for Biological Sciences. He is a fellow of many academies and societies including a Fellow of the American National Academy of Sciences. He is one of the co-founder of Center for Cellular and Molecular Platforms the first innovation acceleration platform in India. He has been involved in many activities to promote science and scientists in India, including being the founder and active board member of India Bioscience.

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Dr. K. K. Narayanan

KK is an academician turned entrepreneur, who is trained as a plant breeder and molecular biologist. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India, and later on went on to do a post-doctoral stint at the Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University under a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship.

Returning to India, he started his career as a scientist at the SPIC Science Foundation, Chennai before moving on to lead the Crop Transformation and Functional Genomics programme at the Monsanto Research Centre at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. In 2002, he co-founded Metahelix Life Sciences, a Bangalore-based Agbiotech Company that is focused on developing technologies for crop improvement. He was its Managing Director, till it was acquired by Rallis India Limited, a TATA group Company in 2016, by when it was one of the leading Ag-tech companies in the country. He later co-founded and Chaired the Board of Kottaram Agro-Foods, a food technology enterprise which makes packaged food products under the brand name SOULFULL using traditional Indian grains like Ragi. This Company was also recently acquired by TATA Consumer Products Limited.

Dr. K. K. Narayanan has been a member of several committees and advisory bodies including several Task Forces and Working Groups of the DBT, Government of India. He is a member of the “Vision Group” on Biotechnology set up by the State Government of Karnataka. He has been a member of the Executive Council of the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE), an association of the Indian Biotechnology Industry, and is one of its past-Presidents.

Dr. K. K. Narayanan is involved with several Government initiatives that promote entrepreneurship and mentors several start-up companies. He is also on Board of several companies engaged in the use of modern technologies for crop and animal improvement. In addition, he is also involved with social and community development projects that leverage agricultural technologies to improve rural incomes and livelihood security.

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Swami Subramaniam, MD, PhD

CEO - Ignite LSF

Swami is a physician-scientist who has trained both as a clinical pharmacologist (MD, PGI-Chandigarh) and as a molecular neuropharmacologist (PhD - University of Pennsylvania). As a visiting scientist at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda (Maryland, USA) he studied the modulation of excitatory receptors in the brain using electrophysiological techniques. After his return to India Swami has worked in drug discovery, drug development, and business development in the biopharmaceutical industry for over twenty years. He led the filing of the first IND by an Indian company for a novel topoisomerase inhibiting anticancer drug and then led the execution of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies. He was responsible for giving shape and initial impetus to Dr Reddy’s foray into providing pharmaceutical services. In 2002 he led the founding of Aurigene Discovery Technologies, a discovery start-up in Bengaluru. He has worked for Merck and Co., Inc. as a licensing and business development lead for the South and South-East Asia regions in which role he was responsible for managing multiple discovery partnerships between Merck and Indian companies. In his last corporate position he was Head–R&D for Abbott Nutrition in India.

He won a Gurukul Chevening Fellowship in 1999 for leadership excellence at the London School of Economics. He has also trained in executive programs at Stanford GSB, IIM Ahmedabad and Indian School of Business.

Swami has authored two books - “Mastering Sleep” and “Healing Hands”.

Over the years his tennis game has become worse (he plays with forgiving friends!) although (he thinks) his writing has improved (still to be proven based on the tepid sales of the two books he has written).

Despite this he is not discouraged and is 'cruising' to releasing his third book (co-authored) - Mission: Possible - Accelerating India's Journey Toward Universal Health Coverage

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Ramona Parsani

Vice President - Alliances

Ramona has a plethora of experience in the corporate world and the social sector. Her roles at NGOs such as Ekansh Trust, that advocates for Equal access for People with Disabilities, and at Katalyst, an organization that provides mentorship for women in professional programs, had earned her a place as the external member of the POSH committee for RiseSmart in Pune.

She has developed e-Com Business Verticals in Education and Fashion for Vishwakarma Group. Prior to this, as the Digital Transformation Specialist, also for Vishwakarma Group, she has played a pivotal role to transition legacy business to become future ready through digitalization. She has built internal digital practice and capabilities, client marketing strategies and creative execution to reach consumers, locally and globally, in the cluttered digital, mobile, and social arena.

It's not mountains over beaches for her, it's both. She is on Instagram for over-the-top dog, racoon and cat personalities, in that order. Ramona is an avid reader and is a co-founder of a Book Club in Pune that has been running for the last 18 years and is a postgraduate from S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai.

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Sanchari Banerjee

Program Manager/Project Coordinator

Sanchari Banerjee is a Postdoc at the Technical University of Denmark, Denmark. Her areas of research include structural and functional studies on proteins with a focus on carbohydrate active enzymes. She has a background in Structural Biology with a PhD from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India and postdoctoral experiences from Institute of Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine, Bangalore, India and University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She has actively volunteered with non-profit organizations like STEMPeers, EuroSTEMPeers and Indian Postdoc Fellow association (PDFA-NCBS-InSTEM). She has been a core organizer for key national/international conferences as part of these organizations.

She is passionate about teaching, mentoring, and empowerment. In her leisure time, she loves to bake with her daughter and explore new food and places with her family.

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Andrea Antony

Intern

Andrea is a wonderful mix of scientific prowess and artistic passion. She holds a Master’s in Nanobiotechnology and secured the 2nd rank at University for her Bachelor’s degree. Beyond academics her interests, like rich tapestry, include films, music, gastronomy, and the expressive arts of both fine art and portrait sketching.

With contagious cheerfulness, she approaches life with a perpetual smile. Her commitment to quality work is mirrored in both her professional endeavors and personal expressions.

As she continues on this fascinating journey in life, she looks forward to connecting with like-minded individuals, exchanging ideas, and making meaningful contributions to the world.

OUR TEAM

Swami Subramaniam

CEO

Ramona Parsani

Vice President - Alliances

Sanchari Banerjee

Program Manager/Project Coordinator

Andrea Antony

Intern

NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Indian Institute of Science and Ignite Life Science Foundation announce strategic collaboration with Indegene to advance scientific discoveries in India

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Jun 12th, 2024

Explore our latest annual report, highlighting our significant achievements and key initiatives over the past year.

Annual Report 2024
Jun 6th, 2024

The results are out for our grant for Eklavya-Ignite travel grant between July 2024 & September 2024.

Congratulations to:


  1. Rabi Sankar Pal: Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Berhampur, Odisha
  2. Mayuresh Gangal: Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore
  3. Arjun Pal: The University of Burdwan
  4. Jayashree Mazumdar: IISC Bengaluru
May 14th, 2024

Covishield’s ‘rare’ side-effects: In election season, dangers of politicising the vaccine

The bottom line is that these ‘new’ disclosures by AstraZeneca are neither new nor worth worrying over. We should stay focused on improving public health everywhere and for everyone. Vaccines will remain central to those efforts

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May 5th, 2024

Ignite Fast Grant Awards in Agriculture Science

Second Open Call (2024) for proposals



Submissions due by 31st May 2024

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Apr 15th, 2024

THE EKALAVYA-IGNITE TRAVEL GRANT APPLICATION

The application window for funding for travel to international meetings in JULY to SEP 2024 is now OPEN. Applications for this travel window will be solicited between APRIL 1 and APRIL 20, 2024.

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Apr 5th, 2024

The results are out for our grant for travel between April 2024 & June 2024.

Congratulations to:


  1. Bhavna Pydah, National Centre for Cell Science, Pune
  2. Soumyajit Dutta, IISER Pune
  3. Sandhya Singh, CSIR - Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow
  4. Divya Pidishetty, L. V Prasad Eye Institute
Feb 7th, 2024

Congratulations to our Research Grantees in the area of Antimicrobial Resistance - ACORN AMR - (Round 2).


  1. Dr. Raju Mukherjee: IISER Tirupati
  2. Dr. Mahavir Singh: IISc Bengaluru
  3. Dr. Mukesh Pasupuleti: CSIR CDRI Lucknow
Feb 7th, 2024

Announcing Ignite Acorn - AMR fast grants 2023 (Round 2)

"mighty oaks from little acorns grow"

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Nov 29th, 2023

The next set of Eklavya - Ignite travel grantees are:

  1. Maryam Khursheed, IIT Delhi
  2. Sreya Das, Indian Institute of Science Education & Research, Kolkata
  3. Dincy Mariyam, Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bengaluru
  4. Safirul Islam, Presidency University, Kolkata
  5. Rahul, P. V., IISER, Bhopal
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Nov 1st, 2023

Kotak Mahindra Capital Joins Ignite Life Science Foundation In AMR Research

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June 27, 2023

Dr. K Anji Reddy CANDO-ETR Grants Open Call

India has tremendous potential for innovation in healthcare products. This is yet to be fully realized because of the lack of strong coupling mechanisms that match pull...

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May 18, 2023

The next set of Ekalavya - Ignite travel awardees are:

  1. Shivangi Verma, NCBS
  2. Shivani Yadav, IISER Pune
  3. Roshmi Biswas, Univ of Burdwan
  4. Nilam Malankar, IISER Pune
Read More
Apr 24, 2023

Acorn-AMR Grantees announced

Two groups have been awarded the ACORN-AMR grant. The grantees in the first group are Prof. Amit Singh at the Indian Institute of Science and Prof. Harinath Chakrapani at IISER, Pune.

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Mar 16, 2023

Ignite Life Science Foundation receives support from Nadir Godrej and Mahyco to fund sustainable agriculture research.

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Mar 08, 2023

Dr Soumya Swaminathan joins Ignite Life Science Foundation as Scientific Advisor

A globally recognized physician-scientist in the area of tuberculosis and HIV

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Jan 27, 2023

Dr. Ajay Kohli, Research Director at International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Manila, Philippines joins the Scientific Advisory Board of Ignite Life Science Foundation

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May 17, 2023

Announcing Ignite Acorn-AMR fast grants 2023

“mighty oaks from little acorns grow”

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Jan 15, 2023

Eklavya education foundation and Ignite life science foundation announce international travel grants for young Indian scientists

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Oct 28, 2022

Announcing the 3 winners of our AgriScience Fast Grants: Anindita Seal, Kutubuddin Molla , Pallavolu Reddy,

Oct 25, 2022

First micro-grant announced under the Academic Research Cooperative mechanism

The Academic Research Cooperative is a group of scientists working in a common theme area, e.g. redox biology.

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Aug 4, 2022

In conversation with Ignite event: winners of prizes for the best questions.

The event got good traction with 481 registrants from diverse backgrounds and geographies.

Read More
Mar 03, 2022

Dr. T. S. Balganesh joins Ignite as Scientific Advisor

We are pleased to announce that Dr T S Balganesh is joining Ignite as Scientific Advisor. Dr Balganesh is an experienced drug discovery ...

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Dec 31, 2021
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Acorn-AMR Grantees announced

“Two groups have been awarded the ACORN-AMR grant. The grantees in the first group are Prof. Amit Singh at the Indian Institute of Science and Prof. Harinath Chakrapani at IISER, Pune. The grantees in the second group are Prof. Vivevekanandan Perumal, Prof. Dalip Singh Mehta, and Dr. Arijit Pal, from at IIT Delhi and Prof. Anuradha Chowdhary at V P Chest Institute, Delhi. We wish them the very best in the execution of these projects that have the potential to impact the problem of AMR.”.

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Dr Soumya Swaminathan joins Ignite Life Science Foundation as Scientific Advisor

A globally recognized physician-scientist in the area of tuberculosis and HIV, Dr Swaminathan brings with her 30 years of experience in research, clinical care, policy and translation of research into impactful programmes. She was most recently Chief Scientist and before that, Deputy Director-General for Programmes at the World Health Organization. Prior to that, Dr Swaminathan was Secretary to the Government of India for Health Research and Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (2015 to 2017). In these positions, she brought science and evidence into health policy-making, building research capacity, and forging international partnerships in health sciences.

Welcoming her to Ignite, Dr Shahid Jameel, Scientific Advisor and Founding Member, said: "Soumya is a globally recognised research leader, who will add value to Ignite's scientific advisory board. We will count on her technical expertise and understanding of the health policy and funding networks to promote Ignite's mission of improving the impact of Indian life sciences research. I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with her again.

Dr Soumya Swaminathan said - "I am delighted to join the eminent group of advisors at Ignite and look forward to working with them to drive what I believe is a critical agenda for India - to support the Indian life sciences community to achieve excellence."

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Announcing Ignite Acorn-AMR fast grants 2023

“mighty oaks from little acorns grow”

Planting the seeds of breakthrough solutions for antimicrobial resistance (AMR). LAST DATE FOR SUBMISSION: 15 February 2023

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First micro-grant announced under the Academic Research Cooperative mechanism

The Academic Research Cooperative is a group of scientists working in a common theme area, e.g. redox biology. By bringing together scientists in disparate areas linked by a shared theme we hope to encourage ideation at the boundaries leading to new questions and experiments. We are pleased to announce our first micro-grant under this scheme to Amit Singh (IISc) and Harinath Chakrapani (IISER, Pune). We wish them the very best.

Ignite announces Call for Proposals in the area of Agriculture Science. Last date for submission is August 20.

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In conversation with Ignite event: winners of prizes for the best questions.

The event got good traction with 481 registrants from diverse backgrounds and geographies. The recording of the event can be accessed here: https://youtu.be/WvEaIMjp0Bs

We had announced prizes for the two best questions. We were swamped with many high quality submissions and it is impossible to do justice to them. We have chosen Dr Rajashri Kadam of NCBS and Ms Aditi Yadav of St Xaviers Mumbai as the first and second prize winners. Congratulations to them and thank you to everyone who participated and contributed.

Our next event is in April. We hope to see you there.

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Dr. T. S. Balganesh joins Ignite as Scientific Advisor

We are pleased to announce that Dr T S Balganesh is joining Ignite as Scientific Advisor. Dr Balganesh is an experienced drug discovery scientist and has led pharmaceutical R&D and public sector initiatives in Open Source Drug Discovery. We are very happy that he agreed to join us to help us in our mission to promote life science research in India. He is a valuable addition to an already stellar team of advisors. We welcome him on board.

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Kotak Mahindra Capital Joins Ignite Life Science Foundation In AMR Research

Under its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, Kotak Mahindra Capital Company today announced its association with Ignite Life Science Foundation (ILSF) for supporting research in the area of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). The Bengaluru-based not-for-profit foundation, ILSF aims to leverage scientific discoveries for social good, as conveyed in the statement.

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Anyone can apply but, if all else is equal, preference will be given to those who (1) are from smaller institutes/universities. (2) are giving platform presentations (3) who are willing to accept part funding or funding less than INR 1 L (4) who are receiving a waiver/subsidy from the organizers for the registration fee amount.

This is a travel grant provided to doctoral students and postdoctoral trainees in the life science in non-profit Indian academic and research institutions. This grant is available throughout the year until the funds available are exhausted. The grant money will be disbursed against actual expenses incurred. Notification of acceptance of presentation from the meeting organizers must be submitted. Preference will be given to attendance in small and selective meetings (e.g. Gordon Conference/Keystone/EMBO etc.). AWARDEES will be contacted individually and award announcements will also be made on twitter (@ignitelsf) and on our website: ignitelsf.in

https://lnkd.in/dcKJkQ83

FOR SCIENTISTS

We work closely with the science community to identify investigators and projects of interest. Through a competitive mechanism that involves external reviewers, we offer selected investigators a reliable source of funding. We prefer projects that involve multiple scientists and institutions working collaboratively in a multidisciplinary fashion. We work closely with investigators through our project advisory board to offer mentoring and support through the life cycle of the project. We support translational work that de-risks an idea and prepares it for investors to take part in its further development.

Even if we do not have an Open Call that matches your interests do check out our Current Areas of Interest and if your proposal fits in a listed Area of Interest, please feel free to write to us to explore the possibility of applying for a Fast Grant.

APPLY FOR GRANTS

Open Calls for new grant applications will be covered here.

We are broadly interested in Life Sciences and have recently funded projects in the areas of Pandemic Preparedness, Antimicrobial Resistance, Agriscience and Neurodegeneration.

GENERAL AWARD CONDITIONS

Ignite Fast Grant Awards in Agriculture Science

Second Open Call (2024) for proposals

Submissions due by 31st May 2024

DETAILS OF AWARDS

mRNA Vaccine Technology Development

Nitrogen Fixation

Antimicrobial Resistance

Neurodegeneration

Student Travel Grants

SOME OF OUR DONORS

Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw:

Executive Director, Biocon

Nadir Godrej:

Chairman & MD, Godrej Industries

The Barwale Family:

Mahyco

G. V Prasad & Satish Reddy:

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories

Smita Crishna-Godrej:

The Pirojsha Godrej Foundation

Sunil Handa:

Eklavya Education Trust

Acuite Ratings Research

Kotak Mahindra Capital Company Ltd.

Shrikumar Suryanarayanan:

Chairman & MD

Crown Worldwide Group

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How you can help fund our work

Ignite Life Science Foundation uses funding provided by our Donors to fund scientific research at the discovery stage. It is a historical fact that innovation in scientific research drives economic prosperity. We cannot become an economic power without a strong innovation economy built on excellence in science.

TESTIMONIALS

Amit Singh,
IISc Bengaluru

"Ignite’s approach to focus on local problems (e.g., AMR, nutrition) and coming up with innovative solutions to support science is quite exciting. The format of the grant application is also straightforward and to the point..."

Anirban Banerjee,
IIT Bombay

"I have definitely benefited from my association with Ignite and have said so in many forums. The freedom IgniteLSF provides to explore something unorthodox is key..."

Raghavan Varadarajan,
IISc Bengaluru

"Very experienced, committed, and competent scientific leadership. Rapid review and decision, flexible funding..."

Suraj Jagtap,
IISc Bengaluru

"I met wonderful and highly motivated PhD students and post-doctoral researchers from all over the world. I got a great opportunity to discuss my work with professors and learn from them..."

Anupama Sathyamurthy,
IISc Bengaluru

“Ignite LSF have developed and structured themselves in a way that allows them to use their investments to support goal- oriented mission in ways the government can't..."

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B. Anand, IIT – Guwahati

"Ignite is a new experiment – funded by donors and run by practising scientists – in the funding ecosystem in India. This is a much-needed impetus for scientists who are looking for generous, less bureaucratic, and visionary funding model to support their cutting-edge research. As a grantee of Ignite, I must say that our experience of working with Ignite is truly fantastic. Funds were released on time – something that I have never experienced with public funded model – and we received constructive feedback on our work throughout the life cycle of the grant. The scientific advisory board at Ignite is comprised of exemplary scientists who have the passion and will to promote excellent science in the country. I cherish the intense review meetings that many times opened new avenues for our scientific exploration. It is my earnest hope that Ignite as an idea, should take deep root, grow and spread its wing across all facets of life sciences for nurturing top-rated science in the country. I offer my best wishes for Ignite as they march ahead in making science work for India."

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Amit Singh, Indian Institute of Science (IISc)

"Ignite’s approach to focus on local problems (e.g., AMR, nutrition) and coming up with innovative solutions to support science is quite exciting. The format of the grant application is also straightforward and to the point. The review process is very professional, and the feedback provided is stimulating and done to improve the overall quality of the science. Coupled with the fast release of funds within a week and the flexible nature of funding makes it different from conventional funding agencies."

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Anirban Banerjee, IIT Bombay

"I have definitely benefited from my association with Ignite and have said so in many forums. The freedom IgniteLSF provides to explore something unorthodox is key. Typically, we are restricted by fears of failure and its long-term implications. IgniteLSF freed me from those thoughts and allowed me to pursue something that I have dreamt off. The periodic meetings have been an eye opener and a boon due to the challenges it posed and criticism/appreciation I received. The timely disbursement of funds without the need for filling up unnecessary documents is good. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with IgniteLSF. I just wish the project duration and quantum of funding was a little higher."

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Raghavan Varadarajan, IISc Bengaluru

"Very experienced, committed, and competent scientific leadership. Rapid review and decision, flexible funding. Once grantis initiated, helpful oversight to overcome hurdles and most importantly timely release of sanctioned funds."

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Suraj Jagtap, IISc Bengaluru

"I met wonderful and highly motivated PhD students and post-doctoral researchers from all over the world. I got a great opportunity to discuss my work with professors and learn from them. This meeting was an excellent platform for me to develop networks with the community, which will definitely help me build my academic career."

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Anupama Sathyamurthy, IISc Bangalore

“Ignite LSF have developed and structured themselves in a way that allows them to use their investments to support goal-oriented mission in ways the government can't. For example, foundations like Ignite have a clear mission and have the expertise to identify research that is worth being invested in. This is especially important given that currently there are several talented individuals in India whose research and innovations have gone unrecognized in India but have been able to secure huge investments from private foundations outside India. These are lost opportunities for Indian companies who have the means to invest and capitalize on homegrown talent but do not know where to invest in or whom to invest in”.