Staff Reporter

Innovative ideas from entrepreneurs and scientists will eventually lead to the business plan design.

KOCHI: The Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) here is ready to help entrepreneurs to commercialise their business ideas using the research and development back-up of the organisation.

The Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) has selected CIFT as one among the five institutes in the country that will offer a business planning and development (BPD) unit.

Other institutes providing the facility include Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IRAI), New Delhi; Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Izzatnagar; National Institute of Research on Jute and Allied Fibres Technology, Kolkata; and Central Institute for Research on Cotton Technology, Mumbai.

Focus on farm sector

CIFT will cater to the needs of 22 member institutes under the South zone.

“BPD unit is essentially a business incubation drive designed for agricultural sector to promote “agripreneurs” with the help of the vast research and development facilities and knowledge available with ICAR,” said B. Meenakumari, Director, CIFT. She said that the objective of the unit set up here is to provide pilot level production facilities in fisheries to entrepreneurs for test marketing.

The unit will impart training for creating prospective entrepreneurs and value added manpower.

Dr. Meenakumari said that the BPD will identify promising technologies through market potential analysis and give feedback to the institutes for appropriate scaling-up, change of product-mix, and possible refinement of select technologies based on entrepreneur and end-user demands.

Business project reports will be prepared with details of technology, infrastructure, marketability and financial aspects in close association with the technology creators.

Sensitisation of potential entrepreneurs will be done through awareness programmes.

The innovative ideas from the entrepreneurs and scientists will eventually lead to the business plan design.

The BPD will assist in test marketing, market feedback analysis and technology refinement.

Support services

Support will be provided through liaison for licensing procedures/handling IPR issues, and setting up of independent enterprises until the incubate graduation.

Some of the services to be offered by CIFT under the project include air-conditioned office suites within the institute’s premises for at least 10 entrepreneurs in the first phase and a pilot level product formulation facility for fish-based products with nine state-of-the-art production lines. It will also extend on-site continuous technical guidance besides providing access to modern laboratory facilities on priority basis for product testing and quality control.