₹5.64 cr. grant for UoH-ARCI joint project

Department of Science and Technology (DST)‘s Technology Development Transfer Division will be funding the collaborative project ‘Development and pilot-scale production of a novel nano fertilizer (nDAP) and a nano biopesticide (Harpin loaded Chitosan)‘ under the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Programme with a research grant of ₹5.64 crore. 

Researchers of University of Hyderabad (U0H)‘s department of Plant Sciences led by Appa Rao Podile and Rahul Kumar had developed the two novel nano-agri-inputs — a biopesticide (harpin-loaded chitosan nanoparticles H-CSNPs) and smart nano diammonium phosphate (nDAP) fertilizer formulations — to improve agronomic efficiency of the plant health and crop yields, respectively.

The UoH team is collaborating with International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI)‘s Tata Narasinga Rao and Sreedhara Sudhakara Sarma to provide industry-viable phyto-nanotechnology solutions to preserve soil and plant health and also increase crop production.

The collaborating groups have demonstrated the superior agronomic efficiency of both Nano Agri Inputs or NAIs at the lab level experiments. Both harpin-loaded chitosan nanoparticles H-CSNPsand nDAP have the potential to be the game-changers in agriculture with their superior agronomic properties but large-scale production of these materials still need to be developed.

Sri BioAesthetics Pvt. Ltd. is the industry partner and has contributed 10% of the project cost for the proposed research, in addition to the infrastructural support and industrial expertise, said a press release.

MoU signed

Transcell Oncologics, a startup at ASPIRE-TBI, UoH, and ViNS Bioproducts have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to adopt ‘NeuroSAFE’ for undertaking potency testing of anti-venoms for next-generation cruelty-free operations.

Due to the complex biological nature of venoms, the potency of both venoms and anti-venoms is traditionally tested in small animals, as recommended by WHO. NeuroSAFE is a cruelty free workstation solution that combines human induced ‘pluripotent stem cell technology’ and modern robotic process automation as a dependable resolution to the anti-venom industry to go cruelty free in their practice.

VINS Bioproducts, a city-based biotech company, manufactures equine based Immunoglobulins to treat snake bites, dog bites, scorpion bites, diphtheria, tetanus, and gas gangrene, and, supplying its products to over 90 countries, has adopted NeuroSAFE in its workflow.

“We envisage NeuroSAFE to be a disruptive testing strategy delivering accurate digital scores and reduces cruelty to animals,” founder and CEO of Transcell Oncologics Subhadra Dravida said in another release.

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Printable version | Jun 29, 2022 4:01:40 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/564-cr-grant-for-uoh-arci-joint-project/article65350789.ece