Honeywell, IISc collaborate to back deep science, deep-tech startups

Honeywell, IISc collaborate to back deep science, deep-tech startups
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
1 Dec, 2020

The Indian arm of technology and manufacturing conglomerate Honeywell International has announced an incubation partnership with the Society for Innovation and Development (SID) at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.

As part of the agreement, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based firm will work with SID to support deep science and deep-tech startups that are not active in its core areas of work, but look to solve pressing problems in the society.

The support will be provided in the form of funding under Honeywell’s CSR initiatives, along with other resources, including the company’s technical know-how and industry expertise, Akshay Bellare, president at Honeywell India, said in a virtual press briefing, without disclosing the amount designated to the effort.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, we see this partnership as a path to fostering a vibrant startup ecosystem, driving innovation to solve societal challenges, and opening up pathways for job creation and economic stimulation,” Bellare said in the statement.

Under the partnership, Honeywell and SID have supported six startups so far:

Azooka Labs: Founded in 2016 by Fathima Benazir and Alex D Paul, Azooka Labs is a speciality fluorescent dye company, which offers a new class of safe DNA/RNA stains and consumables for genomics research and molecular diagnostics. The company is also developing a rapid, easy-to-deploy point of care kit for Covid-19 testing.

Siamaf Healthcare: Founded in 2016 by Subhasis Sarangi, Siamaf uses advanced magnetic sensing technology and functionalized magnetic nanoparticles for the purpose of cancer staging, screening, localization, imaging and hyperthermia. It ultimately aims to enable radiation-free and affordable diagnosis and therapy for the conditions.

Protein Design: The biotechnology company, founded by Rajan R Dighe and Deepti Saini, produces proteins and antibodies for applications, ranging from R&D to diagnostics setups and therapeutics. It has developed a yeast expression technology that produces glycoproteins, which can help with cancer immunotherapeutic treatments, and provide viral antigens for Covid-19 diagnostics and vaccination.

Mimyk Medical: Mimyk is a deep-tech startup that has developed an AR/VR based simulation platform to train doctors and improve the outcome of surgeries and other interventional procedures. It was founded in 2017 by Shanthanu Chakravarthy, Balaji Gopal, Nithin Shivashankar and Raghu Menon, and has already created a simulation product that trains doctors in endoscopy.

HealthSeq Precision Medicine: This startup looks to offer precision medicine solutions with a goal to enable targeted therapy for diseases with reduced risks and drive efficiencies in the healthcare system.

PathShodh Healthcare: PathShodh, founded in 2015 by Navakanta Bhat, Vinay Kumar and Gautam Sharma, develops medical diagnostic devices for chronic diseases. The company has developed a first-of-its-kind handheld device to measure multiple biomarkers signalling diabetes, kidney diseases, anaemia and liver problems. It also re-purposes its technology for rapid and accurate paper strip-based Covid-19 testing.

Professor B Gurumoorthy, CEO of SID, said that Honeywell would back more startups as part of this initiative, as long as there was no conflict of commercial interest. The startups in question must, however, build solutions to make a societal impact and solve some of the world’s toughest challenges, he said.

The incubatees under SID operate in various areas, including biology, water, space, aerospace and machine learning.