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ICMR and IITs collaborate to set up centres of excellence

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has joined hands with IITs to set up centres of excellence for strategic Make in India product development and their commercialisation in the medical device and diagnostics sector.

The thematic areas under the centres of excellence have been strategically designed to ensure that the products and technologies so developed synergize with the requirements of the National Health Mission, Ayushman Bharat and Public Health Programmes of the Government of India for their potential deployment, an ICMR statement said.

The ICMR-DHR centres of excellence have been set up at IIT Bombay, IIT Guwahati, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur and IIT Madras.

“The setting-up of the ‘ICMR at IITs’ will bridge the gap in technology development and commercialisation cycle for a larger public health impact. The medical device sector in India is valued at USD 7-8 billion and is expected to grow to 50 billion US dollars by 2025 according to industry estimates,” the statement said.

The Indian healthcare sector is heavily dependent on imports for its medical device needs. The ICMR-DHR centres will help address this gap by fostering the development of robust state-of-the-art Make in India medical devices and diagnostic equipment.

The ICMR-DHR centres of excellence at IITs will in turn collaborate with the medical institutes to develop need-driven, affordable and inclusive healthcare solutions for their wider adoption.

ICMR director-general Balram Bharagava, addressing the directors and deans of the IITs, offered support and commitment for this initiative.

According to the ICMR, the philosophy behind the scheme is to develop “more for less for more” to ensure wider product outreach with a mandate to promote Global Affordable Need-Driven Healthcare Innovation (GANDHI).

This will have a significant impact on improving access to affordable quality healthcare, particularly for middle and lower-income segments of India, it underlined. PTI

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