The United States-India Science and Technology Endowment Fund (USISTEF) is inviting proposals have been sought from Bi-national Indo-US teams of entrepreneurs with innovative products for commercializing technologies for Societal Impact.

Established in 2009, USISTEF is a joint fund established between the United States and India for the purpose of promoting innovation through science and technology. It is governed by a board representing both India and the United States and provides grants of up to $500,000 (~ Rs 2.50 crore) for joint projects between the U.S. and India.

USISTEF inviting Bi-national teams can include -- incorporated companies including start-ups or non-incorporated entities or Individuals or consortia from academia, government laboratories, non-government R&D institutions.

Under this programme, Bi-national Indo-US teams of entrepreneurs and innovators with innovative product or technology, beyond the idea stage and with high societal impact will be funded. The applicants must make a credible case that the proposed technology can enter the market within 2-3 years. The priority areas identified include development of affordable bio-medical devices, food nutritional products etc.

Proposals must include a minimum of one partner from India and the US each. Bi-national teams applying to the Endowment Fund will work together to commercialize technologies for societal impact.

Interested entrepreneurs and team can apply here and even find his/her bi-national partner here. The deadline for Proposal Submission is June 15, 2018.

In May 2012, then United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Indian Minister of Science and Technology Vilasrao Deshmukh awarded the first grantee of the fund. The first grantees of USISTEF included a partnership between both countries to develop a cold chain storage for produce, a procedure for metabolic screening of newborns, and a shoe specifically built to assist patients with Parkinson's disease.

It may be recalled that few days back, Niti Aayog, a policy think tank of the Government of India, is also seeking applications for Atal New India Challenge under which it will provide grants of upto Rs 1 crore will be given.

Speaking about grants for startups and entrepreneur, last month Karnataka government announced a new entrepreneurship scheme, under which Rs 30,000 per month would be provided to any entrepreneur for a year while they incubate their idea with Karnataka's startup cell.

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