Government agency National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) and nutraceutical consulting firm Nutrify India announced the partnership recently.
The six-month long initiative will equip nutra start-ups in India with the required capabilities, including manufacturing, delivery methods of bioactive ingredients, to bring their product ideas to the market.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, regional head of NRDC Dr BK Sahu said there were already about 10 to 15 novel technologies developed by local research institutions which nutra start-ups could tap on to manufacture their products.
“These technologies are available for commercialisation and the start-ups can just choose the technologies needed to make their products,” Dr BK Sahu said.
The intention is to provide start-ups with the technical help that they otherwise would not have access to.
“For a start-up, the technology used must be new and novel. But starts-ups do not have the ecosystem and set-ups to develop that kinds of technologies, and so they need help from the government department,” he said.
Aside from technical aid, he added that the NRDC has supported a number of starts-ups incubated in Nutrify India with seed funding. One example is Esperer Onco Nutrition, which specialises in developing nutritional supplements for cancer patients.
For start-ups to qualify for the aid, they will first need to be jointly screened by Nutrify India and NRDC.
“India has the problem of malnutrition and we need to provide nutritional foods to the population. Nutrify India is a new industry ecosystem promoting out-of-the-box concepts…We need to collaborate to mitigate the challenges that the community is facing,” he said.
The bigger goal is to help the nutra start-ups step into the international export market, Dr BK Sahu said.
He believes that India’s current strength in pharmaceutical exports will help set the foundation for nutraceutical exports.
“India has an established pharmaceutical industry and about 56% are exported to the global market.
“The export of nutraceutical is not new, but it is emerging. Since we have the technologies and the public-private ecosystem, people are moving towards investment in the nutraceutical industry, so there is an emerging opportunity.”
Asked the potential export destinations, he pointed out the feasibility of the South-South cooperation, referring building export businesses in Africa, Brazil.
Europe and South East Asia were the other potential export destinations.
“The objective is to protect the indigenous process and product so that it could be make it market table export potential,” he said.