London, July 25 : The Longitude Prize team is in India to encourage Indian researchers to compete in the prestigious 10 million pound Longitude Prize open to the world to find a way to conserve effective antibiotics for future generations.
A series of promotional activities are being organised across Chandigarh, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune and New Delhi through this week to promote the Longitude Prize and to broaden the range applications from researchers and innovators in India.
The UK Government announced a seed funding programme called the 'Discovery Awards' to further open up global innovation in developing diagnostic tools to combat the global threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The Longitude Prize Discovery Awards will provide grants of up to 25,000 to participants who need access to funding in order to develop their ideas on transformative, novel point-of-care diagnostics that could significantly reduce the misuse or overuse of antibiotics globally.
The Government of India has recognised the urgency of the situation and has also announced seed funding to support Indian teams registering for the Prize.
The current total fund is at least 200,000, donated by GSK and the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) of India.
Tamar Ghosh, Nesta's Longitude Prize lead said, 'The seed funding will support new and existing teams taking part in the Longitude Prize- a five year, 10 million pound challenge to tackle the threat of AMR.
The funding will mobilise contributions from organisations supporting the goal of the Longitude Prize, to solve the issue of antimicrobial resistance through innovation and novel approaches to diagnostics.' There has been a 50 percent increase in teams from India competing in the prize since February 2016 - from 13 participants to 19 in July 2016.
The Discovery Awards are now open for applications, and the applications close on, on August 26th. Therefore the team is organising new series of meetings and events across India, to reach out to as many innovators as possible across the country.
The 10 million pound Longitude Prize fund itself will be awarded for the 'winning' entrant to develop a diagnostic test for bacterial infections that is accurate, rapid, affordable and easy-to-use anywhere in the world.
The challenge is open for five years..