StaTwig wins IIM-A grant

Looks for reference working models using blockchain for vaccine supply in Indian States

By   |  Published: 8th Jul 2019  12:03 amUpdated: 7th Jul 2019  9:56 pm
MAJOR CHALLENGE: About 50-60 per cent vaccines lose their efficacy because of cold-chain failures and blockchain can help trace the source of the problem.

Hyderabad: T-Hub incubated and headquartered blockchain technology startup StaTwig has received a grant from IIM-Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), Nasscom and Cisco. CIIE invests in promising startups through Bharat Inclusion and Innovation Funds.

StaTwig has been chosen as a part of the Inclusion initiative, with a potential to make a difference in the healthcare space using blockchain technology. A blockchain is a decentralised and distributed digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many computers so that the records cannot be tampered without the alteration of all subsequent blocks and the collusion of the network.

Siddharth Chakravarthy, founder and CEO, StaTwig, told Telangana Today, “We applied for the Bharat Inclusion Grant. We were called for a pitch, post which we got selected for the grant. The CIIE works with several State governments and industry. This gives us leverage to connect with various stakeholders in the next four months. We are among the seven startups chosen for the Inclusion Grant this year from across India. Upon successful completion of the four months activity under the programme, we could be eligible for an investment from the Inclusion Fund.”

Working with States
On tie-ups with Indian States, he said, “We signed a MoU with Arunachal Pradesh Government and University of Berkeley’s Smart Village Movement to track all the vaccines in the State. Arunachal Pradesh project will give us a good reference model. We are hoping to deploy something similar in Telangana. We see opportunities in Gujarat and Kerala as well.”

The startup which has also set up operations in the US and Singapore, uses blockchain capabilities to solve the food and vaccine distribution problem.

GAVI programme
StaTwig has also been shortlisted for the GAVI’s Infuse programme this year, joining the ten startups chosen from across the world, and the only startup from India. GAVI, a Vaccine Alliance (former Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation) is a public-private global health partnership committed to increasing access to immunisation in poor countries.

“There is a scope to enter into a long-term arrangement with GAVI. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is backing the GAVI programme,” he informed.

The startup was also selected for the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund’s (UNICEF’s) Innovation Fund in December last year, making it the only Indian startup among the six chosen from across the world.

It is estimated that wastage in vaccines lead to losses of up to $150 billion to the pharmaceuticals industry globally, every year. Almost 50-60 per cent vaccines lose their efficacy because of cold-chain failures and supply chain accounts to nearly 80 per cent of the costs of the vaccines. Blockchain has an answer to it. It also makes it easy to comply with regulations.

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