28) ICRISAT’s Agri-Business Incubator receives Villgro’s award

Recipient of the prestigious AABI (Asian Association of Business Incubator) Award for the year 2008 and the national award for Best Business Incubator for 2005 from the Government of India, the ABI-ICRISAT is adjudged by Villgro as the best

The Agri-Business Incubator at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ABI-ICRISAT) received the “Best Incubator” award for the year 2009 from Villgro, a rural innovation network based at Chennai. Villgro is grooming innovations that have rural benefits. By virtue of it’s extremely well organized network of Investors, Technical Experts, Domain Specialists, Mentors and Marketers, Villgro is capable of providing all support to innovators.

The Villgro Award honored ABI-ICRISAT for its outstanding contribution to the agri-business initiatives through supporting entrepreneurs and technology commercialization. SM Karuppan Chetty, Deputy Chief Operating Officer of the Agri-Science Park and Senior Manager ABI, received the appreciation, which includes a Rs 50,000 cash award, citation and trophy, at Villgro’s annual function held in Chennai on 11 December. The two-day event included a conference, innovation fair, business plan competition and the awards function.

The Agri-Business Incubator at ICRISAT was established in 2003 with support of the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

ABI-ICRISAT promotes agricultural technology commercialization through public-private partnership under the Agri-Science Park at ICRISAT. ABI provides opportunities for entrepreneurs to incubate agriculture technologies so that they become effective agri-business ventures. ABI-ICRISAT provides a range of services that include agricultural technologies, business consultancy, facilitation of funding, and provides infrastructure and facilities access in the ICRISAT-Patancheru campus by helping anchor successful agri-business ventures. The entrepreneurs also get the opportunity to tap the expertise of ICRISAT's scientists.

In the last six years of its establishment, ABI-ICRISAT has commercialized 10 technologies of high impact benefitting more than 40,000 farmers in India, incubated 108 ventures that include 17 companies and 61 small-scale seed entrepreneurs and other co-business incubatees and innovators. It has also generated direct employment for around 623 persons and mobilized $11 million for the companies that it has incubated.

For further information, contact Dr Kiran Sharma at k.sharma@cgiar.org.

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