IIIM’s Atal Incubation Centre inks MoUs with Startups

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In a significant step to advance and support the innovation ecosystem in the Jammu and Kashmir region, Atal Incubation Centre (AIC) of CSIR Indian Institute Integrative Medicine on Saturday signed four Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with four promising start-ups of Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.

The four start-ups -Mama Agro of Leh, Arsh Mushrooms of Kathua, Gulmarg Mushroom Farms of Baramulla and Khorasan Hi-Tech Food Processing of Pulwama are involved in the cultivation of medicinal mushrooms and fermentation products.

Through this, AIC-IIIM has connected with various regions of J&K as well as Ladakh to promote entrepreneurship, thereby taking the total number of its incubatees to five.

The MoUs were signed by Dr. Zabeer Ahmed, Director, CSIR-IIIM and Chairman of AIC-IIIM Bio-Innovation Foundation with Arun Sharma of Arsh Mushrooms, Rinchen Angchok of Mama Agro, Gowhar Lone of Gulmarg Mushroom Farms and Dr. Javid Ahmad Dar of Khorasan Hi-Tech Food Processing.

While speaking on the occasion, Director, CSIR-IIIM said that the twin Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh are bestowed with huge natural resources coupled with the rich brains.

There are ample opportunities for young startup and entrepreneurs of this region to develop and commercialise their products with the incubation support being extended by Atal Incubation Centre (AIC-IIIM), he added. Dr. Ahmed was very optimistic over enrolling of startups by AIC and emphasised that the signing of MoUs marked the beginning of mutually beneficial partnerships fostering innovation, economic development and societal impact.

From AIC-IIIM, he assured the start-ups of all possible support including R&D, mentoring and market linkages for ensuring their success.

The four Startups who entered into agreement with AIC-IIIM were M/S Arsh Mushrooms of Kathua which started working on mushrooms in 2019.

Its main focus is on producing high quality compost for increasing yield and reducing crop failure by employing scientific methods. M/S Mama Agro of Leh, the other Startup was established in 2022 and is primarily involved in mushroom cultivation and spawn production.

It is currently working on producing medicinal mushrooms like cordyceps, reishi and shiitake. M/S Gulmarg Mushroom Farms is trying to replicate their success in commercial mushroom production by diversifying into medicinal mushrooms as well and extending the growing season through microclimate management under indoor conditions.

The fourth Startup was M/S Khorasan Hi-Tech Food Processing which developed specialized food preservation techniques eliminating the use of sodium benzoate. It is working on developing new products involving traditional and exotic mushrooms.

Earlier, the startups gave detailed presentations in front of the evaluation committee and were assessed on the basis of their unique innovation, domain expertise and business plan viability.

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