Medical devices are critical for healthcare. Indigenous development of novel, suitable, reliable and affordable devices leads to social impact as well as high-value jobs. Since its inception in 2014 at IIT Bombay, Biomedical Engineering and Technology Innovation Centre (BETIC) is building the necessary eco-system by connecting stakeholders – government, academia, medical community, industry, investors and facilitators. The team met several hundred doctors, identified 400 unmet needs, created 200 novel concepts, and filed 50 patents. Further, they developed 20 devices, incubated 15 startups, licensed 5 products to industry, and launched a few in the market.
BETIC is a multi-disciplinary and multi-institution translational R&D network with 14 partner institutes (engineering and medical) across Maharashtra State, each of them connected to local institutes and industry.
The core vision is to create global success stories of indigenous medical devices by providing the necessary guidance and support to med-tech innovators. They face four ‘valleys of death’ between concept, proof-of-concept, prototype, product and market. Crossing them requires expert inputs from multiple disciplines including medical, mechanical, materials, manufacturing and management.
BETIC has evolved a systematic process along with basic facilities and critical expertise for medical device innovation. These enable defining an unmet clinical need, developing a novel solution, delivering a tested device, and deploying it in clinical practice. The process and the medical device quality management system of BETIC received ISO 13485 certification in 2018.
BETIC has its origins in a study conducted by Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, which concluded with a high-level brainstorming meeting at Sahyadri Guest House, Mumbai in Dec 2009. It concluded with a recommendation to establish a biomedical engineering and technology centre in the State.
The study was funded by Rajiv Gandhi Science & Technology Commission, government of Maharashtra. Its chairperson Dr. Anil Kakodkar invited IIT Bombay to develop a proposal for incubating the centre based on hub-and-spoke model. This was approved in April 2014 as a five-year project, with a mandate to develop 12 different medical devices and train 50 innovators. BETIC started functioning from OrthoCAD lab in IIT Bombay in early 2015, followed by two satellite centers at Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur and College of Engineering, Pune.
In the next three years (2016-2018), four engineering institutes and four medical institutes set up self-funded BETIC cells. The Medical Education and Drug Department of Maharashtra approached IIT Bombay to set up three more BETIC cells in government hospitals; this agreement was exchanged in February 2019 at Sahyadri guest house, the same place where the first meeting took place ten years earlier. Andhra Pradesh Med Tech Zone, Visakhapatnam and Gujarat Technological University, Ahmedabad also signed agreements with IIT Bombay for collaboration with BETIC.
The core team of BETIC comprises faculty members, project managers, innovators and students at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and two satellite centers at College of Engineering, Pune, and Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur.
BETIC was envisioned and established by Prof. B. Ravi, who heads the centre at IIT Bombay. He is Institute Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Professor-in-Charge of Desai Sethi Centre for Entrepreneurship. Dr. Rupesh Ghyar, Senior Executive Officer, oversees the operations, supported by five managers for Design, Electronics, Manufacturing, Vendors and Quality. About 15
innovators and 10 students are working on various medical design projects.
BETIC at COE Pune is headed by Prof. B.B. Ahuja, Director, supported by Dr. Sandip Anasane and Dr. Arati Mulay, both working in Production Engineering Department. They operate from the Fab Lab in the department.
BETIC-VNIT operates from their CAD/CAM Centre. It is headed by Prof. A.M. Kuthe, former Head of Mechanical Engineering department, supported by Dr. Rashmi Uddanwadikar.
The Essence of Medical Device Innovation, published by The Write Place (Crossword), narrates the stories and lessons from the BETIC family. The first chapter of the book, and brochures of BETIC, MEDHA and MEDIC are available here.
EMDI Book : ‘The Essence of Medical Device Innovation’
MEDHA Brochure (2 pages): Medical Device Hackathon – dates and venues, organizers, participant eligibility, selection and registration process.
MEDIC Brochure (2 pages): Medical Device Innovation Camp – dates and venues, organizers, participant eligibility, selection and registration process.
BETiC Brochure (2 pages): Brief overview of the initiative, partner network, facilities, innovation process, training events and exhibitions, technology licensing and best practices.
News Coverage: News clippings of products and events covered in mainstream newspapers and professional magazines.