IIT Alumni Council Launches Competition For COVID-19 Testing Project
Megalab Mumbai, an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Alumni Council project, aims to conduct one crore COVID-19 tests per month in the city
Indian Institute of Technology Alumni Council, or IIT Alumni Council, has started a global competition to finalize operation, technology, and funding partners for its MegaLab Mumbai project that aims to perform one crore COVID-19 tests per month in the city. Recently, Mumbai University partnered with IIT Alumni Council for the project. “The Nano BioSciences Center of Mumbai University will carry-out concurrent quality control audits to ensure the quality of test kits and the accuracy of results in the MegaLab,” according to IIT Alumni Council.
“IIT Alumni Council is committed to delivering on its promise of enabling the creation of MegaLab Mumbai with a best in class testing facility capable of delivering reliable, affordable and fast testing to every citizen of Mumbai, every month. Since we have been approached by a wide variety of players wanting to partner the MegaLab with very diverse technology and funding options – in the interests of time and transparency - we are launching a global competition," Ravi Sharma, President, IIT Alumni Council, said in a statement.
"The eminent jury will carefully select partners who believe in India and are committed to providing their solutions in an open-source format...the selfless contribution of thousands of our IIT Alumni worldwide towards this nation-building initiative and our role as catalysts of the same makes us really proud." Mr. Sharma added.
Saliva For COVID-19 Test
Pilot runs or initial testings under the project are expected to start within 100 days of selecting partners through the competition. The initial lab design for the project is based upon “Kodoy Technology Stack” and a “broad business model” developed by the IIT Alumni council.
The council has also informed that the current testing model is being modified, which will allow the use of saliva instead of swabs for “rapid testing in public places.”
100 buses and 2,000 cab type vehicles have been planned by the council for sample collection.
“I do look forward to a completely indigenous solution with the robots, test machines and all the test kits and consumables being 100 percent indigenous. The MegaLab can indeed emerge to be an outstanding example of Indian ingenuity” Satish Kaura, Chairman of the Jury for the competition said in a statement.