Fund for Industrial Research Engagement (SERB-FIRE)
The Program "Fund for Industrial Research Engagement (SERB-FIRE)", led by Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) under Industry Relevant R&D (IRRD) scheme, with support from industry members, intends to address the challenges in the research and innovation space in India, by creating an ecosystem that would accelerate the growth in the research work with national impact, and drive the R&D landscape efficiently and effectively. Through the SERB Industry-Academia Programs, the government and other industry partners create a pool of funding, resources and network that would enable strong research project with breakthrough impact on some of the major issues of the country.
The program with a co-funding mechanism between SERB and industry, with equal share, has been commenced.
Proposals are invited from scientists working in research institutions including academic institutions, R&D Laboratories under the category of Breakthrough Applied Research, which seeks to work towards transformative impact pertaining to the research priority for a specific industry sponsor. Application should fall under any one of the thrust areas or their combinations. Applicants are advised to go through the problem statements as given in the annexure and should clearly specify the problem/s that they are going to address. Single or multiple Principal Investigators can submit the research plan.
Applicants [Principal Investigator (PI) and / or Co-Principal Investigator(s) (Co-PI(s))] should be Indian citizens. Foreign nationals (including OCI and NRI) are also eligible to apply provided they fulfil the eligibility criteria notified by SERB (SERB Funding Guidelines for foreign nationals dated 27th Oct 2016) and The Gazette of India Notification of Ministry of Home Affairs vide. S.O. 1050(E) dated 4th March 2021 in respect of OCIs.
The applicant(s) must hold a regular academic/research position in a recognized academic institution or national laboratory or in any other recognized R & D institution in India with at least 3 years of service remaining. The term "Regular" refers to the applicants who are appointed against the sanctioned post or in a tenure post but are likely to be renewed after the end of the tenure.
The Call for proposals will be notified through the website "www.serbonline.in" and www.serb.gov.in and through the industry medium. The proposal highlighting the research work to be undertaken should be submitted online through the website "www.serbonline.in".
For successful online submission of the application the following points may be noted:
After log-in, PI(s) are required to fill all the mandatory fields in Profile Detail section under User Profile. which includes Bio-data, Photo, Institute Address etc.
If you have Co-PI in your proposal then ensure that all the Co-PI's are also registered into the system following the same procedure.
Some of the details of your proposal like Project Title (max 500 characters), Project summary (max 3000 characters), Keywords (max 6), Objectives of project (max 1500 characters), Expected output and outcome of the proposal (max 1500 characters), Budget (Research Personnel, Consumables, Travel, Equipment, Contingency, Overheads ) have to be entered at the time of proposal submission.
Other relevant information of the proposal has to be uploaded in single PDF file not more than 10 MB as other technical document (OTD). Download Template
An applicant is eligible to apply only one proposal during a call (as a PI or Co-PI).
Not more than one project is allowed at any given time. However, projects under the program SERB-FIRE are exempted from this category. The PI is encouraged to apply for another project six months prior to the completion of the project.
Proposals submitted must be original in ideation and content. Plagiarism in any form will not be acceptable. All submitted proposals might be subjected to a third-party similarity check and proposals are liable to be rejected if found plagiarised. Any text taken verbatim from other source needs to be identified using quotation marks and proper reference. Applicants are requested to pre-check their proposals for plagiarism before uploading.
Selected applicants should engage a co-PI from the industry concerned before initiating the project. The participating industry will support the Principal Investigators and/or the research team of the Individual Projects in leveraging the strategic and technical expertise of the industry in carrying out the research activities and achieve the milestones.
Funding will be provided normally for a period of two years. The research grant will encompass normal budget heads, apart from an overhead grant.
All the rights, duties and obligations pertaining to any intellectual property, profit sharing/royalty and related aspects shall be discussed and agreed separately with the participating Academic Institutes and Industry in the Individual Agreements. A copy of the agreement should be shared with SERB at the time of initiation of the project.
The review and selection of proposals will be carried out through a Program Management Review Committee (PMRC) constituted for the purpose. Broadly, the review will be conducted in 2 phases:
Phase 1: The PMRC will review all proposals and down-select top-quality proposals for each problem definition. Committee may ask for more inputs from Principal Investigators ("PI") of the Participants, if needed.
Phase 2: The shortlisted PIs will be invited to make a presentation on their proposal to the PMRC. Based on this, the PMRC will recommend the winning proposal.