An initiative was taken in 2008 across the National Agri Cultural Research System through the World Bank aided National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP) by establishing the Zonal Technology Management and Business Planning & Development (ZTM-BPD) units in different ICAR institutes across India.
Taking into consideration its past credence as a unique technology Institute within the ICAR system with rich experience in technology commercialization, technology transfer and Intellectual Property Rights management the first ZTM-BPD unit was launched at ICAR-CIRCOT in 2009.
Considering the success of ZTM-BPD In promotion of entrepreneurship in agricultural sector ICAR established 27 Agribusiness Incubation (ABI) centers in its research institutes across India in 2005. These centers aim to encourage, nurture and support innovative agribusiness Ideas and turn them into sound commercial ventures by creating technology-led and knowledge driven enterprise thus strengthening the agricultural economy. It also provides technological knowhow, skill up-gradation and incubation facilities leading to promotion of viable enterprises, generate economic opportunities for entrepreneurs and to build prospective start-ups in agribusiness ecosystem. ABI's help in the growth of innovation based new enterprises and improve their survival at substantial rate.
An Agribusiness incubation centre was established at ICAR-CIRCOT in 2006 to nurture the cotton stake holders and support their business endeavors. The ICAR-ClRC0TAgri Business Incubation Centre has admitted sixteen entrepreneurs, graduated seven incubatees, facilitated development and commercialization of nine innovative products, facilitated funding for incubated entrepreneurs and created opportunities for employment generation through business related activities.
RKVY Division of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, recognizing the admirable initiatives of the Agri Business Incubation center of the institute in the field of post-harvest processing of cotton and its value chain, has bestowed CIRCOT as an Agri Business Incubator under RKVY-RAFTAAR (Remunerative Approaches for Agri and Allied Sectors Rejuvenation) scheme from 31st January 2019. Since then, CIRCOT has got a new wing with which it can expand its reach to Agriculture and AIIied Sectors. CIRCOT R-ABI is one of the prominent among 29 RKVY-RAFTAAR-Agribusiness Incubators.
CIRCOT R-ABI provides a platform to graduates/rural youth/farmers to materialize/commercialize their innovative ideas/concepts in agriculture and allied sectors.
Through this platform individuals/startups with innovative ideas can have access experienced expertise from the institute and it’s networking partners to bring their ideas in to reality. All necessary nurturing, mentoring and provision for grant in aid is made available through this platform. It is also having well equipped laboratories with hi-tech analytical Instruments to cater the needs of agri-innovator's and agri-startup's need to critically analyze the accurate performance of their innovation. State of the art Incubation with expert network facility, office space and digital infrastructure, facilitates agri innovators to think in various dimensions to bloom their innovations.
CIRCOT R-ABI has two operational programs under RKVY-RAFTAAR scheme. First program is Uday which is pre-seed stage funding program under which funds up to Rs 5 lakhs are being provided to agri-startups to translate innovative Ideas in to workable prototype. Second program is Ankur, seed stage funding program under which grant in aid amount up to Rs 25 lakhs are being provided to agri-startups to commercialize the MVP/scale up the business activity.