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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.



Entrepreneurship development in the agriculture sector gathered momentum with the launch of new component “Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied Sector Rejuvenation” under the revamped scheme of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, (RKVY- RAFTAAR) in 2018-19. RAFTAAR provided the impetus for the promotion of incubation ecosystem and financial support to foster the emergence of Agripreneurs and Agri start- ups. RKVY-RAFTAAR supports start-up incubation by tapping innovations and technologies for venture creation in agriculture and allied sector. The programme aims to utilize the incubation facilities and expertise already available with participating academic, technical, management and R&D institutions in the country and harness their synergies.



ICAR-Central Institute for Research on Cotton Technology (ICAR-CIRCOT) is one of the premier constituent institutes of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. Under ICAR organisational set up, CIRCOT comes under Agricultural Engineering Division of ICAR.

ICAR-CIRCOT was established in the year 1924 by the then Indian Central Cotton Committee (ICCC) under the name of Technological Laboratory (TL) with the twin objective of assisting cotton breeders in the development of new strains by evaluating various fibre quality parameters and carrying out research on their spinning potential. 

In 1966, the administrative control was transferred to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the name of the Institute was changed to Cotton Technological Research Laboratory (CTRL). The mandate for research and development widened to all aspects of post-harvest technology of cotton and value addition to cotton by-products and processing of wastes. Later from 1st April 1991, the Institute was renamed as Central Institute for Research on Cotton Technology (CIRCOT). The Institute has been providing yeomen service to the trade and industry during its long sojourn of nine decades by imparting training on cotton quality evaluation and ginning and also by offering the quality assessment support for fibre, yarn and fabrics on commercial terms.

CIRCOT has served the cotton community over the nine long decades since its inception, by reorienting itself to suit the changing needs of its stakeholders. CIRCOT has spearheaded and sustained the research and development of technologies and machineries for the postharvest processing of cotton. The Institute is widely recognized for its contribution in testing, standardization and development of test methods for different types of textile materials. Presently, CIRCOT has diversified its expertise to research in utilization of other natural fibres like Banana and Coconut for technical applications, and has also started pioneering work in nonwoven technology, natural fibre based composites. CIRCOT has forayed into field of nanotechnology, plasma technology and is researching to develop environment-friendly textile processes using these break-through technologies. CIRCOT is fully aware of its strategic role in transferring the developed technologies timely to the stakeholders. It has set up a vibrant and active Business Promotion and Development (BPD) Unit which is also providing incubation facilities to potential entrepreneurs along with transferring of technology through various methods.

The Institute headquarters is located in the heart of the city of Mumbai at Matunga. The Institute has four major research divisions namely Mechanical Processing Division (MPD), Quality Evaluation and Improvement Division (QEID), Chemical and Biochemical Processing Division (CBPD) and Transfer of Technology Division (TTD. The ginning training centre (GTC) of CIRCOT located in Nagpur serve the ginning industry by training gin fitters and technicians employed in ginning-pressing units dispersed all over India. In addition to training, this centre offers technical consultancy services to gin manufacturers. There are five more Regional units of institute located at Coimbatore, Guntur, Dharwad, Surat and Sirsa.

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