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COVID-19: NRDC signs MoU with a private firm to manufacture NavRakshak PPE suite

National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) has signed a technology licensing agreement for the manufacturing know-how of a personal protective equipment (PPE) suit with an Agra based MSME

COVID-19: Agra based garment company to manufacture NavRakshak PPE suite

New Delhi: The National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), an enterprise under DSIR, Ministry of Science and Technology, has signed a technology licensing agreement for the manufacturing know-how of a personal protective equipment (PPE) suit with an Agra based MSME. The PPE suit has been developed by the Indian Navy. The MSME entity is already manufacturing PPE kits in and around Agra and supplying to various hospitals and has now proposed an annual production target of over one million NavRakshak PPEs to meet the increased requirement of PPEs enforced by COVID-19 crisis.

The agreement was signed by NRDC's Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) H Purushotham with Rajesh Nayyar, owner of Indian Garment Company, at the NRDC Headquarters, New Delhi. The occasion was graced by representatives from the Indian Navy and the Ministry of Defence including Surg. Rear Admiral Dr G Vishwanath (ADGMS(N)), Col. Anuj Garg (Col QA (IPF Cell)/DGQA) and Surg. Lt. Cdr. Arnab Ghosh (Principal Inventor of NavRakshak). Senior officials from NRDC which included  DC Joshi (Chief- Business Development), Dr Sanjeeva K Majumdar (Manager- IPR & Incubation Activities) and Pooja Goel (Manager- Finance & Accounts) were also present.

NavRakshak PPE has been developed principally by Dr Arnab Ghosh who is also a Naval Doctor incorporating his personal experiences in using the PPE for the comfort and protection of the doctors. It incorporates superior quality breathable fabric to make the PPE suit while its design innovation eliminates the need for costly taping and sealing of the seam which is otherwise needed in other PPEs available in the market. This makes it an attractive proposition to be used by the frontline health workers who are required to wear these suits for long hours and face extreme discomfort while working.

The prototype development earlier took place at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai and it was tested and certified at the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), DRDO, an accredited lab authorized by Ministry of Textile currently in India for PPE prototype sample testing as per the prevailing ISO standards and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare/Ministry of Textile guidelines. The fabric, suit and seam have been found to meet the synthetic blood penetration resistance criteria comfortably.

NavRakshak PPE incorporates superior quality breathable fabric to make the PPE suit while its design innovation eliminates the need for costly taping and sealing of the seam which is otherwise needed in other PPEs available in the market

Since, the concept of using uncoated, unlaminated or untaped PPE has been first time provided, and using such PPE was not practised at all, Intellectual Property Facilitation Cell of DGQA, MoD; Indian Navy and NRDC partnered in protecting the IP and its commercialization. A patent application has also been filed for the NavRakshak PPE by the inventors through NRDC-DGQA IPFC mechanism.

Previously also, NRDC had licensed the technology know-how to five MSME clients based across the country namely, Greenfield Vintrade Pvt Ltd (Kolkata), Vaishnavi Global Pvt Ltd (Mumbai), Bharat Silks (Bangalore), Sure Safety (India) Ltd (Vadodara) and Swaps Couture (Mumbai) to meet the ongoing countrywide demand of quality PPE kits. These five manufactures put together have also proposed to mass-produce more than 10 million PPEs per year.

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