IIT Alumni Council has taken the lead and announced the MegaLab Mumbai initiative to help solve the challenge of testing at a mass scale.
A Global Competition is being launched to finalize the operating , technology and funding partners for the MegaLab Mumbai initiative. The initial lab design being pursued is based on the Kodoy Technology Stack with a broad business model developed by the associated Venture Funds of IIT Alumni Council. Initial pilot runs are expected to start within 100 days of selecting the partners.
“I do look forward to a completely indigenous solution with the robots, test machines and all the test kits and consumables being 100% indigenous. The MegaLab can indeed emerge to be an outstanding example of Indian ingenuity” commented Padma Shri Satish Kaura who would chair the Jury for the Challenge.
Currently, the pool testing algorithm as well as the Kodoy Stack are being upgraded with suitable protocols to permit the use of single powder test kits that are both cheaper to manufacture and do not require a cold chain for transport or storage. The testing protocol is also being modified to allow for saliva instead of throat swabs for rapid testing at public places . Over 100 buses and 2,000 Ola/Uber cab type vehicles are planned to be fitted-out for sample collection on demand using a self-extraction protocol with remote video support from the tablet type device. The MegaLab itself would rely on the supercomputing resources powered by four campuses of IITs.
In addition, the Nano Bio Sciences 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. “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. The eminent jury will carefully select partners who believe in India and are committed to providing their solutions in an open source format so as to further strengthen the existing Kodoy stack.”