An innovation ecosystem for Defence titled Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) was launched in April 2018 by the Hon’ble PM. iDEX is aimed at creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, Startups, Individual Innovators, R&D institutes and Academia and provide them grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D which has good potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs.
iDEX will function as the executive arm of the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO). The scheme mandates setting up of Defence Innovation Hubs across the country, to provide necessary incubation and infrastructure support to defencestartups and innovators.
The entire iDEX document can be downloaded here.
Defence India Start Up Challenge:Taking the iDEX initiative further, Defence India Startup Challenge "has been launched by Ministry in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission, aimed at supporting Startups/MSMEs/Innovators to create prototypes and/or commercialize products/solutions in the area of National Defence and Security. The vision of the Challenge is two-fold:
i. Help create functional prototypes of products/technologies relevant for national security (prototyping), and spur fast-moving innovation in the India defencesector;
ii. Help new tech products/technologies find a market and early customer (commercialization) in the form of the Indian Defence Establishment.
Who can Apply:i. Start-ups, as defined and recognized by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
ii. Any Indian company incorporated under the Companies Act 1956/2013, primarily a Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) as defined in the MSME Act, 2006.
iii. Individual innovators are also encouraged to apply (research & academic institutions can use this category to apply).
How to Apply:
Applicants are required to provide the following information in the application:
i. Full Details of a Single Point of Contact for the applying entity – these are the full contact details of a single person who will act as the point of contact between iDEX and the applicant. We encourage that this person be a core member of the applicant entity (Startup/MSME).
ii. Entity Details – these are the details of the Startup/MSME applying. Individuals Innovators do not have to fill these.
iii.Proposal Details – these are the details of the proposal in response to the iDEX Challenge problem statements/focus areas. Applicants must select the problem statement they are addressing, what level of funding they want and give technical and financial details of their proposal. This will include mentioning relevant patents and research papers by the applicant, if any as well as a tentative business plan.
Evaluation of applications:
The applications will be screened by a duly constituted high-powered committee of defence and technology experts for the purpose of screening and selection of applications for the iDEX Challenge.
Support to selected applications in the Challenge:
The selected applications will be funded up to Rs. 1.5 crores in the form of equity/other relevant structures. The funds will be disbursed in tranches based on the milestones decided by a high-powered selection committee.
Apart from the fund, selected applicants may also be given entry to accelerator programs run by iDEX partners, where they will be supported in technology and business development through mentorship under the innovation and entrepreneurship experts. The selected applicants may also be supported in terms of access to defence testing facilities and experts for their product/technology development.
Eligible expenditure for grant money under the Challenge:
Since the focus of the program is to facilitate creating of prototypes and bringing of products/technologies to market (defence or otherwise), applicants will be encouraged to spend on:a. Research & Development
c. Pilot Implementation
d. Market Assessment
Detailed fund utilization guidelines will be provided to the selected applicants.To participate in '"Defence India Startup Challenge" , kindly submit your applications at http://aim.gov.in/idex/