Applicants showing capability, intent, and potential to commercialisse
technologies will be awarded grants up to Rs. 10 million (US$150,000).
Up to a total of 50 grants in fiscal year 2018-19 may be given out. The grant support will be supplemented by
mentoring, handholding, incubating and other support as neededat various stages
The Indian Government has launched
a series of challenges with the aim of harnessing innovation from companies,
primarily Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and startups as well as
individual innovators, for solving problems, improving the lives of citizens
and generating employment.
The aim is to incentivise innovation in areas critical to
India’s growth, such as health, housing, hygiene, energy and water and to address
the second ‘Commercialisation Valley of Death’, in which innovators are unable
to access resources for piloting, testing, and market creation by helping new
deep-tech products find markets and early customers in the context of India.
New India Challenges have been launched under the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) of the NITI Aayog, the premier policy thinktank of the
Government of India. AIM is part of the Government of India’s endeavour to
promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Its objective is to serve
as a platform for promotion of world-class Innovation Hubs, Grand Challenges,
Start-up businesses and other self-employment activities, particularly in
technology driven areas.
Applicants showing capability, intent, and potential to
productise technologies will be awarded grants up to Rs. 10 million
(US$150,000). The grant support will be supplemented by mentoring,
go-to-market strategies by leading incubators, accelerators and experts,
technical support and any other kind of support as needed at various stages of
The programme is open to Indian companies registered under
the Companies Act 1956/2013, primarily a MSME as defined in the MSMED Act,
2006. It is also open to Start-Ups, as defined by the Department of Industrial
Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Government or private R&D organisations (other
than a Railway R&D organisation), academic institutions, academicians, or
even individual innovators are encouraged to apply, provided they partner with
entities with appropriate manufacturing capabilities.
Grants under the programme will be awarded in up to 3
tranches within 12-18 months, contingent on achieving milestones. Up to a total
of 50 grants in fiscal year 2018-19 may be given out. The grants will not be
mutually exclusive and several grants may be given in a focus area, based on
the Selection Committee’s perception of potential.
Seventeen focus areas have been identified. The challenges
are being issued after rigorous consultations and discussions with the partner
ministries, namely the Ministries of Road Transport and Highways, Housing and
Urban Affairs, Agriculture and Family Welfare, Drinking Water & Sanitation
and the Railway Board.
The focus areas are:
The initiative was launched in the presence of Dr Rajiv
Kumar, Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog, Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road
Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development &
Ganga Rejuvenation, Shri SS Ahluwalia, Minister of State, Ministry of Drinking
Water & Sanitation, Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog and Shri Ramanathan
Ramanan, Mission Director, AIM.
Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog, Dr Rajiv Kumar highlighted the
need to ensure inclusive and innovative solutions. He said, “India has
accelerated its growth potential by leveraging technology in various spheres.
This initiative will focus our efforts towards solving problems in core areas,
which would have a direct impact on improving lives of our citizens and will
also generate employment. The topics placed in different phases are aligned
with India’s needs and through the support of innovation, we are ready to make
a giant leap towards a New India.”
Applications are being accepted under the programme at http://aim.gov.in/atal-new-india-challenge.php and
the last date for applications is June 10, 2018.
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