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:
Applicants are required to provide the following information in the application:
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.
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.
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:
DISC - I
Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman launched the ‘Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) on 4th Aug 2018 at Bengaluru, wherein innovators, organizations as well as individuals were presented with eleven ‘Problem Statements’ for resolution.
In this event four incubators namely (i) Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship , IIM Ahmedabad (ii) SINE, Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, (iii) T-Hub, Hyderabad (iv) FORGE - a branded incubation enterprise launched by the Coimbatore Innovation & Business Incubator (CIBI), were given Certificate of Partnership for helping Ministry of Defence in discovery, exploration and mentorship of Startups/MSMEs to co-create innovative Defence Technologies. Subsequently, two more Partner Incubators have come within the iDEX fold viz. Incubation Cell, IIT-Madras and FTII, IIT-Delhi.
Defence India Startup Challenge is envisaged to enable calling for proposals to address specific technological needs of the Indian Defence Establishment. Applicants showing capability, intent, and promise to be able to produce functional prototypes or to productize existing technologies will be awarded up to Rs. 1.5 crores, strictly on a milestone basis in the form of grant/equity/debt/other relevant structures.
Approximately 500 applications were received in the first leg of the challenge, of which a total of 28 Winners have been shortlisted to be considered for grant of funds for prototype development and possible commercialization thereafter.
The results of DISC I can be seen here.
DISC - II
DISC-II was launched with four Problem Statements that require to be taken up by innovators to provide for development /incubation of state-of-the-art technological solutions. The four challenges pertain to important domains such as Avionics, Drones, GPS based equipment and Radars.
The closing date for receiving the applications was 31 Jan 2019 and the Proof of Concept winners were announced during the Startup/Innovation themed day scheduled on Day 2 of Aero India 2019 on 21 Feb 2019.
A total of 28 applicants for the 4 Problem Statements fielded in DISC II were felicitated and awarded ‘Certificates of Recognition’ by the Hon’ble RM during the Startup day. These applicants are to be considered for grant of funds for prototype development and possible commercialization thereafter.