The Defence Ministry is looking to invest in 250 startups in the defence sector and achieve 50 tangible innovations in the coming five years.
The government’s penchant to engage with startups to tap their innovative solutions for existing challenges in the country seems to be getting stronger. After running multiple programmes for its various bodies, programmes, and issues under Startup India platform such as SBI, Ayushman Bharat, single-use plastic, CRPF, the government is now seeking startups’ solutions to help counter-terrorism unit National Security Guard (NSG) to take “countermeasures against a rogue autonomous drone including swarm of drones,” the challenge’s problem statement read. Till December 4, 2019, 194 startups in the aeronautics, aerospace, and defence sector are registered under Startup India, Defence MoS Shripad Naik had informed in Lok Sabha.
The applications are invited “to help solve the menace of terrorism” from startups belonging to sectors viz aerospace, defence, robotics, security solutions till April 13, 2020, while the winners would be declared on October 14, 2020. The three winning startups would receive a cash incentive of Rs 5 lakh, Rs 3 lakh, and Rs 2 lakh. Helping curb terrorism menace reflects the government’s earlier stress on the significance of the country’s startups along with MSME base to help India achieve indigenization and self-reliance in the defence sector.
The Defence Ministry is looking to invest in 250 startups in the defence sector and achieve 50 tangible innovations in the coming five years, Subhash Chandra, Secretary, Department of Defence Production had said last year in November. The investment will be from the Rs 500 crore fund that Chandra said the ministry is in the process of seeking approval for. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had said the aim of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) is to recognise talent and harness it amongst the youth, MSMEs, startups and fast emerging private sector. Last year, under a similar challenge by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), 16 startups were picked for to solve different challenges in areas including utilisation of remotely piloted aircraft system, shoes against spikes, and controlling blood loss.