DEFENCE START-UPS

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Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) framework was launched by the Government with the aim to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace Sector by engaging Industries including MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes and academia and promote self-reliance. Under iDEX framework so far, seven editions of Defence India Start-up Challenge (DISC) have been launched. While replying to a query in Rajya Sabha, Union Minister of State for Defence, Ajay Bhatt informed that under iDEX route, the Government focuses on innovation and design & development and supports the start-ups and innovators for successful prototype development. A large number of start-ups have participated in various rounds of Defence India Start-up Challenge. So far, 136 start-ups have been engaged and 102 contracts have been signed for prototype development. Moreover, the Ministry has also accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for 14 iDEX products, paving the way for placement of orders on the iDEX winners. The Government has approved a central sector scheme for iDEX with budgetary support of Rs 498.78 crore for the five years from 2021-22 to 2025-26. The objective of the scheme is to provide financial support to nearly 300 Start-ups/MSMEs/individual innovators and about 20 Partner Incubators through Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO). The problem statements emanating from defence forces are launched under iDEX framework for development of technology and prototypes thus, addressing the real time problems of defence forces. The Government encourages the start-ups to contribute to the defence sector and develop aerospace setup in the country by providing substantial grants, easier and faster access to test facilities/infrastructure available with various Government agencies, co-creation and co-innovation using smooth operating procedures and minimal documentation, and facilitating procurement, thus making the entire regime conducive for them.