Over 10.03 crore disbursed between 2018-2021 for promoting defence start-ups

New Delhi [India]: The Ministry of Defence on Friday said that it has disbursed over 10.30 crore between 2018 and 2021 under the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) scheme for promoting start-ups in the field of defence sector.

According to the ministry, till date, iDEX has launched five rounds of Defence India Startup Challenges (DISCs), and three rounds of Open Challenge (OC), receiving more than 2000 applications from innovators. iDEX has been able to fund projects in many technological areas under DISCs and OC through the Support for Prototype and Research Kickstart (SPARK) framework, which entails provisioning of grants up to Rs 1.50 crore to the startups, said the ministry.

It further stated that the Partner Incubators (PIs) bridge the gap between the requirements of startups and the technological expertise required to develop the product. iDEX also features as a procurement avenue under the Defence Acquisition Procedure-2020.

The Government has approved a scheme worth Rs 498.78 crore to scale up iDEX in the next five years. 60 contracts for developing innovative prototypes have been signed under iDEX, said the ministry.

The establishment of iDEX is aimed at the creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes, and academia and providing them grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D development which has good potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs.

Accordingly, as per the feature incorporated in the Defence Acquisition Procedure, the prototypes that have been successfully developed through the iDEX framework find the route for procurement by the concerned Services. In line with the above, the Indian Navy has already placed a Supply Order on one iDEX Winner. The Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) are also mandated to follow similar procurement procedures for iDEX cases. (ANI)

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