The Centre is making efforts to promote start-ups in the defence sector under its Atmanirbhar Bharat mission to “localise” production of products, the Ministry of Defence has said.
The department of defence production has launched its Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) framework to “achieve self-reliance, and foster innovation and technology in the defence and aerospace sectors”, it added.
The framework also allows for engagement with industries including MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, research and development (R&D) institutes and academia.
Under iDEX, projects or problems will be identified on the basis of requirement by the armed forces, Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) or Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) – for which 58 iDEX winners were identified.
“(These) winners have been identified for 18 problem statements and challenges under three rounds of Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC),” it said.
Further, a separate industry-funded procedure for ‘Make-II’ category has also been notified under the defence procurement procedure to encourage indigenous development and manufacture of equipment.
The government also plans to set up centres in institutions and organisations as follows:
> DRDO has created eight advanced technology centres across India to carry out research in the identified futuristic or new technology areas. These will support research in areas related to defence applications.
> The NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) has set up 68 incubation centres, some of which are associated with deep-tech, aerospace, etc. Among these, the CODISSIA Defence Innovation and Atal Incubation Centre (CDIIC) will focus on defence innovations and start-ups.
> Nine institutions have been identified as partner incubators to support activities under iDEX, which envisages existing Defence Innovation Hubs (defence related MSME clusters) and new hubs as spaces for innovators to get information, feedback and create solutions.
These details were submitted by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Shripad Naik in writing to the Rajya Sabha on September 19, the statement added.