NITI Aayog has announced to launch the Atal New India Challenges under Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) whereby applicants showing capability, intent and potential to productize technologies will be awarded grants up to Rs. one crore.
AIM will invite prospective innovators/MSMEs/start-ups to design market-ready products, using cutting edge technologies or prototypes across 17 identified focus areas, namely Climate-Smart agriculture; Fog vision system for road and rail; Prevention of rail failure using emerging technologies; Predictive maintenance of rolling stock; Alternate fuel based transportation; Smart mobility; Electric mobility; safe transport; Instant portable water quality testing; Affordable desalination/recycling technology; Waste management recycling/reuse; Garbage composition devices; Quality of compost; Decentralised composting; Mixing blades for composting; Waste in public spaces; and Dissuading public littering.
It should be noted that these grants will not be mutually exclusive – multiple grants may be given in a focus area, based on the selection Committee’s perception of potential. The programme is currently accepting applications at http://aim.gov.in/atal-new-india-challenge.php and the last date for applications is June 10, 2018.
Grants shall be awarded in up to 3 tranches within 12-18 months, contingent on achieving milestones and up to a total of 50 grants in fiscal year 2018 – 19 may be given out. The grants will not be mutually exclusive – several grants may be given in a focus area.
The launch event saw the presence of Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog; Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation; S. S. Ahluwalia, Minister of State, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation; Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog; and Ramanathan Ramanan, Mission Director, AIM.
This grant support will be supplemented by mentoring, handholding, incubating and other support as needed at various stages of commercialisation while generating wider deployment.
Dr. Rajiv Kumar said, “This initiative will focus our efforts towards solving problems in core areas, which would have a direct impact on improving lives of our citizens and will also generate employment. The topics placed in different phases are aligned with India’s needs and through the support of innovation, we are ready to make a giant leap towards a New India.”
Nitin Gadkari spoke of the need approach policy and economic activity with a scientific outlook and added that innovative policies will help fulfil the Prime Minister’s dream of a New India.
S. Ahluwalia stressed on the need to identify affordable solutions to problems of groundwater recharge and ensuring every citizen has access to safe drinking water.
Amitabh Kant said, “Bringing more innovations to the service of Indian citizens will require more individuals and entities to innovate for Indian needs, and take innovative products to market through several mechanisms, such as startups, government schemes, or other deployment mechanisms.”
The programme is open to Indian companies registered under the Companies Act 1956/2013, primarily a Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) as defined in the MSME Act, 2006. It is also open to Start-Ups, as defined by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Government or private R&D organizations (other than a Railway R&D organization), academic institutions, academicians, or even individual innovators are encouraged to apply, provided they partner with entities with appropriate manufacturing capabilities.