Defence Minister launches Defence India Startup Challenge

• Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman calls on the startups to come up with potential solutions for technological needs of defence establishments while launching the Defence India Startup Challenge in Bengaluru; Urges them to play an active role in achieving self-reliance in defence production.

• With a vision to build an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship in the defence sector and make India self-reliant for meeting defence requirements, Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman launched defence India startup challenge in Bengaluru.

• The highlight of the event was the launch of 11 challenges by MoD now thrown open to provide solutions by the startup ecosystem.

• Taking forward the IDEX scheme ( Innovation for defence excellence ) launched earlier by the Prime Minister in April this year the ministry of defence launched a package of policy and framework for the incubators and partners to empower India and give a thrust to indigenisation in the defence sector.

• The 11 challenges thrown open to the prospective startups include individual protection system with built-in sensors, see-through armour, carbon fibre winding, active protection system, secure hardware-based offline encryptor device for graded security and development of 4G/LTE based tactical local area network, among others.

• Recognising the first set of incubators for these challenges the ministry has also signed a MoU with 5 incubators. IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Mumbai, Forge IIT Madras, and T hub who will work in tandem to provide solutions for defence requirements in Airforce, Navy and for Army.

• Raksha Mantri launched SPARK – support for prototype and research Kickstart in defence, the framework for Index partners, and promotion of startups under Make II procedure.

• The launch of challenges will provide a fillip to the innovation potential in the country, partnering with the best minds nationally and internationally.

• Under the SPARK the ministry has invited applications from startup, individual innovators, who fulfil the criteria listed on the website. They will be provided grants up to 1.5 crores under the framework.