To motivate and encourage young minds for innovative ideas, the state government launched the Odisha Youth Innovation Fund Scheme. The scheme was being implemented by the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Department and aimed at inculcating creativity and spirit of innovation among the youth for the cause of the socio-economic growth. Launching the scheme, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said "The role of youth entrepreneurship has not been confined only to create enterprises, but also includes creation of the capacity to produce wealth, jobs and income, which are the most direct indicators of economic development".
Patnaik said the size of the fund would be Rs two crore and deserving innovators would be rewarded with Rs 50,000 for new ideas and Rs one lakh for any demonstrative product, prototype, patents and incubated products of services. "If any enterprise is set up based on any new idea, such innovation will attract the prize money of Rs three lakh", Patnaik said. The most important aspects of youth entrepreneurship lies in promoting innovation in youth, Patnaik said, adding, the state needs its youth to stand up and showcase their inherent creativity.
"The Odisha Youth Innovation Fund is an appropriate initiative for encouraging innovation in youth", Patnaik said. Though the technical and scientific intellects were encouraged through science exhibitions organised at different educational institutions, there was no formal mechanism to encourage and document new ideas and innovations and promotion of enterprises to utilise those ideas and innovation, he said. The Chief Minister suggested the MSME department to develop technology incubation centres and livelihood business incubation centres with schemes available at the central level.
"As the state government is working to bring the entrepreneurship development policy, specific provisions may be made in our policy to promote innovation and finalise the policy within three months", Patnaik said. The newly introduced, Odisha Youth Fund Scheme is aimed at ensuring evolution and diffusion of grassroots innovations in mission mode to cater socio-economic and environmental needs of the society, he said, adding Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises plays a key role in economic growth of the state. The scheme would be implemented through Odisha Small Industries Corporation and "Any youth of the state aged between 13 and 35 years can apply to avail the benefit under this new scheme", said MSME minister Jogendra Behera.
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