To boost innovation in the country, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog has invited applications from schools, institutions and individuals seeking financial support for setting up research laboratories under the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM).
With a view to give substantial boost to the innovation ecosystem and to catalyse the entrepreneurial spirit in the country, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his Budget Speech 2015-16, had announced the government's intention to establish AIM in NITI Aayog, with an initial sum of Rs 500 crore. NITI Aayog is inviting applications from eligible schools/organisations and individuals to apply for the three major schemes under Atal Innovation Mission, it said in a release.
The first scheme will be for establishing tinkering laboratories in schools, while the other will be for establishing new incubation centres. Lastly, there will be a scheme for scaling up established incubation centres. It further said that to foster creativity and scientific temper in students, AIM will establish 500 Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATL) in schools. It will provide a one-time establishment grant-in-aid of Rs 10 lakh for establishing ATLs across India.
Also, an amount of Rs 10 lakh would also be provided for each ATL over a period of five years for operational expenses of ATLs. Thus, an amount of Rs 20 lakh per ATL in each selected school will be spent. AIM will also provide financial support to academic and non-academic institutions (companies/technology parks/group of individuals) to establish new incubation centres across India. These will be called Atal Incubation Centres (AIC). They will be established in subject-specific areas such as manufacturing, transport, energy, health, education, agriculture, water and sanitation etc. AIM's objective is to set up 100 AICs during 2016-17.
AIM will provide a grant-in-aid of Rs 10 crore for establishing an AIC over a period of five years and towards capital investment as well as operation and maintenance of expenses. AIM will also provide scale-up support of Rs 10 crore over a period of two years to establish incubation centres for augmenting their capacity. They will be shortlisted on the basis of key performance indicators. Both these schemes will radically transform the startup ecosystem in the country by creating a network of incubation centres of world-class standards, the statement said.
The guidelines for the implementation of these schemes have been developed after multiple intensive stakeholders consultations. A competitive approach will be used for the selection of applicants for establishing the above facilities. Applicants desirous of participating in these schemes can refer to the AIM guidelines on niti.gov.in and submit their applications online.