To give innovation a boost, the government has embarked upon an ambitious project of doubling incubation centres in the next 4-5 years.
The Ministry of Science and Technology has also increased its budget for startups and innovation-centric initiatives by a whooping 450 per cent, from Rs 40 crore to Rs 180 crores. Currently, there are nearly 100 incubation centres across the country in various IITs, IIMs, NITs and other institutes. These incubators focussed on a technology domain and collectively housed more than 2,000 startups. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the Ministry of S&T, said
We plant to double it in the next 4-5 years. This year alone we are adding 20 more incubators.
Union Minister of S&T Harsh Vardhan said startups would now be given a fund of Rs one crore as against the earlier Rs 10 lakh.
Plus, the government will now also act as a facilitator to these startups apart from giving them any funding. To give startups a boost, the government has increased funding to these incubators from Rs 40 crore to Rs 180 crore, he said.
Apart from setting the ground ready for the prospective startups, the DST has also partnered with corporates like Intel, Lockheed Martin and Boeing to initiate a variety of technology-driven and innovation-based programmes. Further, the DST has also partnered with Department of Higher Education of the HRD Ministry to establish research parks and startup centres in various academic institutions of national importance.
The government has already launched National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI), an umbrella programme conceived and developed by the Innovation & Entrepreneurship division of DTS, for nurturing ideas and innovations (knowledge-based and technology-driven) into successful startups.
The programme would work in line with the national priorities and goals and its focus would be to build an innovation-driven entrepreneurial ecosystem with an objective of socioeconomic development through wealth and job creation.