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  • Saturday, July, 2022| Today's Market | Current Time: 10:24:42
  • With an aim of taking start-ups and Innovators in the defence ecosystem to a notch higher, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) Prime and sixth Defence India Start-up Challenge (DISC 6) during DefConnect 2.0 in New Delhi today.

    The iDEX-Prime is aimed at supporting projects, requiring support beyond Rs 1.5 crore up to Rs 10 crore in the ever-growing defence start-ups.

    Addressing the event, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said,” DefConnect 2.0 is a symbol of increasing technological prowess of the country and a celebration of the continuous growth of the Indian defense start-up ecosystem.”

    It is indicative to the success of the iDEX initiative which has helped in the development of many new and indigenous technologies, he added.

    Notably, DefConnect will provide a unique opportunity for defence innovators associated with iDEX-DIO to showcase their capabilities, products and state-of-the-art-technologies to the target audience of the industry leaders.

    This leads to an opportunity to generate investments and future operations for the associated start-ups. Further, the platform will provide iDEX start-ups display their innovative technologies being developed indigenously.

    What DISC will bring to table?

    The Defence Minister also launched Defence India Start-up Challenge (DISC 6) with 38 Problem Statements.

    Apart from the three Services ( Army, navy & Air Force) and some Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) which have participated in earlier editions, DISC 6 saw the participation of newly-formed seven defence companies, Indian Coast Guard and organisations under Ministry of Home Affairs for the first time.

    Aimed at finding solutions in new-age era, the Problem Statements relate to Artificial Intelligence (AI), Advanced Imaging, Sensor Systems, Big Data Analytics and Autonomous Unmanned Systems and Secured Communication among others.

    Defence Minister Rajnath Singh appreciated the fact that iDEX has, so far, introduced more than 100 iDEX Winners to the market, thus providing direct & indirect employment to thousands of skilled and semi-skilled people.

    The Government, Armed Forces, private sector, individual innovators, start-ups, MSMEs and academia can together create a strong bond and move forward to achieve the shared aim of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat, he added.

    Platforms like the iDEX enable the defence forces to find disruptive solutions to complex challenges through its flagship programmes like Defence India Startup Challenges (DISC) and Open Challenges (OC) which shall be the key components for the future of military technology.

    Till date, iDEX has launched five rounds of DISC and three rounds of OC, receiving more than 2,000 applications from individual innovators and start-ups.

    Furthermore, iDEX has been able to fund projects in numerous technological areas through its Grant-in-Aid framework, Support for Prototype and Research Kickstart (SPARK), which entail provisioning of grant up to Rs 1.50 crore to budding entrepreneurs.

    iDEX: A game-changer in the Indian Defence eco-system

    Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) is a game-changer in the Defence eco-system, which works with the objective of fostering innovation and incorporating cutting-edge and disruptive technologies in the Indian Armed Forces in a quick time frame.

    Instituted under the over-arching mission of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the iDEX scheme has been achieving self-reliance and indigenisation in the defence ecosystem. Further, the initiative is catalysing the vibrant energy of our startup ecosystem and steering trans-disciplinary innovations/projects.

    With the ethos of co-creation and co-innovation, an enterprising network of experts from the Services, DPSUs, Industry, Academia, iDEX officials, and the startups/MSMEs are involved in the process of fostering modern defence technologies. All this is aimed at providing at least 50 world-class solutions to the Indian Armed Forces and the defence industry in the near future.

    The iDEX scheme, since its inception in 2018, has now gathered momentum, and it is expected that around 25-40 items after the successful prototyping by the iDEX startups/MSMEs, will be ready for procurement by the end of 2022.

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