Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved the budgetary support of ₹498.8 crore to Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) challenge under the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) for the next five years. The iDEX framework and establishment of the DIO by the Department of Defence Production (DDP) is aimed at promoting innovation and indigenisation in the aerospace and defence sector at the start-up level.
“The scheme, with budgetary support of ₹498.8 crore for the next five years, is aimed at providing financial support to nearly 300 start-ups, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), individual innovators and 20 partner incubators under the DIO framework,” the Ministry said. It aims at empowering a culture of technology co-creation and co-innovation in the sector and boosts innovation among the start-ups and encourages them to be a part of the ecosystem.
The DDP will release funds to the DIO for setting up and managing the iDEX network in the form of Partner Incubators (PI), communicating with innovators, start-ups, technology centres of MSMEs through the PIs, hackathons to shortlist potential technologies and entities and evaluating technologies and products developed by innovators, start-ups in terms of their utility and impact on the defence and aerospace setup, it said.