Defence Innovation Hubs

  • Category
    Defence
  • Published
    21st Feb, 2019

Context

The Defence Innovation Organisation set up under iDEX has announced setting up of two Defence Innovation Hubs (DIHs) in Tamil Nadu (Coimbatore) and Maharashtra (Nashik).

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  • The Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) framework of the Government envisages setting up and managing independent DIHs.
  • These DIHs will serve as platforms where innovators can get information about needs and feedback from the Services directly and create solutions for India’s major defence platforms.
  • This structure is also geared towards attracting more innovators to work for the defence sector in India.

What are the criteria for establishing Defence Innovation Hubs?

The Framework to Fund Defence Innovation Hubs under iDEX prescribes the following minimum criterion for setting up Defence Innovation Hubs:

  • Any Central Government recognized Incubator including but not limited to: Department of Science and Technology (DST) recognized Incubators.
  • Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog created Atal Incubation Centers (AICs) and Established Incubation Centers (EICs).
  • Ministry of MSME recognized incubators.
  • Any other incubator recognized or funded through any Central government scheme.
  • The incubator located in districts mentioned in the list of SME clusters hosted by the Ministry of MSME in collaboration with UNIDO.
  • Incubator / Hub promoted by local industry associations.

Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX):

  • It was launched by the Government in April 2018, primarily aims at creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace
  • It aims at engaging Industries including MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes & academia for defence technology to be made and fostered in India.
  • It will provide them grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D which has good potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs.
  • iDEX is funded and managed by a ‘Defence Innovation Organization (DIO)’ which has been formed as a ‘not for profit’ company as per Section 8 of the Companies Act 2013 for this purpose
  • DIO has been created by the two founder members i.e. Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) - HAL & BEL.
  • iDEX functions as the executive arm of DIO, carrying out all the required activities while DIO will provide high level policy guidance to iDEX.

Key Functions of iDex:

  • Co-Innovation/co-creation
  • Piloting of candidate technologies in important platforms
  • Indigenization of various defence and aerospace related platforms being manufactured in the country based on ToT.

Defence India Start Up Challenge:

  • Taking the iDEX initiative further, Defence India Startup Challenge "has been launched by Ministry in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission.
  • It aims at supporting Startups/MSMEs/Innovators to create prototypes and/or commercialize products/solutions in the area of National Defence and Security.
  • The vision of the Challenge is two-fold:
    • Help create functional prototypes of products/technologies relevant for national security (prototyping), and spur fast-moving innovation in the India defence sector
    • Help new tech products/technologies find a market and early customer (commercialization) in the form of the Indian Defence Establishment.
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