Defence India Startup Challenge – Apply Now

Defence India Startup Challenge – Apply Now

The Ministry of Defence aims to create an ecosystem which fosters innovation and encourages technology development in Defence by engaging start-ups, MSMEs and even individual innovators.
Researchers have long talked of the ‘Valleys of Death’ at the early stage and commercialization stage in taking innovations to market. The Defence India Startup Challenge aims to address both the Commercialization Valleys of Death, in which innovators are unable to access resources for prototyping, piloting, testing, and market creation.
The Defence India Startup Challenge, launched by the Defence Innovation Organization(under the aegis of the Ministry of Defence) in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission is an open call to Startups, MSMEs and individuals to solve some of the most critical technological problems being faced by the Indian Defence Establishment.

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Applicants showing capability, intent, and promise to be able to produce prototypes or productize existing prototypes may be awarded grants of up to Rs. 1.5 crores, strictly on a milestone basis as per the recommendations of a high-powered committee. This funding will be in the form of grant/equity/debt/other relevant structures as deemed suitable by the committee and will be disbursed in tranches based on the milestones decided by a high-powered selection committee.
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  1. Individual protection system with built-in sensors
  2. See through armour
  3. Carbon Fibre winding (CFW)
  4. Active Protection System (APS)
  5. Secure hardware based offline encryptor device for graded security
  6. Department of 4G/LTE based tactical local area network
  7. Department of advanced technology based desalination system (water purification) and bilge only water separation system
  8. Artificial intelligence in logistics and SCM
  9. Unmanned surface and underwater vehicles
  10. Remotely piloted airborne vehicles
  11. Laser weaponry

1) What is the Defence India Startup Challenge?

The Defence India Startup Challenge is an initiative by Defence Innovation Organization(DIO), (under the aegis of Ministry of Defence), within the iDEX framework in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission to support Startups, MSMEs and individual innovators in creating prototypes/products/technologies to address the current needs of the Indian Defence establishment.
The program aims to help build an eco-system of innovation and entrepreneurship in India for the Defence sector to tap into, for making India self-reliant for national defence needs. Support to selected applicants may be provided through a grant-based mechanism, along with access to handholding, mentoring and other technical support as decided by a high-powered committee.

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2. Who can apply for the Defence India Startup Challenge?

  1. Startups, as defined and recognized by Department of Industrial Policy Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
  2. Any Indian company incorporated under the Companies Act 1956/2013, primarily a Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) as defined in the MSME Act, 2006.
  3. Individual innovators are also encouraged to apply (research & academic institutions can use this category to apply)

3. Can academic/research institutions also apply to the Defence India Startup Challenge?

Yes, academic/research institutions can also apply to the Defence India Startup Challenge. However, they will have to apply in the category of individual innovator, with the main researcher being the applicant.

4. How do I apply for Defence India Startup Challenge?

All applications for Defence India Startup Challenge will be accepted online, and only through the dedicated form on the website. 

The last date of application is 31st October 2018. Apply here

5. When is the deadline for Application?

The deadline for Applications is 31st October 2018.

6. What are the different Focus Areas/Problem Statements for Defence India Startup Challenge?

The Defence India Startup Challenge has identified the following 11 as the focus areas/problem statements.

  1. Individual Protection System with in-built sensors
  2. See Through Armour
  3. Carbon Fibre Winding (CFW)
  4. Active Protection System (APS)
  5. Secure hardware based offline Encryptor Device for Graded Security
  6. Development of 4G/LTE based Tactical Local Area Network
  7. Development of Advanced Technology Based Desalination System (Water Purification) and Bilge Oily Water Separation System
  8. Artificial Intelligence in Logistics & SCM
  9. Unmanned Surface and Underwater Vehicles
  10. Remotely Piloted Airborne Vehicles
  11. Laser Weaponry

For more details on each problem statement, click on their icon on the overview page.

Defence India Startup Challenge

7. Where can I find the detailed technical specifications for these focus areas/problem statements?

The focus areas/problem statements for the Defence India Startup Challenge have been deliberately kept broad to allow innovation and out of the box solutions. You are advised to submit the best technical specifications you can achieve or the range of technical specifications you can provide for the particular focus area/problem statement you are applying to.

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8. What are the key parameters in the selection of an application for Defence India Startup Challenge?

The vision of the Defence India Startup Challenge is two-fold:

  1. help create functional prototypes of products/technologies relevant for national security (prototyping), this will also help build an ecosystem of fast-moving innovation in the Indian Defence Sector.
  2. help new deep-tech products find markets and early customers (commercialization) in the context of the Indian Defence Sector.

Accordingly, applications will be screened on the following criteria:

  1. Potential for proposed prototype to meet existing Indian Defence needs.
  2. Potential to deploy an existing technology or patent to meet existing Indian Defence needs.
  3. An additional but optional parameter will be whether the proposed prototype/product/technology as the ability to reach alternative civilian markets also.

9. What is the selection process for Defence India Startup Challenge?

Applications will be shortlisted by a high-powered committee on the basis of the information provided by them.
All the shortlisted applicants may be asked to present their technologies and business plans in person to high-powered committee of defence and technology experts.
Applicants will be selected by the committee on their ability to develop their proposed prototype/product/technology and its ability to meet the defence requirements.

10. What are the milestones?

Milestones are the parameters to evaluate the progress of the selected applicants through the stages from prototype to commercialization. Applicants have to suggest milestones for their respective proposals while filling the application form, but those will not be binding on the committee. The committee will provide every applicant with milestones depending on the nature of proposal.

11. How can the Defence India Startup Challenge help me to make my prototype/product/technology successful?

Applicants showing capability, intent, and promise to be able to create functional prototypes or productize technologies will be awarded grants up to Rs. 1.5 crores in the form of equity/debt/other relevant structures. The grants will be disbursed in tranches based on the milestones decided by the high-powered selection committee.
Apart from the financial support, selected applicants may also be given entry to accelerator programs run by iDEX partners, where they will be supported in technology and business development through mentorship under the innovation and entrepreneurship experts. The selected applicants may also be supported in terms of access to defence testing facilities and experts for their product/technology development.
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12. What are the eligible expenditures for grant money under the Defence India Startup Challenge?

Since the focus of the program is to facilitate creating of prototypes and bringing of products/technologies to market (defence or otherwise), applicants will be encouraged to spend on:

  1. Research & Development
  2. Prototyping
  3. Pilot Implementation

Detailed fund utilization guidelines will be provided to the selected applicants.

13. Can I apply, if I have received other government grants?

No, as a criterion for application a Self-certification is required stating that the applicant has not received any grant, past or ongoing, from any ministry or department of the Government of India or any state government, for the same or a similar purpose.

14. What all details have to filled in the Defence India Startup Challenge online application?

Applicants will be required to provide the following information in the online application:
Full Details of a Single Point of Contact for the applying entity – these are the full contact details of a single person who will act as the point of contact between iDEX and the applicant. We encourage that this person be a core member(founder/CEO) of the applicant entity (Startup/MSME).
Entity Details – these are the details of the Startup/MSME applying. Individuals Innovators do not have to fill these.
Proposal Details – these are the details of the proposal in response to the Defence India Startup Challenge problem statements/focus areas. Applicants must select the problem statement they are addressing, what amount of funding they want and provide technical and financial details of their proposal. This will include mentioning relevant patents and research papers by the applicant, if any, a detailed project report with the technical details of the product/technology they are proposing and how the applicant plans to deliver it, if selected. The applicants are also asked to provide a tentative business plan, which should detail the plan to manufacture the product/technology, as well as whether they have identified a separate civilian market for the product/technology, or a close variant thereof.
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