AIM-iLEAP initiative of NITI Aayog
- In a move to give a major push to tech startups across the country, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog concluded its first fintech cohort of AIM-iLEAP- an initiative to back tech start-ups with much-needed access to industry, markets and investors.
- The fintech cohort was done through a series of thematic virtual demo days organised AIM in partnership with Startup Réseau and Visa as part of AIM-iLEAP (Innovative leadership for entrepreneurial agility and profitability) initiative.
- The objective of the AIM-iLEAP program is to invite technology start-ups across a broad range of functions and have them present their solutions to the corporate leadership and innovation team for enabling market access and industry partnerships.
- On the other hand, individual and institutional investors participating in this program shall consider investing in the curated set of AIM supported start-ups.
- Working as an apex body for innovation and entrepreneurship in the country, AIM has access to over 2000+ tech start-ups pan-India through its member base of 65+ business incubators, 24 ACICs, 15 ARISE-ANIC and over 7200+ATLs.
About Atal Innovation Mission
The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is a flagship initiative set up by the NITI Aayog to promote innovation and entrepreneurship across the length and breadth of the country.
AlM's objectives are to create and promote an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship across the country at school, university, research institutions, MSME and industry levels.
The Atal Innovation Mission has following two core functions:
- Entrepreneurship promotion through Self-Employment and Talent Utilization, wherein innovators would be supported and mentored to become successful entrepreneurs.
- Innovation promotion: to provide a platform where innovative ideas are generated.
Atal Tinkering Labs
- To promote creative, innovative mind set in schools. At the school level, AIM is setting up state of the art Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) in schools across all districts across the country.
- These ATLs are dedicated innovation workspaces of 1200-1500 square feet where do-it-yourself (DIY) kits on latest technologies like 3D Printers, Robotics, Internet of Things (IOT), Miniaturized electronics are installed using a grant of Rs 20 Lakhs from the government so that students from Grade VI to Grade XII can tinker with these technologies and learn to create innovative solutions using these technologies.
- This will enable create a problem solving, innovative mind set within millions of students across the country.
- More than just grants, the ATL program is undertaking on-the-ground activities to engage students and teachers in identifying problems in and around their communities and creating innovative solutions leveraging the ATL technologies to achieve the objectives of the program.
- Every school would have an ATL In charge appointed by the school as well as Mentors associated to mentor the ATL students.
- All ATL in charges to date have received training through AIM and its partners. AICTE (All India Council of Technical Education) is also partnering with AIM to ensure that the closest universities to a school can also mentor ATL students.
- Atal Innovation Tinkering challenges are regularly held in the school as well as by AIM every month to ensure students active involvement in creating innovative solutions to solve problems in their community and in the country.
- The vision is to have every school have access to at least one or more Atal Tinkering Labs in each district of the country, as well as to scale the same up with the help of state education ministries across the length and breadth of the country.
- Also Government / Govt Aided schools, and Girls schools, North East and Hilly District schools get a special preference in the consideration of ATL selections.
- Promoting entrepreneurship in universities and industry. At the university, NGO, SME and Corporate industry levels, AIM is setting up world-class Atal Incubators (AICs) that would trigger and enable successful growth of sustainable startups in every sector /state of the country, thereby promoting entrepreneurs and job creators in the country addressing both commercial and social entrepreneurship opportunities in India and applicable globally.
- AIM is also providing scale up support to existing incubators for scaling up their operations. AIM is providing a grant of upto Rs 10 crores to successful applicants for setting up greenfield incubators or scaling up existing ones. The idea is that every one of the 110 named smart cities and the top 5-10 educational / industrial institutions of every state should aspire to have a world class incubator that will provide the youth / startup communities in the universities / industries opportunity to create new start ups. Women led incubators and entrepreneurial startups are strongly encouraged by AIM.
- Again here, the longer term approach would be to scale up with the help of other ministries / states / sectors / public sector organizations as this would be crucial to create thousands of job creators in India.
Atal New India Challenges and Atal Grand Challenges
- To promote technology driven innovations and product creation for social and commercial impact.
- Atal New India Challenges / Atal Grand Challenges are being launched in specific areas and sectors of national importance - such as Renewable Energies, Energy Storage, Climate-smart precision agriculture, Universal drinking water, Swaach Bharat, Transportation, Education, Healthcare using Robotic, IOT technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Block-chain, Augmented and Virtual reality, Battery Technologies etc.
- The successful applicants will get a grant of upto Rs 1 crore for Atal New India Challenges and larger grants of upto Rs 30 crores for Atal Grand Challenges. AIM is also partnering with corporates and other institutions to launch such challenges to stimulate new product and service development in various sectors.
Industry, Academia, Government, Global Collaborations
- To enable a vibrant ecosystem of innovation, AIM is promoting active collaboration between Government, Academia, Industry, Individuals and Societal focused NGOs.
- AIM has set up one of the largest Mentoring networks in India called Mentor India from the professional and industry community who can help mentor students at Atal Tinkering Labs and AIC Incubators / startups.
- Qualified mentors will be assigned to various AICs. A number of industry leaders and corporate organizations have volunteered to adopt ATLs/AICs in their vicinities to ensure close mentoring and success of these initiatives. AIM is also actively working on establishing collaborations with innovation systems and entities in other countries in APAC, Europe, UK, USA, Africa and Latin American Countries.
Source: Vikaspedia https://vikaspedia.in/education/policies-and-schemes/atal-innovation-mission
AIM-iCREST is an Incubator Capabilities Enhancement program for a Robust Ecosystem
- AIM-iCREST is an Incubator Capabilities Enhancement program for a Robust Ecosystem focused on creating high performing Startups.
- It has been designed to act as a growth support for AIM’s Atal and Established Incubators across the country.
- For the same, AIM has joined hands with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation - organizations that can lend credible support and expertise in the entrepreneurship and innovation space.
- The AIM’s incubators are set to be upscaled and provided requisite support to foster the incubation enterprise economy, that will help them to significantly enhance their performance.
- This will be complemented by providing training to entrepreneurs, through technology driven processes and platforms.
- The focus will be on supporting start-up entrepreneurs in knowledge creation and dissemination as well as in developing robust and active networks.
AIM’s Atal and Established Incubators:
- Business incubators are institutions that support entrepreneurs in developing their businesses, especially in initial stages.
- Incubation is usually done by institutions which have experience in the business and technology world.
Atal Incubation Centres:
- AIM intends to support the establishment of new incubation centres called Atal Incubation Centres (AICs) that would nurture innovative start-ups in their pursuit to become scalable and sustainable business enterprises.
Established Incubation Centres:
- In recent years, academia, industry, investors, small and big entrepreneurs, government organizations, and non-governmental organizations have taken an initiative to set up incubation centres across the country.
- AIM envisages to upgrade these Established Incubation Centres (EICs) to world-class standards.
Atal Innovation Mission – PRIME (Program for Researchers on Innovations, Market-Readiness & Entrepreneurship)
- In a major push towards deep technology and driving the country to become a digitally transformed nation, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog today launched AIM-PRIME (Program for Researchers on Innovations, Market-Readiness & Entrepreneurship), an initiative to promote and support science-based deep-tech startups & ventures across India.
- In this regard, AIM has joined hands with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to launch this nationwide programwhich will be implemented by Venture Center - a non-profit technology business incubator.
- The first cohort of the program is open to technology developers (early-stage deep tech start-ups, and scientists/ engineers/ clinicians) with strong science-based deep tech business ideas.
- The program is also open to CEOs and Senior incubation managers of AIM Funded Atal Incubation Centers that are supporting deep tech entrepreneurs.
- Deep technology is an outcome of very intense research and development (R&D) with high knowledge content.
- Consequently, the entrepreneurial journey emphasizes different aspects and requires a different approach to navigating the de-risking process and bringing such ideas to market.
- Benefits of AIM- PRIME
- The benefits of this program are aimed at addressing specific issues through training and guidance over a period of 12 months.
- Candidates selected for the program will get access to in-depth learning via a comprehensive lecture series, live team projects, exercises, and project-specific mentoring.
- They will also have access to a deep tech startup playbook, curated video library, and plenty of peer-to-peer learning opportunities.
- The AIM-PRIME program is specifically tailored for the rapid scaling up of deep-tech science ventures in India, providing not just the necessary intellect and support but also the exposure they rightly deserve.