19 March, 2021
10 Min Read
Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) framework was launched in April, 2018 with an aim to achieve self-reliance and to foster innovation and technology development in defence and aerospace by engaging industries including MSMEs, startups, individual innovators, R&D institutes and academia.
iDEX provides grants for prototype development and promotes innovation and entrepreneurship among Defence Start-ups.
Various initiatives being undertaken under iDEX are as follows:-
Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC): iDEX is emerging as a front runner & has gained substantial traction in the Defence Startup Community. Various MSMEs/Startups have been funded so far, to evolve services-related research towards challenges/Problem statements of Indian Forces. DISC IV was launched on 29 September 2020 by the Hon’ble RM.
iDEX Open Challenges: As part of the iDEX Open Challenges, the received proposals are reviewed for approval by the High Powered Selection Committee (HPSC).
iDEX 4 FAUJI: iDEX 4 FAUJI was launched, along with Defence India Startup Challenge IV to support innovations identified by grass root service personnel serving in the field conditions. This would incorporate the first-hand experience for improving and bringing operational and maintenance improvements in existing platforms, as also generate futuristic ideas for innovations in defence manufacturing. These would then be issued as challenges under iDEX with the shortlisted start-ups being assisted by the applicant servicemen.
As part of iDEX initiative, OFB has taken up in-house R&D projects for development of Armament, Ammunition & Equipment items of Land Systems pertaining to i.e. Artillery & Air Defence Gun Systems, Small Arms Weapons Systems, Armored Fighting Vehicles and futuristic smart ammunition systems.
DRDO through the Technology development scheme (TDF) scheme aims to fund private sector industry, especially MSMEs including startups. Total of 25 Projects have been awarded to various private industries including MSMEs and start-ups under the TDF scheme so for. The DRDO has also launched a pan India contest’ to bring innovators, entrepreneurs, individual and start-ups for innovative ideas in the field of Defence and Aerospace.
There are 11 projects of Indian Army as part of DISC and Open Challenges of iDEX which involves hand holding of 23 start-ups. Indian Navy has leveraged iDEX scheme and is presently engaging 21 start-ups in design and development for 09 projects. IAF, as part of these initiatives, is progressing 11 cases and is engaged with 17 start-ups/individual innovators/MSMEs for design and development of innovative equipment through iDEX.
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