Start-up Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC) at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) to become a partner incubator for the ministry of defence’s flagship programme Innovation for Defence Excellence (iDEX-Prime).
The MoU was inked on April 22 in the presence of defence minister Rajnath Singh at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Under the MoU, the business incubator at the institute will offer technical support to start-ups working in the field of modern technologies for defence.
iDEX-Prime will support start-ups for projects up to Rs 10 crore to add to the evolving innovation ecosystem nationally across various domains ranging from Artificial Intelligence (AI), Advanced Imaging, Sensor Systems, Big Data Analytics, Autonomous Unmanned Systems, to Secured Communication.
The iDEX Prime programme is launched with six challenge statements from the armed forces for resolution by start-ups and innovators with a grant of Rs 10 Crores. The challenges are as follows:
· To develop an Al-based Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) for identifying and marking mines in a minefield
· To develop Advanced Truss Bridges
· To develop 11m ‘all electric’ Work Boat
· To develop an Automated Celestial Navigation system
· To make Expendable Active Decoys
· To develop Signals Intelligence System for Hilly Terrain and High-Altitude Area
IIT Kanpur, being one of the partner incubators for the programme, would guide startups in the domains of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Advanced Imaging, Sensor Systems, Big Data Analytics, Autonomous Unmanned Systems, and Secured Communication to achieve the six stated goals.
Abhay Karandikar, director, IIT Kanpur, said, “The iDEX programme is a great initiative by the defence ministry to attain ‘Atmanirbharata’ in our defence sector through multi-stakeholder collaboration. IIT Kanpur is proud to be a key partner incubator in DIO’s iDEX-Prime programme to support the start-ups in achieving the stated goals. This partnership will definitely leverage our institute’s infrastructure and the research and development pool to take strides in creating an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ in the defence sector.”
Ministry of defence’s iDEX intends to build an ecosystem that fosters innovation and technology development in the defence sector leveraged by multi-disciplinary research and development (R&D) institutes, universities, enterprises, start-ups, and innovators. The programme is a significant step toward actualising self-sufficiency for the Indian Military.
Amitabha Bandyopadhyay, PIC, Innovation and Incubation, IIT Kanpur, said, “It is indeed an honour to be partnering with Defence Innovation Organisation and join hands for shared goal of supporting innovation to achieve self-sufficiency for Indian defence services. I’m thrilled at this partnership and hopeful that the start-up ecosystem currently in action at IIT Kanpur does justice to it by supporting and harnessing the innovation in the Defence sector.”