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National Initiative for Development and Harnessing Innovations

This topic provides information about NIDHI (National Initiative for Development and Harnessing Innovations).

NIDHI (National Initiative for Development and Harnessing Innovations), an umbrella program is pioneered by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, for nurturing ideas and innovations (knowledge-based and technology-driven) into successful startups.

Need for NIDHI

The Indian startup ecosystem has seen a lot of activity in terms of growth of number of startups that emerged and also in terms of deals for funding that got closed and amount that were funded. Against this bright background, however, the challenge that the young student innovators face is to raise the initial funding for his/her startup. Having reached the stage where s/he has done the technology demonstration and has a working prototype, the innovator is now looking for preparing his business plan, product validation and launch of startup. Product development and validation is his/her major challenge at this stage.

Startup launch, product development and validation requires some investment part of the young innovator. The initial funds needed at this time usually comes from friends, family, Angel investors and HNI who would invest in a early stage startup.

However, when technology is untested and market is unsure making returns uncertain, the risk of investment is too high for conventional investors including the Venture Capitalists to pitch in. The funds required at this pre - incubation stage is not a very large fund by volume but it does certainly gives the startup and the young innovator a breather in this competitive space.

NIDHI, by design connects and strengthens all the links of the innovation chain from scouting to sustaining to securing to scaling to showcasing, because a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The key stakeholders of NIDHI includes various departments and ministries of the central government, state governments, academic and R & D institutions, mentors, financial institutions, angel investors, venture capitalists, industry champions and private sectors.

Objectives

  • To take forward student innovations in IEDC / NewGen IEDC programme to commercialization stage.
  • To promote student startups.
  • To accelerate the journey of idea to prototype by providing initial funding assistance.

Components of NIDHI

There are 8 components of NIDHI that support each stage of a budding startup from idea to market.They are as follows

NIDHI GCC - Grand Challenges and Competitions for scouting innovations

Objectives

  • To find & nurture new and innovative solutions for major challenges being faced by  the society that are viable and sustainable.
  • To pickup ideas from untapped sources and convert them into startups.
  • To  generate  better  awareness  about  entrepreneurship  amongst  India’s  masses  and  reach out to aspiring and existing  entrepreneurs through active media outreach.
  • To  expand the pipeline  of potential incubatees for all TBIs
  • To provide  structured mentoring, guidance, prototyping grants, and seed-funding for ideas applying for such programs.
  • To build a vibrant startup ecosystem, by establishing a network between academia, financial           institutions, industries and other institutions.

Who  can  apply? - The  proposal for  running  a  Scouting  Program  maybe submitted by a TBI with a minimum 3 years of program  of  national/regional scale  of  promoting  entrepreneurship (including accelerator or entrepreneur development program).

For more information, click here

NIDHI - PRomoting and and accelerating Young and Aspiring Innovators and Startups (NIDHI-PRAYAS) - Support from Idea to Prototype

Targets and outcome

The program would target to facilitate and enable minimum 100 innovators annually across the country in translating their ideas into prototype through funding support to maximum 10 PRAYAS Centres (PC) in the country. It aims to support innovators to build prototypes of their ideas by providing a grant up to Rs.10 lakhs and an access to Fabrication Laboratory (Fab Lab). PRAYAS was launched on 2nd September, 2016.

Eligibility for Submission of a Proposal of PC

  • STEPs/TBIs  promoted  by  Government  of  India  are  eligible  to  apply  under  the  PRAYAS Centers (PC).
  • The  proposal  to  be submitted  by  aSTEP  /  TBI and  other  institutions  with  a  proven  track record in promotion of technology based entrepreneurship. The STEP / TBI is  supposed   to   have   adequate   expertise   and   infrastructure to  support  innovation  scouting,  screening,  selection  for funding  support  and  monitoring  of  progress  of development.
  • The financial support for establishing a  PC would be extended to a  STEP/TBI, a not-for-profit legal   entity   registered   as   a   society/trust/section   8   company.   DST encourages a PC to  collaborate  with  an  industry,  an  academic  institution  and  with  other  institutions  of  repute  focusing  on  innovation,  research,  testing,  validation, quality  control , commercialization mentorship and  start - up  promotion.DST at present does not support for-profit incubators.
  • The STEP/TBI should have been in existence for at least 3 years. This limit of time period will not apply  to  entities  created  by the central  government or state governments.
  • A  pure R&D  proposal  for  academic  pursuits  and  industrial consultancy  will  not  be eligible for support.
  • The  proposals  which  are  not  complete  or  do  not  meet  eligibility  criteria  will  not  be considered.
For more information, click here

NIDHI-Entrepreneur In Residence (NIDHI-EIR)-Support system to reduce risk

Objectives

  • To encourage graduating student to take to entrepreneurship by providing support as a fellowship.
  • To provide a prestigious forum for deserving and budding entrepreneurs to pursue their ventures without any additional risks involved in technology based businesses.
  • To create, nurture and strengthen a pipeline of entrepreneurs for incubators.
  • To make pursuing entrepreneurship related to a technology business idea more attractive among options available career options.
  • To enable creation of new start - ups by entrepreneurs and significant progress towards raising funding or investment.

For more information, click here

Startup-NIDHI

Through Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centres (IEDCs) in academic institutions; encouraging Students to promote start-ups

Objectives

  • To  take  forward student  innovations  in IEDC /NewGen  IEDC programme to commercialization stage
  • To promote student startups
  • To  accelerate  the  journey  of  idea  to  prototype by  providing  initial  funding assistance

Eligibility
Eligibility for funds disbursal

  • Any  project  supported  by IEDC  / NewGen  IEDC in  the  last  five years, and
  • Current student projects in an IEDC / NewGen IEDC,
  • The projects have to be  nominated by IEDC / NewGen IEDC;
  • The  start  up  should  own  the  IP  fully;  the  host  institution  should have transferred or have forgone their rights on the IP;
  • The start up should have registered as a company/LLP
  • No student would be a part of more than one team

For more information, click here

NIDHI-Technology Business Incubator(TBI)-Converting Innovations to start-ups

Objectives

  • To create jobs, wealth and businesses aligning with  national priorities.
  • To promote new technology/knowledge/innovation base d startups.
  • To  provide  a  platform  for  speedy  commercialization of  technologies  developed  by  the host institution or by any academic/technical/R&D institution or by an individual.
  • To  build  a  vibrant  startup  ecosystem,  by  establishing  a  network  between  academia, financial institutions, industries and other institutions.
  • To  provide  cost  effective,  value  added  services  to startups  like  mentoring,  legal, financial, technical, intellectual property related services.

Eligibility

  • The  proposal  is  to  be  submitted  by  an  Academic/Technical/R&D  Institution  (called Host Institute (HI)) and other institutions with a proven track record in promotion of technology  based entrepreneurship.
  • In  case,  the  host  institute  is  other  than  an  academic  institution,  it  should  be  a  legal entity registered in India with the clear purpose and objective of promoting research,innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • The financial support for establishing a NIDHI-TBI would be extended to a not-for-profit  legal  entity  registered  as  a  society/trust/section  8  company. DST does not support for-profit incubators at present.
  • The host institution should be in existence for at  least 3 years. This will not apply to entities created by the central government or state  governments.
  • A  pure  R&D  proposal  for  academic  pursuits  and  industrial  consultancy  will  not  be eligible for support.

For more information, click here

NIDHI-Accelerator-Fast tracking a start-up through focused intervention

Objectives

  • To  fast  track  the  growth  of  potential  start  ups  through  rigorous  mentoring  and  networking support in a short span through existing TBIs
  • To  attract  subject  matter  experts,  mentors,  and  angel  investors  get  associated  with TBIs through the structured accelerator programs
  • To build a vibrant startup ecosystem, by establishing a network between  academia,financial institutions, industries and other institutions.
  • To  act  as  a  hub  for  several  incubators  in  the  region,  so  that  high-potential  startups can be fast-tracked for increased exposure and validation
  • Accelerators should employ a “fail fast” mentality:  ideas or prototypes that are not getting  traction  should  be  abandoned  (or  modified) quickly,  allowing  founders  to
    redeploy resources to other projects or even new companies at a rapid pace.

Who can apply

The  proposal  for  running  an  Accelerator  Program  may  be submitted  by  a TBI having  NSTEDB  recognition  and  experience  of  running  at least  one  program  of  national / regional  scale  of  promoting  entrepreneurship (including  accelerator  or  entrepreneur  development program). NSTEDB  will consider support of up to 2 Accelerators every  year (with  a 2-9-month duration)  for  every  TBI  and  support  up to  Rs  1.50  crores  per  year  per  TBI.  Applicant  TBI should  specify  Types  of  Accelerators  that  they  propose  to  run  at  the  time  of applying. These  Accelerators  would  coach, mentor and  incubate all types  of startups  irrespective  of  product,  sector,  and  stage  of  start-up.  Priority  would  be given to Accelerators supporting innovative solutions for social impact.

For more information, click her

NIDHI-Seed Support System (NIDHI-SSS)-Providing early stage investment

Objective

To  ensure  timely availability of the seed support to the deserving  incubatee startups within an incubator , thereby  enabling  them  to take their venture to next level and facilitate towards their  success in the market place. The scheme also enables the STEP/TBI to widen their pipeline of startups and also  share the success of their startups which would also result in ensuring  their long term operational sustainability.

Eligibility for TBI to apply for NIDHI-SSS
A  fully  Operational  STEP/TBI with  at  least  5  start  ups  requiring  seed support  is  eligible  to  apply  to  DST  for  seed  support.   Seed  support  is normally given to a DST funded STEP/TBIs, but other  TBIs having not  for  profit  legal  status  and  hosted  at  public  institutions  would  also  be considered on a case to case basis.

Eligibility Conditions  for  Incubatee Start Ups  for seed support

  • Incubatee  should  be  a  registered  company  in  India  with  minimum  of three months of residency at the STEP/TBIs. 
  • Incubatee  has  to  be  an  Indian  start-up.  This  support  is  not  meant  for Indian   Subsidiaries   of   MNCs/foreign   companies.  Persons holding Overseas Citizens of India (OCI), Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) would be considered as Indian citizens for the purpose of this scheme. 
  • The share holding by Indian promoters in the incubate start up should be at least 51%.

The component is the Seed Support System which provides up to One Crore rupees per start-up and is implemented through Technology Business Incubators.

For more information, click her

NIDHI Centres of Excellence (NIDHI-CoE)-A World class facility to help startups go global

Objectives

  • To promote new technology/knowledge/innovation base d impact making startups.
  • To  provide  cost  effective,  value  added  services  to startups  like  mentoring,  legal, financial, technical, intellectual property related services.
  • To scale up existing/new activities targeted at seeding and supporting startups.
  • To  provide  a  platform  for  speedy  commercialization of  technologies  developed  by  the host institution or by any academic/technical/R&D institution or by an individual.
  • To  build  a  vibrant  startup  ecosystem,  by  establishing  a  network  between  academia, financial institutions, industries and other institutions.
  • To create jobs, wealth and business in alignment with national priorities.

Eligibility for Submission of a Proposal of  NIDHI-CoE

  • The  proposal  is  to  be  submitted  by  an  existing  Incubator,  which  has  been  in existence  for  at  least  five  years.  The  host  institute  is  supposed  to  provide  adequate expertise and infrastructure for scaling up of existing incubation activities.
  • In  non-academic  institution,  it  should  be  a  legal  entity  registered  in  India  with  the clear  purpose  and  objective  of  promoting  research, innovation  and  entrepreneurial ecosystem. It  would  be  essential  to have partnership  with  at  least  one  academic institute  of  repute / technical  institutes  of  repute/existing  TBIs or STEPs/institutions/government  bodies  engaged  in  promotion  of  innovation  and entrepreneurship.
  • The  financial  support  for  establishing  a  NIDHI-CoE  would  be  extended  to  a  not-for-profit legal entity registered as a society/trust/section 8 company. DST requires a NIDHI-CoE  to  collaborate  with  an  industry,  an  academic  institution  and  with  other institutions of repute focusing on innovation, research, commercialization and start-up promotion.DST, at present, does not support for-profit incubators.
  • The host institution should be in existence for at least 8 years. This will not apply to entities  created  by  the  central   government  or  state  governments. DST  would welcome  partnership  with  the  State  Governments  and other  Departments  of  Central Government.
  • The proposals which are not complete or do not prov ide information on 15 point of  eligibility criteria (Sl No 8 in Proforma for Application), will not be considered.

For more information, click here

Source : The National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB)

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