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:
AIM has multiple programs to encourage and support innovation in the country.
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.
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.
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.
For more details, visit https://www.aim.gov.in/
Source : NITI Aayog