New Delhi: 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.
In order to realize the Prime Minister’s ambitious Initiative on Startup India, DST aims to bring both speed and scale to transform the startup ecosystem in the country and has committed 500 crores to implement these new programs in next few years.
This was announced by the Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan, while addressing the media in New Delhi.
NIDHI focuses on building a seamless and innovation driven entrepreneurial ecosystem especially by channelizing youth towards it and thereby bringing in the positive impact on the socio-economic development of the country. The program aims to provide technological solutions not only to the pressing needs of the society but also targets to create new avenues for wealth and job creation.
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. NIDHI strongly addresses the new national aspirations by massively scaling up DST’s experience of three decades in promoting innovative startups.
There are 8 components of NIDHI that support each stage of a budding startup from idea to market. The first component PRAYAS (Promoting and Accelerating Young and Aspiring Innovators & Startups), launched on 2nd September, 2016, 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). The final component is the Seed Support System which provides upto One Crore rupees per start-up and is implemented through Technology Business Incubators. During the current financial year with a view to drive the innovation and startup centric new initiatives in a scaled up manner for its wider outreach across the country, a 450 percent increase in allocation (Rs 180 crores) has been made in the Department’s budget.