Deadline: 30 April 2020
National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) is an umbrella programme conceived and developed by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, for nurturing ideas and innovations (knowledge-based and technology-driven) into successful start-ups.
Under this initiative, DST has launched NIDHI- Promoting and Accelerating Young and ASpiring innovators & startups (NIDHI-PRAYAS) program. The program caters to idea-stage entrepreneurs with a physical product offering, who require support for prototyping. It would also facilitate the innovators with the Physical infrastructure, Technical Guidance, Business Mentorship etc.
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- Enable translation of an innovative idea to a prototype.
- Provide a platform for faster experimentation and modify approaches in the idea to market journey.
- Generate innovative solutions relevant to the local and global problems.
- Attract a large number of youth who demonstrates problem solving zeal and abilities
- A pre-incubation program or pipeline activity leading to startup incubation. Ideal end point is venture creation and development.
Priority areas and themes of projects:
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- Internet-of-things (IOT)
- Other technology areas where Venture Center has interest and strength
- The projects relating to pure software / APP development and those involving pure academic research are not eligible
- At Venture Center, preference will be given for the following focus areas (this has been based on Venture Center’s strengths in mentoring and the quality of support available in the ecosystem for converting the idea into a business):
- Health, solutions for the disabled/elderly etc
- Energy, environment, resource optimization etc
- Engineering products, appliances, electronics etc (Hardware)
- Agriculture, animal husbandry, rural industries (but knowledge -intensive products)
- Consumer products
- Others as decided by the NIDHI-PRAYAS-MC committee
- Available Grant – in – aid upto Rs. 10 lakhs for prototype development under NIDHI – PRAYAS program.
- Duration: Maximum of 18 months extendable to 6 months after Monitoring Committee review. However, at Venture Center the preferred duration period shall be 12 months.
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- Nature of projects:
- The project needs to define a technology solution to a well-defined problem.
- The idea proposed should be innovative/ novel.
- Project should relate to converting an idea into a prototype.
- Technology ideas and proposals that can result in a viable startup shall be preferred.
- Eligibility for Project Leader and Applicant:
- Every project proposal will need to identify a Project Leader and an Applicant/ Grantee.
- The Project Leader will be a single individual who will take responsibility for executing the project.
- The Project leader / Startup should own the Project know how / IP
- Innovators who do not have a roadmap / will towards commercialization will not be supported.
- The Applicant or Grantee can be either of the following:
- Case 1: Applicant is a single individual
- Case 2: Applicant is a nascent startup company
Requirements for the Project Leader (PL):
- PL has to be an individual (single person).
- PL is required to be at least 18 years of age as on the date of call for applications.
- PL is required to be Indian Citizen. An Indian citizen is defined as one who is in possession of a government approved proof of nationality such as a valid passport, voter’s id etc.
- PL has to pursue the PRAYAS project or startup full time with no other concurrent commitments during the project duration.
- PL cannot be pursuing a long-term academic/research project (like doctoral students) with significant obligations during the project duration.
- PL cannot be an employee of an ineligible company with concurrent commitments during the project duration.
- Additional criteria of Venture Center:
- Applicants must have completed basic undergraduate training in natural sciences/engineering/ medicine. Essential qualification is PhD/ MTech/ BTech/ BPharm /MD/ MBBS/ BDS/ MSc / MPhil/ M Des/ MPH /MBA / MSW and equivalents, with under‐ graduate training in Science, Medicine, Engineering. Applicants with a BSc degree with at least 1 year of full-time work or research experience shall also be eligible
- Preferences will be given for the following:
- Women innovators
- Innovators under the age of 35 (preference for youth)
- Technology commercialization plan that can result in manufacturing jobs
- Professionals with relevant work/ industry experience
- Applicants with a history/ track record of invention/tinkering solutions etc or volunteering with organizations to address/solve problems.
- PL shall be evaluated also for:
- The potential the applicant has for confidently and clearly and convincingly pitching ideas to potential funders and investors.
Requirements of an Applicant/ Grantee:
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- Case 1: Applicant is a single individual:
- Applicant will also be the PL
- Applicant has to qualify under criteria for PL.
- In case the applicant is associated with any organization / institution, the applicant has to seek the NOC (No Objection Certificate) from their organization / institution with permission to apply for Prayas grant program and to work full time on the Prayas project and the IP generated would vest with the applicant which would be further taken for commercialization.
- The applicant can be a representative of a team of individuals. In this case, there should be an agreement between all members of the team allowing the applicant to apply and execute the project, and clearly outlining the IP terms for Project IP (including ownership, commercialization rights, cost and reward sharing).
- Case 2: Applicant is a nascent startup company
- The applicant can be a startup company (should not exceed 7 years from Date of Incorporation at the time of announcing of a call for applications; PLC or LLP only).
- At least 51% of the company should be owned by Indian nationals (directly or indirectly).
- Wants to develop the prototype for a new product, for which they may have not received similar kind of support.
- Company should have no significant revenue at the time of application.
- Company should have annual turnover not exceeding Rs. 25 lakhs for any of the financial year since its inception.
- IP generated would vest with the start up.
For more information, visit https://www.venturecenter.co.in/nidhi-prayas/