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.
The program is made possible with the support from DST, the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), and SINE, IIT-Mumbai, The project management unit for the NIDHI-PRAYAS program.
Objectives of PRAYAS Prototyping Grant
- 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.
The eligibility criteria for the grantees are as follows:
- Individual innovator: Applicants are required to be Indian Citizen at least 18 years of age on 1st of August, 2016. 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.
- Existing incubatee of a PRAYAS centre:-
- The company is less than 2 years and 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.
- Team of individual innovator: If the team wants to pursue the project, then there has to be an agreement among the team about the lead applicant and the lead applicant have to apply for NIDHI-PRAYAS. The financial support (after the selection process) will be given to the lead applicant on behalf of the team.
Not eligible for PRAYAS:
- Student applicants pursuing long term research projects like doctoral research projects or similar projects will not be supported
- Professors or Academicians engaged in teaching with any academic or R&D institute.
- The project should involve physical product development. The projects relating to software development and those involving pure academic research are not eligible.
- Preference may be given to those innovators
- Who have bootstrapped or have got co-investment commitment.
- Who have clear road map for commercialization or start up creation.
- Women innovators
- Young innovators
- If the innovator is pursuing to build a prototype from their institute/organization IP, then in that case innovator will take NOC from the appropriate authority of their institute/organisation for use/IP transfer / ownership in favour of the innovator/startup.
- If the applicant is studying /working in an institute/organization, they should get a no objection certificate from that respective institute/organization for applying to NIDHI PRAYAS.
- The NIDHI-PRAYAS grantee should be registered for the pre-incubation or incubation program at the TBI for the entire duration of the program, after going through the TBI’s selection process.
- NIDHI-PRAYAS grantee should be fully committed to work towards the prototype development for which the support is being sought and should not treat this as a stop gap arrangement to support any other pursuits.
- The innovator can avail the NIDHI-PRAYAS support only once and they should not have sought the similar support previously, from other Government of India organisation/Institution for the same innovative concept as proposed in the application form.
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