Business incubation has been globally recognized as an important tool for economic development and job creation. Innovation and Entrepreneurship Division of Department of Science and Technology (DST) has been supporting the technology based stratups through its flagship programme of “Technology Business Incubator”. Technology Business Incubators have been supported primarily in and around academic and technical institutions to tap potential technology ideas and innovations for venture creation by effectively utilizing expertise and existing infrastructure already available with the host institution. Technology based new enterprises are high risk and high growth ventures, and they require an enabling environment like NIDHI-Centre of Excellence (NIDHI-CoE) to enhance the prospects of their success.
Eligibility: a. 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.
b. 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.
c. 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 startup promotion. DST, at present, does not support for-profit incubators.
d. 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. Support shall be extended in setting up of NIDHI-CoE in PPP mode. Partnerships with complementing expertise shall be encouraged. It is expected that 30% of the total project cost is funded by the collaborating partner. A MoU defining different roles and responsibilities between collaborating partners should be submitted along with the application. The funding should be given to the not-for-profit entity created for managing NIDHI-CoE.
e. The proposals which are not complete or do not provide information on 15 point of eligibility criteria (Sl No 8 in Proforma for Application), will not be considered.
Funding Grant: To further augment and scale up existing incubation activities in TBIs, the Department would provide an enhanced support INR 50 crore in 5 years. The support would include a design/product/prototype development & Validation Centres along with the Patent Facilitation centres, state-of-the-art technology based TBI facilities to accommodate minimum 100 startups and an accelerator for 10 high potential startups. The support would encourage innovation, entrepreneurship, successful business development, and community revitalization, and ensure development of local economy.