Eligibility for Start-ups and Partner Incubators for the Rs. 499 Cr Budgetary Support

The Government has sanctioned additional funds for the iDEX scheme to boost defence related start-ups. This is in line with their efforts to foster domestic defence manufacturing under ‘Make in India’.


In yet another move to encourage defence based innovations within the start-up and small business community in India, a budgetary support package worth INR 499 Cr has been approved. 

As per this move, the Government will procure a marginally higher amount of defence-related goods and services from micro and small enterprises in the current financial year. This move comes under the Make in India purview to foster domestic manufacturing. 

The Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) scheme

iDEX is a scheme by the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) which will extend financial support for 300 SMEs, start-ups, individual innovators and 20 partner incubators under DIO. Aerospace start-ups who want to provide defence related products and services are eligible to avail the funding. Grants will be provided for R&D development. The funds will be released to the DIO through the Department of Defence Production (DDP). 

Eligibility Criteria for start-ups and partner incubators

  • Products and services with good potential for future adoption by Indian Defence and Aerospace are eligible for support.
  • Partner Incubators that come under the Department of Science and Technology are eligible for funds.
  • Technologies and products with relevant utility and impact on Defence and Aerospace in India stand a chance at getting shortlisted.

How start-ups will benefit

The Government is keen on supporting self-reliance and indigenisation in the defence and aerospace sector. This is a big push for small businesses in this sector. Start-ups and SMEs will be able to rapidly scale up and shorten their timelines. They can also cater to the needs of Indian Defence and Aerospace. 

Start-ups with innovative solutions will benefit from increased engagement and encouragement from the Government. It is also a golden opportunity for start-ups to actively partake in the Indian defence needs and to work alongside the Government. 

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Products and services with good potential for future adoption by Indian Defence and Aerospace are eligible for support.

What’s in it for me?

Start-ups, SMEs, and innovators will have the opportunity to communicate with the partner incubators under the iDEX scheme. You will get a picture of the current defence and aerospace needs of the country. Keep an eye out for hackathons and challenges to be organised by the DDP. Participate in these events to get noticed and to be shortlisted for the scheme. 

Last but not the least, start-ups will get to meet with the top brass of the armed forces. You will have a platform to pitch your technologies and products directly to them and to encourage them to adopt your innovations. You will also be able to pitch for assisting and integrating the approved technologies. There will also be a number of outreach activities across India organised under the scheme, for start-ups partake in. 

Anju Nambiar
Anju Nambiar
Anju has 5 years of experience covering business. She writes on startups, business life cycle and startup ecosystem. Her stints include Amazon and Adjetter Media Network.

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