Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in 2018, essentially provides a unified platform for various stakeholders in the defence and aerospace sector. It acts like an umbrella organisation to oversee technology development and potential collaborations in the field.
Innovation is gradually becoming the most important factor in determining the effective power of a nation in modern military warfare. Platforms like iDEX enable the military to find disruptive solutions to complex challenges through its flagship programs like Defence India Startup Challenges (DISC) and Open Challenges (OC), which shall be the key components for future of military technology. In line with this, the Indian Navy has successfully placed a Supply Order with an iDEX winner, Saif Automations Services LLP.
Till date, iDEX has launched five rounds DISC, and three rounds of OC, receiving more than 2,000 applications from individual innovators and startups. Furthermore, iDEX has been able to fund projects in numerous technological areas through its Grant-in-Aid framework, Support for Prototype and Research Kickstart (SPARK), which entail provisioning of grant up to Rs 1.50 crore to the budding entrepreneurs.
As most awaited biennial event, Defence Expo 2022, is round the corner, the iDEX is ready to showcase its startups and award its winner during its flagship event Manthan. This year iDEX will also be signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with three new partner incubators, who are leaders in venture development and science and technology.
As iDEX is growing in family and spirit, it shall also be launching a distinctive event, Invest4iDEX, inviting reputed investors and venture capitalists, while providing the startups to pitch in front of the live audience and leverage the opportunity to generate investments and leads for future.
Innovation has become the key driver of the pace of societal evolution and it redefines social parameters with unique outputs. The iDEX has always been at the forefront of innovation in defence and internal security, and most of its projects also have tremendous civilian applications: quantum computation, AI/predictive maintenance/logistics/data analytics, security/encryption, communication, etc. To take this further, the iDEX will be launching the sixth edition of DISC with 29 new problem statements from Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Indian Coast Guard (ICG).
The recently announced allocation of 25 per cent of Defence R&D budget for startups, academia and private industry have encouraged innovators to innovate and develop state-of-the-art products and revolutionising technology solution. Keeping in line with the common aspirations, the iDEX is organising various knowledge sessions.
The iDEX is able to utilise India’s strong science, technology and research talent base to develop new capabilities in defence innovation. The understanding of the budding entrepreneurs in the direction of the need of sensitising the audience towards defence innovation is being further complemented by the support provided through this scheme.