An innovation ecosystem for Defence -Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) was launched during Def-Expo 2018 with the aim to encourage and nurture innovations in the Indian Defence sector.
Over the last two years, iDEX has been successful in creating an ecosystem in which Startups, MSMEs, individual innovators, R&D institutes and Academia have been able to connect and collaborate with the Indian defence establishment.
More than 700 start-ups participated in 18 problem statements pertaining to National Defence requirements, launched under 3 rounds of Defence India Start-up Challenges (DISC). 58 winners were announced after rigorous evaluation of applications and they are supported with grants for developing military use prototypes.
These startups are in the process of developing latest technological innovative solutions for the armed forces as per their requirements, in the areas such as See through Armour, 4G-Tactical area network, GPS anti-jam device, counter measure for unmanned Drones, Unmanned surface & under water vehicles, individual protection system for soldier etc.
iDEX is being scaled up to open 100 Military Problems, support 300 new Defence Startups and development of at least 60 new technologies and products through the Startups by 2024.
It is now imperative that efforts are made to attract more Indian innovators and use their creativity for defence, and to serve the needs of the soldiers, the sailors, and the air-warriors of India.
There are large number of grassroot service personnel serving in workshops, repair depots, and other such field formations, who directly handle and experience frontline security challenges including on the weapons and platforms. With their first-hand experience, they could be a good source of feedback and innovative ideas not only for improving and bringing incremental improvements in existing platforms and equipment but also for futuristic ideas for innovations in defence.
iDEX now intends to develop a program titled idex 4 Fauji to support innovations identified by such members of the Indian Armed Forces.
The objective of this program is to harness the knowledge and insights of in-service soldiers and co-create those solutions sustainably with iDEX-supported startups.
The program would create a mechanism to facilitate the service personnel in providing their feedback/ideas which could enable them to upgrade the existing equipment, or improve them with innovations. This would also help in deriving more value and life from the existing hardware available in the field formations. In this process, they would also learn structured innovation and entrepreneurship skills, which can be used for expanding India’s defence manufacturing base over the years.
Keep visiting www.idex.gov.in for more details.