Daily Current Affairs 2021 NIDHI4COVID: Indian Startups igniting ray of hope in the fight against COVID-19 | Daily Current Affairs 2021

NIDHI4COVID: Indian Startups igniting ray of hope in the fight against COVID-19

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NIDHI4COVID2.0

NIDHI4COVID2.0: NIDHI4COVID 2.0 initiatives have been devised as a rapid response to support startup-driven solutions, which would be helpful in tackling the current challenging COVID-19 situation in the country.

Aim:

  • Inducted as a special drive of the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science & Technology (DST) & govt of India, NIDHI4COVID2.0 aims at introducing indigenous solutions and innovative products which would aid the nation in to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic effectively.
  • Not only in the fight against COVID, but NIDHI-Technology Business Incubator(TBI) are serving other objectives as well including –
    • Creating jobs, wealth, and businesses aligning with national priorities.
    • Promoting new technology & innovation-based startups.
  • This also aims to build a vibrant startup ecosystem, by establishing a network to provide cost-effective, value-added services to startups like mentoring, legal, financial, technical, intellectual property-related services.

Why has this initiative been devised?

  • This initiative has been devised as unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures and to wage a successful war, the entire national capacity has to be leveraged.
  • Resources, energies, and mindshare of leaders, entrepreneurs have to be synergized to minimize the damage of the pandemic.

Implementation:

  • In recent developments, KIIT- Technology Business Incubator, a Centre of Excellence supported by DST, has been selected as the Implementing Agency of NIDHI4COVID 2.0 initiative.
  • In this, KIIT-TBI will work closely together with DST to support promising startups with up to 50 lakhs of funding assistance under the program.

Startups in India:

  • Looking at the current scenarios, startups have the potential to play a crucial role in introducing new technologies and products to the market, thus, making India stronger on multiple fronts.
  • Some of the startups already have promising technologies but need mentoring, financial, and marketing support to reach the next level.
  • Therefore, DST’s attempt through this new initiative is to scout and support deserving startups with much-needed support to scale up their technologies, helping them reach the product deployment stage in the minimum time possible.

Efforts To Accelerate COVID-19 Product’s Market Entry & Deployment:

Thrust Area to be supported includes :

  • Oxygen Innovation
  • Portable Solution
  • Relevant Medical Accessories & Equipments, Diagnostics
  • Informatics among others

Benefits:

  • Under the NIDHI4COVID programme, Startups whose technologies/products are of huge importance in the war against COVID would be considered for Seed Support through a DST-supported network of Technology Business Incubators.
  • Financial and mentoring support would be offered to the recommended promising startups for scaling up their products/technologies to the next level and speeding up their processes, helping them reach the product deployment stage as fast as possible.

Indian Startup Ecosystem: Opportunity in Chaos

  • As the country grapples with the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, startups in India have stepped up to continue igniting rays of hope by helping in procurement efforts.
  • From making masks to deployment to oxygen necessities, to bringing together essential medical equipment, the Indian Startup Ecosystem proved to bring innovation even in dire situations because as it is stated that even in chaos, there is an opportunity.

Who can Apply?

Startups as per definition on Startup India

  • Should be less than 10 years in existence
  • Preferably incubated at any Government ( State/ Central) Incubator
  • Preferably with solution offerings that are already deployed/ ready-to-deploy within few weeks

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