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Deep Tech Start-ups

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August 03, 2023

Why in news?

The office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government has put out a draft National Deep Tech Start-up Policy.

What is deep tech start-up?

Deep-tech start-ups in India raised 2.7 billion dollars in venture funding in 2021, and accounts for over 12% of the country’s overall startup ecosystem, as per NASSCOM study.

  • It refers to a class of startup businesses that develop new offerings based on tangible engineering innovation or scientific discoveries and advances.
  • Deep Technology refers to innovations founded on advanced scientific and technological breakthroughs like Artificial Intelligence, Quantum computing, drones etc.,
  • The Great Indian Start-up Boom of the last decade, led by young entrepreneurs and catalysed by the government’s Start-up India movement, created an environment of entrepreneurship in India.

deep tech

What are the advantages of deep tech start-ups?

  • Address real world problems- It can create more effective, efficient, and sustainable solutions.
    • Example- AI and machine learning can diagnose diseases, optimize supply chains and improve energy efficiency.
  • Create new industries- The rise of quantum computing is expected to revolutionize fields such as finance, cryptography, and logistics.
  • Foster innovation- It helps innovation in variety of fields.
    • IIT Madras’s Research Park, which has incubated over 200 deep tech companies cumulatively valued at over ₹50,000 crore including those in space and aviation.
  • Increase the patents- National Chemical Laboratory’s Venture Centre supported to file and commercialise high-quality patents.
  • Encourage investments- Discovery through start-ups founded by themselves foster independent decisions which leverages deep historical investments in S&T in its public labs and institutions.
  • Technology risks- Deep tech startups are the main route through which India is taking technology risks, a crucial element to build new capabilities.

What are the key provisions under draft policy?

  • Aim- To support and nurture the unique requirements of deep tech start-ups in India.
  • It serves as a comprehensive framework to address the challenges faced by deep tech startups and provide definitive policy interventions to enhance the ecosystem.

deep tech policy

  • Enhance technology commercialisation
    • Creating seamless partnerships between academic institutions, research labs and industry.
    • Technology commercialisation offices within academic institutes and research labs.
    • Providing a set of guidelines for commercialisation of publicly funded research.
  • Open Science Data Sharing Platform- It is set up to encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing among the stakeholders to promote deep tech innovations.
  • Increase R&D expenditure- It is the critical base for scientific human resource.
  • Simplify intellectual property- It aims to establish a single window platform that enables a Unified IP Framework, customised for deep tech start-ups.
  • Ease regulatory requirements- It suggests the creation of Export Promotion Board to ease barriers of entry for Indian deep tech start-ups into foreign markets.
  • Resource intensive policy approach- To attract global talent, such as offering networking opportunities to international deep tech startups and experts interested in relocating and contributing to the local ecosystem.
  • Inter-Ministerial Deep Tech Committee- It is constituted to regularly review the requirements of enabling the deep tech ecosystem to function better.

Initiatives taken to promote deep start-ups

  • Tamil Nadu Technology Hub (iTNT Hub)- It is a public private partnership located in Chennai to serve  as a central hub connecting start-ups in emerging and deeptech areas.
  • TIDE 2.0 Scheme- It promotes tech entrepreneurship in India by providing financial and technical support to incubators that support ICT startups using emerging technologies.
  • Next Generation Incubation Scheme -It is an initiative of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology that supports innovative startups in India.
  • National Supercomputing Mission -It is a government-funded initiative launched in 2015 to make India a global leader in supercomputing.
  • National Quantum Mission- It was launched in 2023 to provide state-of-the-art quantum research facilities to scientists and researchers across the country.
  • National Education Policy - It was launched in 2020 to emphasise multidisciplinary education.
  • It calls for the creation of a new curriculum that will allow students to study a variety of subjects, such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics, humanities, and arts.
  • NECTAR- It is an autonomous society under Department of Science and Technology.
  • It aims to harness and leverage niche frontier technologies available with central scientific departments and institutions to address the socio-economic challenges of the Northeast region.
  • Funds of Funds Scheme- The Government has established it with corpus of Rs. 10,000 crore, to meet the funding needs of start-ups.

What lies ahead?

  • Finance- The government must lay emphasis on the deep tech sectors in existing SIDBI Fund of Funds.
  • Industry must increase and channel their research funds.
  • Enable mass procurement- There is a need to mass procure indigenously developed technologies across the ministries.
  • Focus on Start-up India 2.0- The energies of India’s entrepreneurs should be directed towards building Indian industrial and public capabilities.

References

  1. The Hindu- Deep tech start-ups taking brave risks
  2. The Hindu- Deep tech start-up policy draft
  3. PIB- Deep tech start-up policy for public consultation

 

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