Tata Trusts Join As Partners To India Innovation Growth Programme

NEW DELHI: Tata Trusts, which has been in the limelight recently owing to the boardroom battle in Tata Sons, have joined as partners to the second edition of the India Innovation Growth Programme to be launched here in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday.

"Tata Trusts has joined the newly revamped India Innovation Growth Programme 2 along with founding stakeholders the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and aerospace major Lockheed Martin, with a focus on innovations addressing socio-economic challenges," Tata Trusts Innovations Head Manoj Kumar told reporters here on Thursday.

The India Innovation Growth Programme 2 is the only public-private partnership of its kind that will invest in social and industrial innovations, train innovators in world-class commercialisation strategies, offer support for incubation and assist in business development, ultimately taking ideas and Indian technologies into the global marketplace.

The DST's Head of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialisation Harkesh Mittal said the new programma is an outcome of the decade long experience that a unique industry academia and government partnership had implemented under the India Innovation Growth Programme 1.

"The government has been investing $1 million per annum into this programme without any consideration of returns," Mittal said.

"On an average, 50 innovators are picked up every year and 500 innovators have been supported, which have a cumulative market capitalisation of $1 billion (6,500 crore)," he said.

Informing the media that the programme had received 1,500 applications last year, Mittal said the "vertical depth" of the programme had been increased in the new edition, which is slated to run for three years till 2019, in the form of incubator support and provision for seed funding for startups.

"From this year, the funding has been doubled to $2 million. Now in the new version, we hope to achieve an even better success not only in financial numbers but also improve lives of people at the base of the pyramid," he said.

"Tata Trusts brings to this programme its 125-year legacy of philanthropic activity, a powerful network of NGOs in the social field, and a rich heritage of research in science and technology," Kumar said.

Robie I. Samanta Roy Vice President (Technology, Strategy and Innovation) Lockheed Martin, which started the programme in 2007, said it is a key element of the American aerospace giant's longstanding commitment to India.

"The programme is designed to help innovators and entrepreneurs commercialise their ideas and also scale it up globally," Roy said.

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Source: IANS