Defence Minister announces "iDEX Investor Hub", with investors pledging Rs 200 crore
By Team Startupcity | Thursday, 16 February 2023, 09:23 IST
The "iDEX Investor Hub" (iIH), under which prominent Indian investors have already invested more than Rs 200 crores, was introduced by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. During the annual Manthan defence innovation event, which is a component of Aero India 2023, he also unveiled the "Cybersecurity" theme for the ninth edition of the "Defence India Startup Challenges (DISC 9)". The Department of Defence Production's flagship programme, Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), aims to support start-ups and other organisations that work in the field of defence innovation.
The "iDEX Investor Hub" intends to speed up investment in the defence industry and provide investors with a single perspective of prospects and innovations. Leading Indian investors have already committed more than Rs 200 crore to the iIH, according to an official release.The iDEX and the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (i4C) division of the Ministry of Home Affairs have collaborated on "DISC 9,". These challenges were selected from among those offered by Services, DPSUs, and the Ministry of Home Affairs, demonstrating the significant impact and interest iDEX has had on the defence sector.
Defense Innovation Organization (DIO) also inked Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with notable investors at "Manthan." In order to strengthen the Defense Space, DIO has also signed Memorandum of Understandings with ISRO, IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre), and ISpA (Indian Space Association), according to a press release. Another MoU was signed with the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to potentially launch start-up competitions in the future.
During the event, the fourth iteration of the Innovate4Defence internship (i4D) programme was also introduced, accepting applications from students all around India. The Indian Army's compilation of "110 Problem Statements" for the domestic defence R&D, development, and manufacturing ecosystem was also made public by Singh.
The "Problem Statements" highlight the technological needs and challenges faced by the Indian Army in a variety of areas, including armament, surveillance, and fire control systems as well as more specialised areas like artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, the metaverse, robotics, quantum technology, cyber, and ammunition "smartification." They also include the introduction of new technologies, the upgrading of current systems, and the localization of essential components.
The statement stated that this Compendium will enable concentrated efforts on modernising the Indian Army with homegrown technologies, hence creating a stronger and "Atmanirbhar Bharat." According to the announcement, the Indian Army would support business and academia through a variety of research and development channels, including iDEX, the Technology Development Fund (TDF), and the Army Technology Board (ATB).
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