Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched the Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC 4), featuring initiatives aimed at expanding the horizons of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) ecosystem. iDEX4Fauji initiative and Product Management Approach (PMA) guidelines were also launched by the minister during the event. Each of these initiatives is expected to facilitate iDEX-DIO to scale up the program qualitatively and quantitatively.
The iDEX initiative of the Department of Defence Production was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2018 with the objective to encourage and nurture innovations in the Indian Defence sector and create an ecosystem where Startups, MSMEs and individual innovators could interact easily with the Indian defence establishment and provide the latest technological innovations for specific challenges experienced in operational environments through co-development and co-production of innovative solutions. The iDEX initiatives are executed by Defence Innovation Organisation, a Section 8 company of DPSUs BEL and HAL.
Under Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) 4, eleven challenges from Armed forces, Ordnance Factory Board(OFB) & Defence Public Sector Undertakings(DPSU) were thrown open to prospective startups, innovators, MSMEs alike to provide their innovative ideas on technologies which find their application in the defence sector. The challenges are:
- Autonomous Underwater Swarm Drones
- Predictive, Preventive & Prescriptive Machine Monitoring
- Super Resolution for Improving Spatial Resolution
- AI based Satellite Image Analysis
- Prediction and forecasting of atmospheric visibility
- Computer Generated Targets for Virtual Training
- Remote Real Time In-Flight Health Monitoring of Aircrew
- MF-TDMA based Wideband SATCOM Modem
- Foliage Penetration Radar
- Reduction of RCS of Naval Warships
- Target Detection in Chaff Environment
Any registered company [proprietorship, LLP or Pvt Ltd] with or without DIPP startup recognition can apply under the Startup category. Any company recognised or certified as MSME basis the definition of MSME as laid out by the Dept. of MSME can apply under the MSME category. Any other person/entity not qualifying either under the Startup or MSME categories can apply under the Individual category. Applications can be submitted till 30th November 2020 11:59 PM IST.
In order to develop a ‘right product and the product right’, Defence Innovation Organisation has adopted the Product Management Approach to steer the prototype development to a market ready product. These guidelines are first of their kind and their release is intended to monitor product development milestones achieved by iDEX winners against the requirements set by the Services/ DPSUs/ OFB.
iDEX4Fauji is a first of its kind initiative, launched to support innovations identified by members of the Indian Armed Forces and will bolster frugal innovation ideas from soldiers/ field formations. There are more than 13 Lakh service personnel working in the field and on borders, handling extreme conditions and equipment and would be having many ideas and innovations to improve such equipment. There was no mechanism to support such innovations. iDEX4Fauji would open this window and allow defence service personnel to become part of the innovation process and get recognised and rewarded. Services headquarters will provide support to the soldiers & field formations all over the country to ensure maximum participation.