Economy

DRDO to create special fund for industry

M. Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on April 07, 2011

DRDO

In a bid to give a boost to domestic industry in developing key products indigenously, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has decided to create a micro fund, according to its Director General, Dr V.K. Saraswat.

Though a specific corpus has not been created, the objective of the fund was to provide financial support to the industry in key areas to indigenously develop systems that meet the demands of the DRDO in the development of a range of large projects, he told Business Line.

He identified Midhani, the defence PSU, which produces special materials as one company where the DRDO was providing funds.

Similarly, an exercise would be done to identify SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and private sector companies to provide financial support.

CII collaboration

The DRDO was in collaboration with the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) building up a database of the industry. Already a good amount of data does exist. The information would also be useful in the ‘Defence offset' policy, which is opening up huge opportunities for the domestic industry.

According to the policy, at least 30 per cent of the project costs in Defence contracts won by global companies should be sourced out of the country.

Long-term goal

The long term goal is “We want Indian industry to transform into a production partner, from the present developer of components and systems.

“The next 10-15 years will see huge investments in research and development and also thousands of crores into defence projects”, Dr Saraswat, who is also the Scientific Adviser to the Defence Ministry, said.

Missiles, combat aircraft, main battle tanks, radars, wide range of sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles etc., with huge investments are under development.

Currently, more than 500 Indian industry, both large and SMEs are involved in development of components and systems.

Earlier, the DRDO had launched a partnership called Goco (Government-owned company-operated), in which specific industry was tied up with a DRDO lab to develop ‘strategic components', which typically India could not procure from global companies due to ‘export control regimes'.

A typical example of the initiative was to develop servo valves, which have both strategic and civilian applications.

The DRDO has developed the technology to make these valves. In addition to space, they find utility in machine tools, furnaces, ship controls, robotics and power plants, he said.

Published on April 07, 2011

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