The Defence Ministry has approved the budgetary support of ₹498.8 crore to Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) under the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) for the next five years.

The scheme is aimed at providing financial support to nearly 300 start-ups/MSMEs/individual innovators and 20 partner incubators under the DIO framework, the Defence Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

It will support increased awareness in the Indian innovation ecosystem about defence needs, and conversely, in the Indian Defence establishment about the potential of the Indian innovation eco-system to deliver innovative solutions to meet their needs, it said.

‘Rapid development’

The scheme aims to facilitate rapid development of new, indigenised and innovative technologies for the Indian defence and aerospace sectors to meet their needs within shorter timelines; create a culture of engagement with innovative start-ups to encourage co-creation for defence and aerospace; empower a culture of technology co-creation and co-innovation within the defence and aerospace sector and boost innovation among the start-ups; and encourage them to be a part of the ecosystem.

The DIO, with its team, will enable the creation of channels for innovators to engage and interact with the Indian defence production industry. “The long-term effect to be realised by the group is the establishment of a culture, where enlisting the effort of innovators by the Indian military is commonplace and frequent,” it added.