To promote the startup ecosystem in technical textiles, the government has approved startup guidelines for the sector providing grant-in-aid of up to ₹50 Lakhs for up to a period of 18 months.

The Grant for Research and Entrepreneurship across Aspiring Innovators in Technical Textiles (GREAT) guidelines focus on supporting individuals and companies to translate prototype to technologies & products including commercialisation, Rajeev Saxena, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, said at a press briefing on Tuesday.

The thrust is on technical textiles application areas including agro-textiles, building-textiles, geo-textiles, home-textiles, medical-textiles, mobile-textiles, packaging- textiles, protective-textiles, sports-textiles; development of high-performance fibres and composites, sustainable and recyclable textile materials, smart textiles using Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, 3D/4D Printing, and Rapid Prototyping and development of indigenous machinery/equipment/instruments, among others.

“We are going to support up to ₹50 lakh in the form of grant-in-aid without any royalties or equity. Only a minimum of 10 per cent contribution has to be made by the incubatee. All of this is being done by incubators like IITs, NITs, Textiles Research Associations, and Centres of Excellence, among others,” Saxena said.

Under the GREAT scheme, the government wants the research, which has already been conducted and some prototypes have been developed, to be made commercial.

The official said that an online portal will be developed to invite applications within 10-15 days. The scheme will be commensurate with the National Technical Textiles Mission. 

As per the guidelines, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) will have to be signed between the selected startups and the incubator.

The Textiles Ministry has also given a nod to 26 institutes for upgrading their laboratory infrastructure and training of trainers in the application areas of technical textiles.

Applications from 26 institutions for the development and introduction of technical textile courses/ papers in the key departments/specialisations as well as introducing new degree programme in technical textiles have also been approved.

A total of ₹151.02 crore was approved wherein 15 applications valuing ₹105.55 crore are from public institutes and 11 applications valuing ₹45.47 crore are from private institutes.

“Some of the premier institutes to be funded under the scheme include IIT Delhi, NIT Jalandhar, NIT Durgapur, NIT Karnataka, NIFT Mumbai, ICT Mumbai, Anna University, PSG College of Technology and Amity University, among others,” according to an official release.