The Indian Army is leveraging potential of MSMEs and start ups, as 55 projects are being pursued through Innovation in Defence Procurement Excellence (iDEX) route which is worth ₹400 crore, Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande said on Monday.

Of that, four contracts have been concluded for procurement of equipment in limited quantity for exploitation, the Ministry of Defence quoted General Manoj Pande as having said at the Maharashtra MSME (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) Defence Expo 2024 in Pune.

“Currently under the iDEX route, 55 Indian Army projects, worth ₹400 crore are being pursued, which encompass a total of 65 start-ups. Four contracts worth ₹70 crore have been concluded for procurement of equipment in limited quantity for field exploitation. The iDEX route also follows the Spiral Mode of development of indigenous technology and platforms, since exploitation of limited quantity in field conditions, enables concurrent development of equipment based on user recommendations”, he said in his keynote address to the MSME and students.

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On the Indian Army’s in house ideas and innovation initiative, the General said technology has been transferred to industry for mass production of two innovations, “VIDYUT RAKSHAK – an Internet of Things (IoT) based generator protection system and a bio medical device.

The MoD stated he mentioned that Indian Army’s endeavour to promote innovation also entails pursuing of Intellectual Property Rights for the products developed in collaboration with the industry. According to him, 66 IPRs have been filed by the Indian Army to date, of which 13 patents, 5 copyrights and 5 design registrations have been granted.

The Army Chief praised Maharashtra for being the first State in India to frame a Defence Manufacturing Policy after private investment was allowed in the defence sector. Maharashtra has also declared Aerospace and Defence manufacturing as a thrust sector in the ‘Package Scheme of Incentives’, he stated. As a result of these efforts, the State has been contributing more than 20 per cent to the country’s output in aircrafts, ships and boats and 30 per cent to the national output in weapons and ammunition. These figures reflect a strategic vision towards promoting the Defence Industrial Sector, General Pande pointed out.