Defence India Startup Challenge III takes off in Kochi

Defence India Startup Challenge III takes off in Kochi
Photo Credit: Reuters
30 Dec, 2019

The third phase of the Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC 3) was launched at Maker Village to give innovators an opportunity to engage directly with the military and showcase new technologies.

 Innovators, startups and MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) can engage directly with the military through the open challenge to showcase their technologies facilitated by DIO (under the Ministry of Defence) and partner incubators such as Maker Village, a statement on Friday said.

 Maker Village is an electronic hardware incubator and ESDM (electronics system development and maintenance) facility in Kochi, a startup initiative of MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) with Indian Institute of Information Technology, Trivandrum as the implementation agency and Kerala Startup Mission as the supporting partner.

 DISC 3 throws three specific challenges; one each from Navy, Army and Air Force. Another highlight of the programme, iDEX (Innovation for Defence Excellence) throws the Defense India Open Challenge.

 “There are certain technologies which nobody in the world would like to part with. A programme like the iDEX can thus be of immense benefit to the nation. It also boosts employment opportunities in the country,” Rear Admiral R J Nadkarni, Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command said at the event at the Integrated Startup Complex in Kalamassery, Kochi.

 Nadkarni unveiled the Defence India Startup Challenges, while D V Swamy, Development Commissioner of Cochin Special Economic Zone (CEPZ), launched the Defence India Open Challenge.

The event was attended by a team of 15 senior officers from Kochi-headquartered Southern Naval Command, the Army and the Air Force besides top officials from iDEX.

The objective of iDEX is to aid the development of new, indigenized and innovative technologies for the Indian defence and aerospace sector. It also offers a grant of Rs 1.5 crore to select startups.

The Defence India Startup Challenge has been launched by the Indian government in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission, with an aim to support startups, MSMEs, innovators to create prototypes and commercialise products and solutions in the area of National Defence and Security, according to the Make in India Defence website.

The first edition, launched in Bengaluru in August last year, had received about 500 applications, of which a total of 28 winners were shortlisted to be considered for grant of funds for prototype development and possible commercialisation.

A total of  28 applicants won the DISC-II, which was launched to  address problems in the  avionics, drones, GPS-based (global positioning system) equipment and radars domains.