Atal Innovation Mission

Atal Innovation Mission

Atal Innovation Mission

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is a NITI Aayog initiative that endeavours to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the country, based on a detailed study and deliberations on innovation and entrepreneurial needs of India in the forthcoming years. It has been created as a platform that promotes world-class Innovation Hubs, Grand Challenges, Start-up businesses and other self-employment activities, especially in areas driven by technology. The initiative is envisioned to accomplish the vision set forth by our late former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee – of a modern, innovative India that is committed to the economic and social welfare of every citizen across the length and breadth of the country and from all walks of life.

On a more recent note, the Union Cabinet, presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the continuation of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) until 2019-20; and for this purpose, has allocated a budget of INR 1,000 crore. As a part of its continuation, Atal Tinkering Labs would be extended to 10,000 schools, considering its extensive success at the school level.

Alignment of Schemes

AIM is envisaged as an umbrella innovation organization that plays a crucial role in the alignment of innovation policies between the central, state and sectoral innovation sectors, thereby incentivizing the set up and promotion of an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship at multifarious levels – higher secondary schools, science, engineering and higher academic institutions, and SME/MSME industry, corporate and NGO levels.

Promoting Entrepreneurship

The project aims to enhance the prospect of entrepreneurship through self-employment and talent utilization, which in turn paves the way for a robust support and mentorship system for prospective entrepreneurs.

Atal Tinkering Labs

Atal Tinkering Labs, which has turned out to be one of the most flourishing projects of the entire mission, has been created in Indian schools (to be further expanded as mentioned earlier) with the vision of cultivating one million children in India as Neoteric Innovators. Moreover, it aims to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in the tender age; and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing, etc.

AIM, for the implementation of the scheme, would provide a grant-in-aid. This includes a one-time establishment cost of INR 10 lakhs and operational expenses of a similar quantum of funds for a maximum period of five years.

The scheme particularly applies to school children between the sixth and tenth grades, belonging to schools managed by the Government, local body or private trusts/society. Schools wishing to house ATLs in their premises may file their applications online to the website of Atal Innovation Mission, hosted by NITI Aayog.

Atal Incubation Centres

AIM proposes the establishment of Atal Incubation Centres (AICs) with the object of nurturing innovative start-up businesses so as to enable them to become scalable and sustainable enterprises. The AICs so established would be entrusted with the task of creating world-class incubation facilities across India with appropriate physical infrastructure in terms of capital equipment and operating facilities. Moreover, experts from each sector would be assigned for mentoring the start-ups with respect to business planning support, access to seed capital, industry partners, training and other essential components that encourages innovative start-ups.

AICs would be established in subject-specific areas like manufacturing, transport, energy, health, education, agriculture, water and sanitation, etc. It is applicable for higher educational institutions, R&D institutions, the corporate sector, alternative investment funds registered with SEBI, business accelerators, individuals, etc.

For its establishment, AIM would provide a grant-in-aid of up to INR 10 crores for a period of not more than five years to cover the capital and operational expenditures. Interested applicants would be required to provide a minimum of 10,000 square feet of Ready-to-use built-up-space for its establishment.

Atal New India Challenges and Grand Challenges

The two challenges under the umbrella of this mission, namely Atal New India and Grand, aim to promote technology-driven innovations and product creation for social and commercial impact.

Defence India Startup Challenge

The Defence India Startup Challenge was launched by the Defence Innovation Organization, under the aegis of the Ministry of Defence, Government of India. It is being implemented in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission. This particular program aims to create prototypes and/or commercialize products or solutions based on advanced technologies in areas connected with national security through an equity-linked grant-based mechanism.

Key Collaborations

To make for a vibrant innovation ecosystem, AIM seeks to promote active collaboration between Government, Academia, Industry, Individuals and Societal focused NGOs.

Post by Sreeram Viswanath

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