Gujarat Student Startup and Innovation Policy
Innovation is the key to the growth of every economy. It is present in every layer of the society. The youth of the country and the educational system plays a vital role in every step of shaping the innovation ecosystem in India. Out of the three major goals of Startup India, one is to build a startup and innovation culture across the Central Universities as they cater to more than 4 million students. With more than 1 Lakh projects, thesis and innovative ideas that are brought up by students from over 60 Universities and Institutes of higher education, Gujarat is a vital source of new innovations and startups, catering to both, new products and services that form the very base of the ecosystem that the Gujarat Student Startup and Innovation Policy is focused on building. This article talks about the various essentials of the Gujarat Student Startup and Innovation Policy.
The Student Startup and Innovation Policy of Government of Gujarat is focused on creating an integrated, state-wide, university-based innovation ecosystem in order to support ideas and innovations of the students and offer them a conducive environment that would harness their creative pursuit. Through this Policy, the Government of Gujarat offers innovation and preincubation support in academia across the State and would be inclusive on sectors, space and other aspects. The Policy aspires to create student innovators to turn towards startups beyond the technology domain as well.
The Student Startup & Innovation Policy mandates interventions at three specific levels:
- State-Level (Strategy & Planning)
- University-Level (Contextual Policy Implementation & Handholding)
- Institution-Level (Grassroots Level Deployment and end-to-end support on ideas and innovations)
Key Objectives of the Policy
The following are the primary objectives of the Policy.
- To create an environment for creativity to thrive and an end-to-end support system in the educational institutions in order to allow maximum support for ideas and to improve their execution.
- To develop Innovation and Preincubation Ecosystem for Students (IPIES) that focuses and revolves around the students.
- To create pathways for mind-to-market by harnessing and handholding the projects, research, innovations and the ideas of students in the State of Gujarat.
- To build the internal capacity of educational institutions and the critical components of the innovation ecosystem with the purpose of enabling deployed processes to make a sustainable impact at scale.
- Creating and facilitating regional and sectoral innovation efforts around educational institutions in the State.
- To create a common platform to showcase, support and upscale innovations for the motivating stakeholders as well as for an opportunity for creating value for many and value for money.
- To leverage the public system initiatives at the State and Central Level as well as at academia, industries and by other ecosystem domain experts or stakeholders to make a comprehensive effort.
Primary Goals of the Policy
The following are the primary goals of the Policy.
- To create an environment that transforms at least 1% of the graduates in the State into job creators by innovation and startups.
- To empower all the universities in the State to set-up and execute the broad agenda of preincubation and innovation.
- To support a minimum of 1,000 student-led innovations and to file at the least 1000 patents from the Universities in the State every year.
- To empower educational institutions and universities in order to build a robust Innovation and Preincubation support system within themselves.
- To harness 500 student startups in the following years and increase accordingly.
- To create incentives, awards, appreciations and benchmarks for the innovations, startups and associated efforts at every level by students.
- To undertake strategic interventions in order to empower all the universities in the State to develop a full-fledged preincubation ecosystem.
- To build capacity for a minimum of 200 educational institutes in Gujarat to have robust preincubation support for student or alumni startups and innovations.
- To ensure that the innovation processes connect the academia, society and SMEs through a systematic way where the students and the faculty can solve their challenges and create further entrepreneurial opportunities.
The Innovation and Preincubation Scheme offers support for the creation of support systems for the innovations and early-stage startups by students across the education sector of the State of Gujarat. The scheme provides funding support for the capacity building initiatives that are undertaken at universities and institutes of higher education along with fund initiatives for sensitisation of students concerning the innovation and entrepreneurship, prototyping innovation and ideas, allied efforts and IPR.
The Student Startup and Innovation Policy have provisions to create a Student Innovation Fund (SIF) of INR 200 Crores for five years. INR 100 Crores of the SIF would be provisioned through the budgetary provision every year till the policy expires, whereas the remainder INR 100 Crores would be mobilised by existing resources like internal budgets of the universities, central budget, private and CSR funds and so on. SIF will be utilised for deploying State-level agenda of the Policy as well as for the Innovation and Preincubation Support Scheme.
Eligibility and Application Process
The following are the eligibility criteria for availing the features of the Policy.
To be eligible to avail the benefits of the scheme, a university or an educational institution:
- Must be based in Gujarat;
- Must be recognised or affiliated by an accrediting governmental agency or a recognised university of the State;
- Must have demonstrated concrete efforts for innovation and entrepreneurship significantly in the past;
- Must have a strong commitment to participate in order to achieve the goals of the Student Startup and Innovation Policy.
The State Deployment Agency or Policy Implementation Committee of the Policy would evaluate and review every application for eligibility based on its merit, and the most suitable ones would be selected as beneficiaries of the scheme as per the criteria and as defined by the relevant agency.
The State Government of Gujarat shall notify the initiation of the Policy period through various performa and formats of the application. Every potential beneficiary Institute or University shall apply with a proposal that depicts the detailed action agenda, timeline and deliverables through means defined by the Policy Implementation Committee or the State Government via notifications.
Evaluation and Assessment
An online web portal would seamlessly integrate all the stakeholders to monitor each and every milestone in real time. The progress of the key goals of the Policy concerning set KPIs would be publicly shared periodically. The Policy Implementation Committee would review the overall policy objectives with the guidance of the Education Department and its implementation. The Technical or Expert Committee at Universities would advise appropriately for the smooth deployment of the goals at the respective universities.
Beneficiaries of the Policy would comprise of Universities and Institutes and would present the half-yearly progress and the impact report. Every university, receiving the grant, will be required to submit a tentative plan of action in the beginning. If a beneficiary is found as unable to deliver the desired outcomes as per the annual reviews, the further release of the grant shall be reconsidered. An annual impact report of the IPIES interventions would be published and shared with every stakeholder in the public domain.