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Government to Offer Grants of Up to ₹50 Lakhs to Technical Textiles Startups

The government announced on Tuesday its commitment to encourage innovation in the specialized field of technical textiles by providing grants of up to ₹50 lakhs to startups and individuals. The "Startup Guidelines for Technical Textiles - Grant for Research and Entrepreneurship across Aspiring Innovators in Technical Textiles" (GREAT) has been approved, offering grant-in-aid of up to ₹50 lakhs for a maximum duration of 18 months, as disclosed by Rajeev Saxena, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Textiles.

The newly established guidelines prioritize the growth of the startup ecosystem in technical textiles, with a focus on assisting individuals and companies in transitioning from prototypes to actual technologies and products, including their commercialization, Saxena explained during a press briefing on significant developments within the National Technical Textiles Mission (NTTM).

"We are prepared to provide grant-in-aid of up to ₹50 lakhs without any expectations of royalties or equity. Incubatees are only required to contribute a minimum of 10% of the project cost. Leading incubators such as IITs, NITs, Textiles Research Associations, and Centres of Excellence will be facilitating this initiative," Saxena stated.

Under the GREAT scheme, Saxena noted that the Ministry anticipates facilitating the commercialization of research that has already been conducted and has resulted in the development of certain prototypes.

He further explained that an online portal would be established to accept applications within the next 10-15 days, and the initiative would be aligned with the National Technical Textiles Mission, with support extended to 100-150 startups.

To ensure commitment and authenticity, Saxena specified that incubatees are mandated to contribute a minimum of 10% of the funding in two equal installments.

The startup guidelines (GREAT) aim to provide essential momentum for the growth of the technical textiles startup ecosystem in India, particularly in niche sub-sectors such as biodegradable and sustainable textiles, high-performance and specialty fibers, and smart textiles, among others.

As outlined in the guidelines, selected startups will be required to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the designated incubator.

Additionally, the Ministry of Textiles has granted approval to 26 institutions for the enhancement of their laboratory infrastructure and the training of trainers in various technical textiles application areas.

Furthermore, approvals have been granted for applications from 26 institutions to develop and introduce technical textile courses and papers in key departments/specializations, as well as the introduction of new degree programs in technical textiles.

The total approved budget for these initiatives amounts to ₹151.02 crore, with ₹105.55 crore allocated to public institutes and ₹45.47 crore to private institutions.

Notable institutions set to benefit from this 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.

Saxena also provided insights into Quality Control Orders (QCOs) for the technical textiles segment. The ministry has already notified two QCOs for 31 technical textiles products, including 19 geotextiles and 12 protective textiles, scheduled to come into effect from October 7, 2023.

Additionally, QCOs for 28 products, comprising 22 agrotextiles and six medical textiles, are in the final stages of issuance and are expected to be issued in September 2023. Moreover, another 28 items are being considered for QCOs, encompassing building textiles, industrial textiles, ropes, and cordages.


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