Government to Boost 150 Startups with ₹50 Lakh Each for Cutting-Edge Technical Textiles

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Government to Boost 150 Startups with ₹50 Lakh Each
Government to Boost 150 Startups with ₹50 Lakh Each (Photo by Rio Lecatompessy on Unsplash)

The Indian government announced an ambitious initiative to drive innovation in the technical textiles sector. The Ministry of Textiles introduced a new scheme under the "Grant for Research and Entrepreneurship across Aspiring Innovators in Technical Textiles" (GREAT) guidelines.

This initiative aims to provide financial assistance to 150 startups, each receiving up to ₹50 lakh. This move is part of the broader National Technical Textiles Mission (NTTM), which seeks to promote research, development, and commercialization of innovative technical textile products.

Key Highlights of the Scheme

Financial Support

  • Grant Amount: Each selected startup will receive up to ₹50 lakh as a grant-in-aid over a period of 18 months.
  • Minimum Contribution: Incubatees must contribute at least 10% of the funding in two equal installments, demonstrating their commitment to the project.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Startup Age: To qualify for the grant, startups must not be more than five years old.
  • Target Beneficiaries: The scheme supports both individuals and companies in translating prototypes into commercially viable technologies and products.

Focus Areas

The GREAT guidelines emphasize various application areas within technical textiles, including:

  • Agro-textiles
  • Building textiles
  • Geo-textiles
  • Home textiles
  • Medical textiles
  • Mobile textiles
  • Packaging textiles
  • Protective textiles
  • Sports textiles
  • High-Performance Fibers and Composites
  • Sustainable and Recyclable Textile Materials
  • Smart Textiles: Utilizing artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D/4D printing, and rapid prototyping.
  • Indigenous Machinery/Equipment/Instrument Development​.

Institutional Support and Incentives

Incubator Incentives

  • Additional Funding: Incubators supporting startups will receive an additional 10% of the total grant-in-aid.
  • Commitment Investment: Incubatees must invest a minimum of 10% of the funding in two equal installments to demonstrate their commitment to the project.

Laboratory Upgrades and Training

  • Approved Institutes: The government has approved 26 institutes for upgrading their laboratory infrastructure related to technical textiles. These include prestigious institutions like IIT Delhi, NIT Jalandhar, NIT Durgapur, NIFT Mumbai, and others.
  • Training Programs: These institutes will also receive training in application areas specific to technical textiles.

Introduction of Technical Textile Courses

  • New Academic Programs: 26 institutions have been authorized to introduce technical textile courses or papers. New degree programs related to technical textiles will also be launched.

Quality Control Measures

In addition to financial support, the Ministry has implemented Quality Control Orders (QCOs) to ensure high standards in technical textiles. These measures include:

  • Current QCOs: Two QCOs covering 31 technical textile products, including 19 geotextiles and 12 protective textiles, will take effect from October 7, 2023.
  • Upcoming QCOs: Additional QCOs for 28 products, including 22 agrotextiles and six medical textiles, are in the final stages of issuance and expected to be released by September 2023.
  • Future Considerations: Further QCOs are being considered for building textiles, industrial textiles, and ropes & cordages​.

Application Process and Monitoring

  • Online Portal: An online portal will be developed to invite applications from startups, expected to be operational within 10-15 days of the announcement.
  • MoU Signing: A memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be signed between the selected startups and their respective incubators to formalize the partnership.
  • Rigorous Monitoring: The scheme will include strict monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to track the progress of each project.

Impact and Future Prospects

The GREAT initiative is expected to provide a significant boost to India's technical textiles startup ecosystem. It will particularly benefit niche sub-segments such as biodegradable and sustainable textiles, high-performance fibers, specialty fibers, and smart textiles.

By fostering innovation, supporting commercialization, and ensuring quality, the initiative aims to strengthen India's position in the global technical textiles market.

Key Highlights of the Scheme

Financial SupportEach startup will receive up to ₹50 lakh as a grant-in-aid over 18 months.
Minimum ContributionIncubatees must invest at least 10% of the funding in two equal installments.
Eligibility CriteriaStartups must not be more than five years old.
Focus AreasAgro-textiles, Building textiles, Geo-textiles, Home textiles, Medical textiles, Mobile textiles, Packaging textiles, Protective textiles, Sports textiles, High-Performance Fibers and Composites, Sustainable and Recyclable Textile Materials, Smart Textiles, Indigenous Machinery Development.
Incubator IncentivesIncubators will receive an additional 10% of the total grant-in-aid.
Institutional Support26 institutes approved for lab upgrades and training in technical textiles.
New Courses26 institutions will introduce technical textile courses or papers, and new degree programs.
Quality Control MeasuresQCOs for 31 products (effective from October 7, 2023) and additional QCOs for 28 products (expected by September 2023).
Application ProcessOnline portal for applications, operational within 10-15 days of the announcement.
MonitoringStrict monitoring and evaluation mechanisms in place.

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