The Government of India unveiled Startup India, a flagship project designed to promote startup culture and establish a robust and inclusive environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in India. On behalf of the Department of Telecom (DoT), TCOE India solicited proposals for the DCIS (Digital Communication Innovation Square (DCIS) under Champion Services Sector Scheme (CSSS)) scheme in the years 2021 and 2022.
The Apex Committee and the Department of Transportation (DoT) oversee the Implementing Agency (IA) operation. IA successfully prepared all meetings and obtained the necessary recommendations from relevant authorities to carry out the scheme smoothly at DCIS 2021.
- To encourage the ecosystem for research, design, development, proof of concept testing, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) creation, pilot project, and manufacturing, i.e. the entire value chain, to make India a global hub for the production of telecommunications equipment and a center for digital communication services.
- To develop and establish standards to fulfill national requirements and to engage in international standardization bodies to contribute to the formation of global standards, thereby positioning India as a leader in worldwide telecom standardization.
- To promote India-specific application development that corresponds to the behavioral patterns of the masses and adds value to their day-to-day economic and social activities.
- Creating synergies among academia, research institutes, start-ups, and industry for capacity building and creation of a balanced telecom ecosystem through the organization of workshops/seminars/webinars, etc. for freely and constructively exchanging their ideas, goals, aspirations, and concerns.
- Bridge the gap between R&D and commercialization
The maximum aid that can be provided to a startup/MSME for the project duration is INR 40 Lakhs for a minimum of 10 applicants.
Startups (Scaling Stage)/MSMEs are invited to apply if they have already tested their prototypes (hardware/software innovations) with or without user agency and are looking for additional validations before becoming market-ready with demonstrated demand.
It should be noted that the initiative does not intend to assist entrepreneurs in the brainstorming stage.
- LTE Advanced, 5G and future generation access technologies, Software Defined Networks (SDNs) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV), IoT/ M2M, the cloud and data analytics
- Backhaul Radio and Communication Technologies
- Core and Edge Routers, Soft Switches, Ethernet Switches, xDSL, Modems, Routers, Dongles, Data Cards, Mobile Handsets, Wireless Access Points, Mobile Handsets, etc
- Security and Surveillance Equipment, Sensors
- Convergence of Telecom, IT, and Broadcasting Technologies
- Over-the-top (OTT) services as drivers for penetration of broadband services
- Green and energy-efficient technologies/solutions for the telecom sector and any other area considered commercially viable in the future
- Eligible beneficiaries
Startups, as defined and recognized by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, are companies that are working to innovate, develop, or improve products, processes, or services, or that have a scalable business model with a high potential for job creation or wealth creation.
Any Indian company formed under the Companies Act 1956/2013, particularly a Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) as defined in the MSME Act, 2006, with more than 51% ownership by an Indian Citizen / NRI / OCI and having its headquarters in India.
Individual innovators will be invited to apply as well (research & academic institutions can use this category to apply). However, before signing the agreement, the release of funds is subject to compliance with the eligibility conditions for either Startup or MSME.
- More than one organization can jointly submit the application in partnership with the consortium, registered societies & Academia
- Collaboration with Academia / R&D Organization are highly encouraged
- Every proposal must clearly identify a Project Lead (PL) who will take responsibility for the technical and managerial aspects of the project execution. If an application is selected for funding support, then its Project Leader will be required to sign the project Agreement on behalf of the applicant(s).
- The applicant should have a working technical prototype. The scheme does not envisage supporting ideation-stage startups.
- Also, the applicant would be required to furnish the company registration certificate.
Total Number of Proposals and Support Mechanisms
A startup/MSME that meets the eligibility criteria might get up to Rs 40 lakh in funding for proposed technology products/solutions. The scheme is designed to support a minimum of ten ideas. The grant will be divided into two tranches that will be released in stages based on selected milestones that will be communicated at the time the proposal is approved. Typically, the first tranche would be for product enhancement, while the second tranche would be for product rollout.
Implementation Mechanism and Evaluation Process
Startups must apply online via the TCOE India platform. The proposals received through the portal will be scrutinized in accordance with the standards, and all shortlisted proposals will be put forward for implementation through the designated Incubation centers, taking into account geographical locations, the scope of technology, area of work, and preferences, if any. During the scheme term, startups are expected to work on and accelerate the production of a ready-to-scale minimum viable product in any of the above-mentioned sectors.
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