In a big boost to the startup ecosystem in Kerala, the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, has brought the electronic design and innovation hub Maker Village under the ambit of its Nidhi Prayas programme, which will provide financial grants of up to Rs 10 lakh and lab equipment support for early stage hardware startups to pursue their ideas.
National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) has been conceived by DST as an umbrella programme for nurturing knowledge-based and technology-driven ideas and innovations into successful startups. The PRAYAS Centre -- Promoting and Accelerating Young and Aspiring technology entrepreneurs -- is a flagship programme under NIDHI, to support young innovators turn their ideas into proof-of-concepts.
The programme helps overcome the lack of support for early stage prototyping in the country, causing many innovators to lose interest in their ventures in the absence of support at that critical juncture.
“This is a real Nidhi (treasure) for Maker Village. Enterprising aspirants can now tap the benefit of this programme to pursue their ideas”, said a Maker Village official.
The Prayas Centre will be a place where innovative ideas are supported through physical infrastructure, technical guidance, business mentorship and a prototype grant for converting them into a prototype.
A well-equipped and furnished space of about 5000 sq ft is being set up at Maker Village for the commencement of the Prayas centre, a press release said.
The Maker Lab, coming up at the centre, will enable innovators to go through a cycle of imagination, design, prototyping, reflection, and iteration as a part of process to find solutions to challenges or bring their ideas to reality. It will provide an exciting pipeline of innovators and talents for the current incubation facility of Maker Village.
Each selected early stage innovator could avail a maximum grant amount of Rs 10,00,000 to facilitate the conversion of their ideas to proof- of-concept stage. Innovators in the age bracket of 18 -35 are eligible to apply for the scheme and the last date for submitting the application is January 25, 2019.
Details about the programme can be obtained and the applications can be submitted here, the release added.
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