The Indian government recently approved a Defence Innovation Fund (DIF), which aims to create, “an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence,” according to a statement by Minister of State for Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre on 7 April.
The idea is to engage R&D organisations, academia and industry – including startups and “individual innovators,” providing them with funding to develop ideas, products and services that have the potential for future commercialisation. Initial funding for the scheme will be provided by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), with grants from government agencies and other not-for-profit organisations – both public and private – in prospect as the scheme matures.
In a parallel move the government has also launched a Technology Development Fund (TDF) which aims to support the development of defence and dual-use technologies not currently in use or development in India, thereby creating a culture of innovative development for defence applications. Providing grants for design and development of key defence technologies, TDF is administered by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO).