Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 18 (IANS) Kerala-based startups are yet to take full advantage of immense opportunities in defence and aerospace sectors, which have gone up manifold after the launch of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiatives, panelists said at a session at Huddle Global 2023.Col Sanjeev Nair (Retd), CEO, Technopark, noted that homespun startups of Kerala have not leveraged the opportunities thrown up by the iDEX scheme, which was launched by Ministry of Defence (MOD) to promote, support and onboard innovative solutions in this critical sector.
A flagship scheme of MOD, iDEX is funded and managed by Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) to create an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in defence and aerospace by engaging industries, including MSMEs, startups, individual innovators, R&D institutes and academia.
“The scheme is backed by grants and various other supports. The number of Kerala startups that have taken advantage of this flagship project, however, is very less,” said the now retired Colonel.
Group Captain Saurabh Shiv of the Indian Air Force (IAF) said with the country pursuing a pro-active approach to achieve self-reliance in critical domains, startups can take the best advantage of the entire ecosystem that has been created to acquire innovative solutions and technologies in the defence sector.
“IAF, for instance, is looking for indigenously developed solutions that will enhance self-reliance and capacity. Challenge is available, funding is available. The ball is in your court. Please rise up,” he said exhorting the nascent companies to dabble into the defence sector.
Rajaguru Nathan K, Director, Astromedia Space Pvt Ltd, recalled his company’s journey with iDEX scheme after starting off as a space-medicine startup.