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Deep Tech Startups


Government will launch the Digital India Innovation Fund to support deep tech startups.


GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Deep Tech:
  2. State of India’s Deep Tech Startups
  3. Problems with Deep Technology

About Deep Tech:

  • Deep tech or deep technology refers to a class of startup businesses that develop new offerings based on tangible engineering innovation or scientific discoveries and advances.
  • Agriculture, life sciences, chemistry, aerospace, and green energy are among the typical industries in which such startups operate.
  • Deep technology sectors like artificial intelligence, advanced materials, blockchain, biotechnology, robots, drones, photonics, and quantum computing are advancing from early research to commercial applications at an ever-increasing rate.

Characteristics of Deep Tech:

  • Deep tech innovations are extremely radical and either create a new market or disrupt an already existing one. Deep tech innovations frequently transform people’s lives, economies, and societies.
  • Deep technology development takes far longer than shallow technology development, such as the creation of websites and mobile apps, to mature to the point where it is ready for the market. Artificial intelligence took a long time to develop, and it is still far from flawless.
  • Deep tech frequently needs a lot of early-stage funding for R&D, prototyping, hypothesis testing, and technology development.

State of India’s Deep Tech Startups

  • At the end of 2021, India had more than 3,000 deep-tech start-ups that were exploring cutting-edge fields including artificial intelligence, machine learning (ML), the internet of things, big data, quantum computing, robotics, etc.
  • Deep-tech start-ups in India raised USD 2.7 billion in venture capital in 2021, and they now make up more than 12% of the nation’s overall startup ecosystem, according to NASSCOM.
  • India’s deep tech ecosystem has increased by 53% in the last ten years and is now comparable to that of established countries like the US, China, Israel, and Europe.
  • Deep-tech start-ups in India are primarily concentrated in Bengaluru (25-30%), followed by Mumbai (10–12%) and Delhi-NCR (15–20%).
  • Deep-tech start-ups are becoming more visible in a variety of industries, from sustainable energy and climate change to drone delivery and cold chain management.

Problems with Deep Technology

  • Obtaining money is one of the major problems for deep-tech firms. Only 20% of new businesses acquire funding.
  • Both domestic and government funding are underutilised for such enterprises.
  • Their main hurdles include access to people and markets, research advice, investors’ comprehension of deep technology, customer acquisition, and talent cost.

-Source: PIB, The Hindu

February 2024