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Innovations for Defence Excellence challenge


Defence Minister has approved the budgetary support of Rs. 500 crore to Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) challenge under the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) for the next five years.


Prelims, GS-III: Internal Security Challenges

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC)
  2. Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX)
  3. Other Related Initiatives:

Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC)

  • iDEX-DIO had launched the Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) to address problems faced by the Armed Forces, DPSUs & OFB.
  • The Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) has been launched under the Ministry of Defence in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission.
  • The program aims at supporting Startups/MSMEs/Innovators to create prototypes and/or commercialize products/solutions in the area of National Defence and Security.

Defence Innovation Organization (DIO)

  • Defence Innovation Organization (DIO) is a Non-Profit Organisation (NOPO) established under Section 8 of the Companies Act 2013.
  • The founding members are Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).

Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX)

  • Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) is an initiative taken by the government, launched in 2018, to contribute towards modernization of the Defence Industry.
  • iDEX aims to promote innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries (which includes MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes & academia).
  • iDEX will provide the engaging industries with funding and other support to carry out Research & Development.
  • iDEX will be funded and managed by Defence Innovation Organization (DIO), and will function as the executive arm of DIO.
  • iDEX has partnered with leading incubators in the country to provide hand holding, technical support and guidance to the winners of iDEX challenges.

Main objectives of iDEX

  1. To frame ‘corporate Venture Capital’ models for Indian Defence needs thereby identifying emerging technologies, connecting innovators with military units, facilitating co-creation of new and appropriate technologies and so forth into weapon systems used by Indian Armed Services. 
  2. To deliver military-grade products thereby solving the critical needs of the Indian defence set-up by developing or applying advanced technologies.
  3. To devise a culture of innovation in the Indian Defence and Aerospace by engaging startups and innovators for co-creation and co-innovation.

Other Related Initiatives:

  1. Defence Industrial Corridors: To support the growth of the Defence sector and enhance manufacturing capacity in the sector, two Defence Industrial Corridors are being set up in India, one in Uttar Pradesh and another in Tamil Nadu.
  2. Strategic Partnership (SP) Model: It identifies a few Indian private companies who would initially tie up with global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to seek technology transfers to set up domestic manufacturing infrastructure and supply chains. It is a part of Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020. Under DAP 2020, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has also notified a ‘positive indigenisation list’ of 108 items.
  3. Artificial Intelligence in Defence: N Chandrasekaran Task Force was set up in 2018 to study implications of AI in national security. Defence Artificial Intelligence Project Agency (DAIPA) was created in March, 2019. DAIPA aims for greater thrust on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Defence, formulation of an AI roadmap for each Defence PSU and Ordnance Factory Board to develop AI-enable products.

-Source: The Hindu

December 2023