Railways to back start-ups with Rs 1.5 cr seed funding

The policy also encourages research and development institutions to apply for the grant. The innovators can apply through a dedicated portal, which will be launched later this month, and once chosen for the grant, its disbursement shall be linked to pre-decided milestones. The funding scheme has been fixed on a cost-sharing basis in equal proportions — 50:50 by the Indian Railways and the innovator.
Railways to back start-ups with Rs 1.5 cr seed funding
Representative image.

NEW DELHI: The railways will invest in start-ups to get a headstart in procuring innovations from them with a promise of up to Rs 1.5 cr of seed money for innovative technological solutions for the national transporter, as per a policy paper.

The Indian Railway Innovation Policy will identify and enable Indian innovators to engage with the railways for developing cost-effective, implementable, scalable solutions and functional prototypes for the national transporter, officials said.

“Since there is a major constraint of capital inadequacy in the startup ecosystem, particularly in the seed and ‘Proof of Concept’ developmental stage, this policy aims at providing the necessary seed fund support of up to Rs 1.5 crore (on matching contribution basis) to the startups that show the capability, intent and promise to produce functional prototypes, based on new innovative concepts, for potential use of the Indian Railways,” a senior official said.

The policy also encourages research and development institutions to apply for the grant. The innovators can apply through a dedicated portal, which will be launched later this month, and once chosen for the grant, its disbursement shall be linked to pre-decided milestones. The funding scheme has been fixed on a cost-sharing basis in equal proportions — 50:50 by the Indian Railways and the innovator.

The maximum amount of grant will be Rs 1.5 cr per innovator, even in cases where the project cost exceeds Rs 3 cr, the officials said. Under the policy, the innovator will exclusively retain the ownership of the intellectual property rights generated under the project.

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