Startups and innovators that can offer technology solutions in response to needs arising in a post Covid-19 world will be groomed by the central government’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s (MeitY’s).
On Tuesday, the MeitY launched a scheme for promoting innovations in the fields of healthcare, education, medtech and work at home to prepare for a world after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The central government has called for applications from innovators and startups under the Scheme for Accelerating Startups around Post COVID Technology Opportunities (SASACT) for developing or re-purposing technologies, tools, systems, solutions to answer the post Covid-19 scenario.
A fund worth Rs 9.6 crore has been set aside under SASACT, which is part of the measures issued by MeitY in response to post-pandemic requirements.
“The scheme is having a look to groom startups based on Information and communications technology, hardware or software in the particular context of a post-Covid-19 world. As an example, solutions on home-based healthcare, online tools, education technology, among others,” said said Poyni Bhatt, chief executive officer, Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. SINE is likely one of the four agencies chosen by the MietY for executing the scheme.
An eligible startup can avail a maximum strengthen upto Rs 40 lakh for the proposed technology product or solutions. A complete number of 40-50 proposals will be supported under the scheme, said a observation by the MietY. The grant will be divided into two tranches that will be released in a phased manner based on designated milestones to be intimated at the time of approval of the proposal.
“Following the Covid-19 pandemic, a new normal has been created in the country. There are lots of technology opportunities arising out of this new normal, such as working from home and home-based diagnostics etc. In line with the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme, we are searching for companies that have established their product but wish to go back to the drawing board and rejig their solution to meet these new requirements,” said Ajay Garg, senior director at MietY.
One of the most areas in which the government is searching for solutions include smart/ digital manufacturing including 3D printing, digital health/ Medtech, Edutech, Fintech, Work From Home (WFH) and other solutions that address concerns arising in post Covid-19 scenario.