In a significant boost to the agri-tech sector, experts have recommended 24 start-ups for technical and financial support from a dedicated fund of Rs 20 crore. This transformative initiative was announced during the ATMAN (Agri sTartup deMo And funding) 2023 program.
ATMAN (Agri sTartup deMo And funding) 2023 Program
ATMAN (Agri sTartup deMo And funding) 2023 program was organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in collaboration with four Technology Innovation Hubs. These hubs, established under the National Mission on Inter-disciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) at prominent Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), played a crucial role in identifying and nurturing these promising agri-start-ups.
ATMAN 2023 Program: Unveiling the Innovations and 24 Potential Beneficiaries of the Rs 20 Crore Fund
A total of 55 start-ups participated in the ATMAN 2023 program, presenting their innovative solutions across five panels. These panels were dedicated to precision farming, agro IoT, agri 4.0, mechanization, automation, market intelligence, yield prediction, farm advisory, and communication. The expert jury, after careful evaluation, identified and recommended 24 start-ups as potential beneficiaries of the Rs 20 Crore fund.
Recognizing Excellence in Innovation
The ATMAN 2023 program also recognized excellence in innovation by awarding the “Best Pitch Award” to top presentations. This acknowledgment underscores the vital role these emerging technologies play in revolutionizing the agricultural sector. Additionally, the event served as a platform to showcase 20 key agri-tech technologies developed by the four Technology Innovation Hubs, fostering innovation and collaboration within the sector.
Synergy Between Stakeholders
Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, emphasized the critical need for synergy between research, academia, start-ups, and industry. He highlighted how such collaborations not only drive the development of innovative products but also effectively promote and market them on national and global stages.
Filling the Gap in Agri-Tech Start-ups
Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Senior Adviser at DST and Secretary SERB, highlighted the relatively low number of deep tech start-ups in agriculture. He expressed optimism about the growth of this sector and explained how this initiative aimed to bridge the gap, extending its reach across the country. Future plans may involve the participation of agricultural universities and colleges, further strengthening the agri-tech ecosystem.
Launch of Initiatives
The ATMAN 2023 program also marked the launch of several initiatives. These include the Grand Challenge and Competition (GCC) for Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, “SAMRIDHI 2.0,” focusing on holistic innovation and development for ICPS Startups, and the release of the Quantum Enabled Science and Technology (QuEST) compendium and ATMAN booklet.
Catalyzing Agricultural Transformation: Empowering Agri-Tech Start-ups for a Sustainable Future
By identifying and supporting promising start-ups, fostering collaboration, and recognizing innovation, this initiative promises to drive transformative changes in agriculture. With the backing of the government and industry stakeholders, these agri-tech start-ups are well-positioned to lead the way in revolutionizing farming practices and ensuring food security for the nation.