The Indian Navy is all set to host the second edition of the Naval Innovation and Indigenisation (NIIO) Seminar, known as ‘Swavlamban 2023,’ scheduled to take place on 4th and 5th October 2023. This event follows the maiden edition of the seminar, which was held in July 2022 and marked a significant milestone in the Navy’s quest for innovation and self-reliance.
‘SPRINT’ Initiative: A Catalyst for Indigenous Technology Adoption
In the inaugural edition of ‘Swavlamban’ in 2022, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India unveiled the ‘SPRINT’ initiative, which has since become a driving force behind the Indian Navy’s pursuit of indigenous technology adoption. ‘SPRINT’ stands for Supporting Pole-Vaulting in R&D through Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), NIIO, and Technology Development Acceleration Cell (TDAC). This collaborative effort aims to foster innovation and indigenisation in the defense sector.
75 Challenges for Start-ups and MSMEs
A key highlight of the ‘SPRINT’ initiative is the issuance of 75 challenges to start-ups and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). These challenges serve as a clarion call to harness indigenous innovation for the benefit of the Indian Navy. The overarching goal is to develop at least 75 cutting-edge technologies and products as part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav,’ a celebration of India’s 75 years of independence.
Overwhelming Response: 1106 Proposals Received
The ‘SPRINT’ initiative received an overwhelming response from the innovation ecosystem. A total of 1106 proposals poured in from enthusiastic innovators and entrepreneurs across the country. This enthusiastic participation underscores the growing appetite for innovation and indigenisation in the defense sector.
Winners Announced: DISC 7 SPRINT and SPRINT-PRIME Categories
Following a comprehensive evaluation process, 113 winners were declared under the DISC 7 SPRINT category, each receiving grants of up to 1.5 crore rupees. Additionally, 5 winners were announced in the DISC 7 SPRINT-PRIME category, securing grants of up to 10 crore rupees. These winners represent the vanguard of innovation, and their solutions hold great promise for the Indian Navy.
Active Collaboration: Developmental Agreements and Prototypes
The Indian Navy, in collaboration with iDEX and industry partners, has actively engaged in the development of these innovative solutions. More than 100 developmental agreements have been forged, fostering a vibrant ecosystem of collaboration between the defense establishment and the startup and MSME sectors.
Niche Technologies in Progress
The ‘SPRINT’ initiative has spurred the development of niche technologies across a wide spectrum. Notable areas of advancement include blue-green lasers for underwater applications, autonomous weaponized swarms, underwater swarm drones, multiple firefighting aids, and the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for various naval applications. Additionally, efforts are underway to create an ultra-endurance small drone tailored for maritime missions.
Swavlamban 2023: Showcasing Indigenous Excellence
The upcoming ‘Swavlamban 2023’ seminar, scheduled for October 4th and 5th in New Delhi, promises to be a platform where these 75 prototypes will take center stage. Attendees can look forward to live demonstrations of several promising technologies, further cementing the commitment of the Indian Navy and its partners to drive innovation, indigenisation, and self-reliance in the defense sector.