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iDEX-DIO of Ministry of Defence signs its 100th contract for innovation

iDEX inked its 100th contract with Pacify Medical Technologies Pvt Ltd in New Delhi. The initiative iDEX (Innovations for Defence Excellence), described as the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) centrepiece for technical innovation, was introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2018. The purpose of iDEX was to support start-ups by giving them a venue for co-creation and co-development in the fields of defence and aerospace technologies.

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KEY POINTS:

  • The “Defence Innovation Organization” (DIO), which is a “not for profit” organisation in accordance with Section 8 of the Companies Act 2013, finances and oversees iDEX.
  • The two largest DPSUs in the defence sector, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL), are its founding members.
  • It is encouraged for defence start-ups and micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) to offer technology solutions to practical issues that the military occasionally presents as “challenges”.
  • Technology-viable innovations are taken into account for funding and acceptance of necessity (AoN) status, which opens the door to the military’s potentially lucrative procurement pipeline.
  • These high-tech development programmes typically receive single-digit or double-digit amounts under the “technology development” section of the defence budget.
  • The capital budget for 2022–23 has, however, allotted a sizeable Rs 1,365 crore for this year.

About iDEX:

  • iDEX inked its 100th contract with Pacify Medical Technologies Pvt Ltd in New Delhi.
  • iDEX is referred to as “an ecosystem to stimulate innovation and technology development in defence and aerospace by engaging innovators and entrepreneurs to deliver technologically sophisticated solutions for modernising the Indian military.”
  • Through well publicised initiatives like the Defence India Start-up Challenges (DISC) and Prime and Open Challenges, iDEX has aimed to fundamentally alter the defence acquisition eco-system in just over four years.
  • Through the iDEX Open Challenge, innovators, entrepreneurs, and MSMEs are encouraged to interact with the military and present their solutions.
  • Selected candidates are given the opportunity to present their ideas to the iDEX grand jury and become eligible for awards and investments.
  • iDEX Prime (Sprint) gives innovators the chance to design and develop specific military equipment, like boats for Special Forces, with the MoD covering half the development cost, up to a maximum of Rs 10 crore.

About DAC (Defense Acquisition Council):

  • Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) has previously given the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for trial and acquisition to 17 start-ups in 14 projects during the past four years.
  • Projects from the remaining DISC 1 & 2 and several from DISC 3 are almost finished, and the DAC may grant AoN by the conclusion of the current Financial Year.

Defence Minister Grant for Weapons:

The defence ministry approves plans for purchasing weapons worth Rs 28,732 billion.

  • Bullet-resistant Level BS VI protection jackets.
  • 400,000 CQB carbines for close-quarters combat.
  • AoN granted for drone swarms and surveillance.
  • 14 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) having 60% Indian material for the coast guard.
  • Upgraded 1,250 KW marine gas turbine for destroyers of the Kolkata class.

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