FUNDING

Govt grants for startups to promote technical textile – Industry News


With an aim to boost exports and create high-value jobs, the government on Tuesday launched a new scheme which would provide up to Rs 50 lakh as financial assistance to startups and individuals engaged in technical textiles development.

The scheme, titled GREAT (grant for research and entrepreneurship across aspiring innovators in technical textiles), will be implemented through incubators, including Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), National Institute of Technology (NITs), textiles research associations and centres of excellences.

The scheme is aimed at supporting 100-150 startups. “We are going to support up to Rs 50 lakh in the form of grant-in-aid for up to 18 months without any royalties or equity. Only a minimum of 10% contribution has to be made by the incubatee,” Rajeev Saxena, joint secretary, ministry of textiles, said.

The incorporation date of the startup must be less than 5 years, he said. The scheme focuses on supporting individuals and companies to translate prototypes to technologies and products, including commercialisation.

The grant will focus on sub-sectors of technical textiles, including agro-textiles, building textiles, geo textiles, home textiles, medical textiles, mobile textiles, packaging textiles, protective textiles and sports textiles.

The scheme will be commensurate with the National Technical Textiles Mission, and an online portal will be developed to invite applications within the next two weeks.

To incentivise the incubators, the textile ministry will additionally provide 10% of total grant-in-aid, according to an official release. It said the scheme would give a thrust on the development of the technical textiles startup ecosystem, especially niche segments, including bio-degradable and sustainable textiles, high-performance and specialty fibres and smart textiles.

Institutes to be provided financial allocation under the scheme include IIT Delhi, NIT Jalandhar, NIT Durgapur, NIT Karnataka, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Mumbai, Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, Anna University, PSG College of Technology and Amity University.

The scheme is aimed at promoting innovation in the niche technical textiles segment, which has the potential to create high-value jobs and boost exports. Initially, a memorandum of understanding will be signed between selected startups and the incubator on the ownership of the intellectual property to be generated.

Meanwhile, the textiles ministry gave a nod to 26 institutes for upgrading their training and laboratory infrastructure for development and introduction of technical textile courses and degree programme.

It approved Rs 151 crore for these institutes. Of that, `105 crore would be allocated to the public sector institutes and Rs 45 crore will be given to privately owned institutions.

On the quality and regulation aspect of technical textiles, the ministry has already notified two quality control operation systems (QCOs) for 31 technical textiles products, including 19 geotextiles and 12 protective textiles, which will be effective from October 7, 2023. In addition, QCOs for 28 products, including 22 agrotextiles and six medical textiles, are also likely to be issued in September 2023, Saxena noted.



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