The Hindu | Tamil Nadu | Special Correspondent | February 20, 2017 |
76 products have been launched at the facility so far
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has provided a grant of Rs. 7 crore to Kongu Engineering College to foster entrepreneurship through its Technology Business Incubator (TBI). The TBI at KEC ranks among 10 out of 100 TBIs to qualify for the DST funding countrywide under NIDHI-PRAYAS (Promoting and Accelerating Young and Aspiring Technology Entrepreneurs) scheme. The first instalment of Rs. 1.76 crore has already been received, according to P.Sathiyamoorthy, chairman, TBI@KEC. Since its start in 2003 at a project cost of Rs. 3.95 crore with grant-in-aid and support of DST to nurture entrepreneurship and product/process development in emerging science and technology areas, mainly in electronics and ICT domains, TBI@KEC with its ‘Concept to Commercialisation’ motto has incubated 49 entrepreneurs from Erode, Coimbatore, Chennai and Bengaluru. Of them, 11 are KEC alumni. So far, 76 products, including two export-driven ones, had been launched at the facility alongside offering services such as project facilitation/ training, re-engineering, repair and fabrication to industries, entrepreneurs, faculty and students of academic institutions, Mr. Sathiyamoorthy said.
The TBI, which has provided Rs. 361 lakh as soft-loan (5% interest) to 22 incubatees, won the National Award for the best TBI in the country for the year 2012 in recognition of its consistently good performance. The award, instituted by DST/GoI, was presented to TBI@KEC by the President of India on the Technology Day on May 11, 2013, said KEC correspondent A.Venkatachalam and principal S.Kuppuswamy.
Under the NIDHI-PRAYAS Scheme, young innovators are supported for converting their ideas into prototype. An innovator can get up to Rs. 10 lakh as grant for converting innovative idea into prototype within 18 months. The scheme can support 50 or more innovators over a period of 5 years. A facility to build prototypes quickly is being established with the funds provided under the scheme. The priority areas for supporting innovations are manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, clean-tech, energy, water, Internet of Things (IOT) and other technology areas.
However, students pursuing long-term research, professors or academicians engaged in teaching and repeat applicants are not eligible to apply. Pure academic research projects and software development are not supported under this scheme. Innovators are expected to have a working prototype within 18 months. Project should have progressed towards IP filing, commercialisation in the form of licensing or expression of interest from manufacturers. Alternatively, the project should lead to a startup which may have received funding / investment from others. Innovators have been invited to approach TBI@KEC for further details or visit www.tbi-kec.org/nidhiprayas to know more about application process. – Courtesy / Click here for details – NIDHI-PRAYAS