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Railways call for startups to develop new tech solutions annually

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Jun 14, 2022 3:00 PM

Read Time: 2 minute

Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced on June 13 that Indian Railways will invest more than Rs 50 crore annually to fund startups, and that, unlike past such collaborations, the inventor will retain intellectual property rights (IPR).

With a promise of up to Rs 1.5 crore in seed money for creative technological solutions for the national transporter, the Indian Railway Innovation Policy would invest in startups to obtain a head start in acquiring ideas straight from them.

The policy isn't simply about the concept. Following proof of concept, Indian Railways will scale it up, tripling grant funding, and finally adopting the effectively designed product/technology for regular usage and even support for two to three years.

Indian Railways and an entrepreneur split the costs 50:50

“The policy's annual budget will be roughly Rs 40-50 crore, with an additional amount for divisional railway administrators to identify on-the-ground answers to on-the-ground difficulties. In addition, the IPR would be retained by the innovator” While formally announcing the policy, the railway minister told the media. The Indian Railways and an entrepreneur have agreed to split the costs 50:50 as part of the funding arrangement.

Many technological challenges can be overcome with the startup

"If startups work with Indian Railways, great inventive solutions can emerge, and many technological challenges can be overcome. Today, we inaugurated an innovation initiative under Startup India, and we set out to solve 11 prevalent challenges "Vaishnaw said.

Supports in the development journey

He said that throughout the entire developmental journey, railways' field officers, RDSO, zonal and railway board officers will continuously support and hand-hold the innovators.

According to him, the Indian Railway Innovation Policy will identify and empower Indian innovators to collaborate with railroads on producing cost-effective, scalable solutions and functioning prototypes for the national transporter.

Innovators will be chosen through open and fair process

Vaishnaw stated that the innovators will be chosen through an open, transparent, and fair process that will entail them uploading their proposals along with the requisite documentation to a dedicated portal, the Indian Railway Innovation Portal, at www.innovation.indianrailways.gov.in.

In May, field units were asked to provide problem areas. In response to it, around 160 problem statements have been received till date.

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi opens the Biotech Startup Expo-2022 in New Delhi

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