Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. AIM’s objective is to develop new programmes and policies for fostering innovation in different sectors of the economy, provide platform and collaboration opportunities for different stakeholders, create awareness and create an umbrella structure to oversee innovation ecosystem of the country.
Five major initiatives taken in first year of establishment:
- Atal Tinkering Labs-Creating problem solving mindset across schools in India.
- Atal Incubation Centers-Fostering world class startups and adding a new dimension to the incubator model.
- Atal New India Challenges-Fostering product innovations and aligning them to the needs of various sectors/ministeries.
- Mentor India Campaign- A national Mentor network in collaboration with public sector, corporates and institutions, to support all the intiatives of the mission.
- Atal Community Innovation Center- To stimulate community centric innovation and ideas in the unserved /underserved regions of the country including Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
- ARISE-To stimulate innovation and research in the MSME industry.a
(1) Atal Tinkering Labs:
With a vision to ‘Cultivate one Million children in India as Neoteric Innovators’, Atal Innovation Mission is establishing Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) in schools across India. The objective of this scheme is to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds; and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing etc.
Key Features of ATL
ATL is a work space where young minds can give shape to their ideas through hands on do-it-yourself mode; and learn innovation skills. Young children will get a chance to work with tools and equipment to understand the concepts of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). ATL would contain educational and learning ‘do it yourself’ kits and equipment on – science, electronics, robotics, open source microcontroller boards, sensors and 3D printers and computers. Other desirable facilities include meeting rooms and video conferencing facility.
In order to foster inventiveness among students, ATL can conduct different activities ranging from regional and national level competitions, exhibitions, workshops on problem solving, designing and fabrication of products, lecture series etc. at periodic intervals.
AIM will provide grant-in-aid of Rs. 20 Lakh to each school that includes a one-time establishment cost of Rs. 10 lakh and operational expenses of Rs. 10 lakh for a maximum period of 5 years to each ATL.
Schools (minimum Grade VI – X) managed by Government, local body or private trusts/society to set up ATL.
(2) Atal Incubation Centre:
AIM intends to support the establishment of new incubation centres called Atal Incubation Centres (AICs) that would nurture innovative start-up businesses in their pursuit to become scalable and sustainable enterprises. The AICs would create world class incubation facilities across various parts of India with suitable physical infrastructure in terms of capital equipment and operating facilities, coupled with the availability of sectoral experts for mentoring the start-ups, business planning support, access to seed capital, industry partners, trainings and other relevant components required for encouraging innovative start-ups. Moreover, AICs would be established in subject specific areas such as manufacturing, transport, energy, health, education, agriculture, water and sanitation etc.
Entities such as such as higher educational institutions, R&D institutes, corporate sector, alternative investment funds registered with SEBI, business accelerators, group of individuals, and individuals are eligible to apply.
AIM will provide a grant-in-aid of upto Rs. 10 crore for a maximum period of 5 years to cover the capital and operational expenditures to establish the AIC.
The applicant would have to provide at least 10,000 sq. ft. of ready-to-use, built-up space, for the exclusive use of the AIC.
(3) Atal New India Challenge (ANIC):
One of Atal Innovation Mission’s primary goals is to incentivize innovation in areas critical to India’s growth. The innovative solutions in the areas like health, housing, hygiene, energy and water can impact directly on livelihood of all sections of society. Researchers have long talked of the ‘Valleys of Death’ at the early stage and commercialization stage in taking innovations to market. The Atal New India Challenge aims to address the second Commercialization Valley of Death, in which innovators are unable to access resources for piloting, testing, and market creation. Total of 24 challenges are launched in partnership with five different ministries and departments of central government.
The vision of ANIC is two-fold:
- help create products from existing technologies relevant for national and social causes (productization);
- help new deep-tech products find markets and early customers (commercialization) in the context of India.
The scope of the program extends to developing an institutional mechanism and structure to channel potential innovative ideas for products and technologies from Startups and MSMEs on their own or along with R&D organizations, academic institutions and even individual innovators
(4) Mentor of Change Program
Mentor of Change Program is a strategic nation building initiative to engage leaders who can guide and mentor students in thousands of Atal Tinkering Labs and startups and incubators under the programs of Atal Innovation Mission across India. We are looking for leaders who can spend 1 to 2 hours every week in one or more such labs or with the startups/incubators and enable them to experience, learn and practice future skills such as design and computational thinking and inculcate the spark of innovation and entrepreneurship.
These labs are non-prescriptive by nature, and mentors are expected to be enablers rather than instructors.
Possible areas of contribution could be, but not limited to:
- Technical Knowhow: building prototypes,
- Innovation and Design: inculcating solution-oriented approach,
- Inspirational: leadership and self-motivation, and
- Business and Entrepreneurship: encouraging ideas and team building
- Sounding board / guide, break stereotypes and bias to bring about mind set and behavioural change.