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India Innovation Growth Programme 2.0 is Nurturing Innovation at the Grass Roots India Innovation Growth Programme 2.0 is a programme designed to nurture the Indian innovation ecosystem and contribute to the Government of India's missions of "Skill India" and "Start-Up India".

By Entrepreneur India

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin launched the India Innovation Growth Programme in 2007 jointly with FICCI and IC2 Institute at the University of Texas, Austin. Soon afterwards, we were joined by the Government of India's Department of Science and Technology and the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum. Last year, the Programme marked a successful decade of nurturing the Indian innovation ecosystem. In this time, over 400 innovators have been supported by providing them training on product commercialization, readiness for markets, business models, IP rights, competitive positioning and mechanisms for revenue by experts from IC2 Institute and Stanford University.

IIGP was started with the objective of enhancing the growth and development of India's entrepreneurial economy. The aim of this programme is to accelerate innovative new Indian technologies into markets in the United States and around the world. The India Innovation Growth Programme is the only programme of its kind because of its focus on teaching and using world-class commercialization strategies. Since its introduction in India, the programme has received an overwhelming response from innovators, inventors, scientists and researchers working across diverse sectors throughout India.

The IIGP has provided a platform for nurturing innovation in the country, as seen in the rapid rise of applications—receiving over 7000 applications since its inception. The IIGP focuses on a "Mind to Market" strategy by offering extensive training modules that are suitably structured to help participants gauge and streamline their existing capabilities, as well as formulate and implement appropriate business strategies. With its emphasis on capacity building and technology commercialization, IIGP has helped several participants in their quest to find suitable business partners in India as well as internationally. This has resulted in over 400 business engagement agreements being signed between innovators and industry partners/investors. The revenue generated by the participating companies under the programme is approx. US$ 1 billion.

Since the inception of IIGP, there are several innovators who are not only able to commercialize their technology but have also generated exports. Entrepreneur India spoke to Mr. Phil Shaw, chief executive, Lockheed Martin India, to get a deeper insight into the purpose of the programme.

1. How about IIGP 2.0? What are the changes or updates when compared to the older program

India Innovation Growth Programme (IIGP) 2.0 is a programme designed to nurture the Indian innovation ecosystem and contribute to the Government of India's missions of "Skill India" and "Start-Up India". It aims to enable entrepreneurs to develop technology-based solutions for the betterment of society, as well as to accelerate innovative Indian technologies into the global marketplace by providing them incubation, teaching excellent commercialization strategies and providing business development assistance.

The program has been restructured to better nurture the Indian innovation ecosystem by providing incubation support, including seed funding for start-up businesses to enhance their success, thus addressing a critical gap faced by innovators and entrepreneurs.

2. Could you throw some light on the new partners who have joined IIGP 2.0?

To better align with Government of India's push towards Start-ups, Tata Trusts has joined the programme as a co-sponsor with a focus on innovations addressing societal challenges. The new programme, branded as IIGP 2.0, includes several new partners including Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad (IIMA) and Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB).

3. What was the thought process behind creating two separate tracks for IIGP 2.0 i.e - University Challenge and Open Innovation Challenge?

With IIGP 2.0, we now have two separate but parallel annual tracks viz. University Challenge and Open Innovation Challenge, to identify & support both social & industrial innovations through the 3 phases of Ideation, Innovation and Acceleration.

The Open Innovation Challenge begins further down the innovation pipeline (Incubation & Acceleration) than the University Challenge (Ideation & Incubation), as the applications for OIC are generally further developed and hence require different kind of support for their entrepreneurial journey than what a student might need.

With 2 separate tracks, IIGP 2.0 aims to nurture and develop the innovation ecosystem across universities in India as well as the startup level with distinct targeted support to each group of innovators.

4. In your esteemed opinion, how well equipped are Indian technology innovators to compete in the global marketplace?

At Lockheed Martin, we believe it is our collective responsibility: the science and technology community, industry, academia and government to foster a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship.The ingenuity in India that we have observed as part of this programme is a proof that the real power lies in what we can do together. Working together, we have the innovation, the technology, and the commitment to accomplish great things. We have seen some outstanding innovations from across the country over the past ten years and hope to see many more.

5. A key focus for IIGP 2.0 is societal impact, how important is the role of technology in the betterment of society?

Technology and innovation should work towards ideas that are affordable, accessible & acceptable by the community. With IIGP 2.0, entrepreneurs and innovators can access the resources they need to create high quality and commercially viable solutions that could generate economic and social value.

Social Entrepreneurship and innovation is addressing some of the world's most recognizable issues with unique solutions, like clean cook stoves in rural households, providing internet access to the hinterlands, introducing digital literacy programmes in rural India etc. Social Entrepreneurship opens new avenues for aspiring young minds/inventors to create new ideas, which can be molded into actionable and measurable products to make an actual difference. Technology is thus encouraging new ways of thinking & engagement for the betterment of society.

Through IIGP 2.0, we are further trying to reinforce our commitment to promoting socially relevant innovation and entrepreneurship to enhance the quality of life for the underserved communities.

6. Are there any focus industries for IIGP 2.0? If yes, what are they?

IIGP 2.0 is seeking innovations from across the country with breakthrough ideas and demonstrable proof of concepts having either a social or industrial impact are encouraged to participate in IIGP 2.0 in both the University Challenge and Open Innovation Challenge.

The programme is accepting applications for a wide range of topics under both industrial sector (Internet of Things, Aeronautics, Advanced Materials, Smart Cities etc.) and social (WASH, Clean Energy, Healthcare, Education etc.)

Predefined parameters (such as development status, India-centricity, maturity of the idea, social impact, funding required to technology development, etc.) will be used to select the most appropriate innovation.

7. Where does IIGP 2.0 stand in the government's focus on Make in India and Startup India?

We welcome the push by the Indian government through programs like Skill India and Startup India. IIGP 2.0 is a programme that is designed to nurture the Indian Innovation ecosystem with an aim to enable entrepreneurs to accelerate innovative Indian technologies into the global marketplace through incubation, technology commercialization strategies and elite business development assistance. It thus aligns completely with the vision of Prime Minister Modi.

8. IIGP has wrapped up a few road shows in cities across India, what are the key observations in these road shows?

IIGP 2.0 has received a great response in the roadshows conducted across India. We see tremendous energy and exuberance in the Indian innovation ecosystem. Our team looks forward to evaluating the applications we receive this year.

9. What is the long-term vision and goals for IIGP?

Our long term vision is to see India as the start-up capital of the world. We want to see Indian innovations scale to address global challenges for the benefit of communities at large. Our long term goal is to create sustainable jobs, employment opportunities and economic value for the country by creating unicorns. We see the IIGP 2.0 partnership continuing in the long run to support a large number of Indian innovators in their entrepreneurial journey.

10. Any tips and advice for India's entrepreneurs who want to be a part of IIGP 2.0?

With IIGP 2.0 providing a complete package to take innovations through ideation, incubation and acceleration, we welcome applications from the technology community in India from students to startups to take their ideas to market. I would encourage innovators to apply to the programme and be a part of the IIGP 2.0 team.

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