The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved continuation of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), till March 2023. The AIM shall work on its intended target of creating an innovation culture and entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country. This will be done by AIM via its various programs.
The intended targets that will be achieved by AIM are:
- Establishing 10000 Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs),
- Establishing 101 Atal Incubation Centers (AICs),
- Establishing 50 Atal Community Innovation Centers (ACICs) and
- Supporting 200 startups via the Atal New India Challenges.
The total budgeted expenditure of Rs.2000+ crore shall be incurred in the process of the establishment and supporting the beneficiaries.
The Mission has been set up under the NITI Aayog, in accordance with the Hon’ble Finance Minister’s declaration in the 2015 Budget Speech. The objectives of the AIM are to create and promote an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship across the country via interventions at school, university, research institutions, MSME and industry levels. The AIM has focused on both infrastructure creation and institution building. As evident from these examples, the AIM has worked on integrating innovation ecosystem both nationally and globally:
- The AIM has created bilateral relations with various international agencies for building synergistic collaboration on innovation and entrepreneurship such as the AIM – SIRIUS Student Innovation exchange program with Russia, AIM – ICDK (Innovation Centre Denmark) Water Challenge with Denmark, and IACE (India Australian Circular Economy Hackathon) with Australia.
- The AIMs played a pivotal role in the success of InSpreneur, an Innovation Startup Summit hosted between India and Singapore.
- The AIM partnered with the Ministry of Defence to set up the Defence Innovation Organization which is fostering innovation as well as procurement in the defense sector.
Over the past years, the AIM has worked to provide an institutional mechanism to integrate innovation activities across the country. Through its programmes, it has brought innovation to lakhs of school children. The AIM supported startups have raised 2000+ Crores from the government and private equity investors and have created several thousand jobs. The AIM has also executed several innovation challenges on topics of national interest. Together, the programmes of AIM cover 34 states and Union Territories with the goal of leveraging India’s demographic dividend by inspiring greater participation in the innovation ecosystem.
With the cabinet’s approval to continue, AIM assumes an even greater responsibility to create an inclusive innovation ecosystem where engaging in innovation and entrepreneurship get increasingly easier.