Boosting Indian startups in the technical textiles sector, the government will provide grants of up to Rs 50 lakh for innovating, building technology-led products, and commercializing them.
Rajeev Saxena, the Joint Secretary of Textiles, highlighted that the ministry has greenlit the 'Startup Guidelines for Technical Textiles – Grant for Research and Entrepreneurship across Aspiring Innovators in Technical Textiles (GREAT).' This program aims to provide a substantial "grant-in-aid up to Rs 50 Lakhs for up to a period of 18 months."
The Ministry of Textile’s initiative will foster innovation, technology-driven product development, and subsequent commercialization.
Defining Technical Textiles: Merging Functionality and Performance
In essence, technical textiles are specialized textile materials and products that derive their value primarily from their technical performance and functional attributes, rather than their aesthetic appeal.
The Technical Textile entities enhance the strength, performance, or other functional aspects of the final product.
Diverse Applications of Technical Textiles
The utility of technical textiles spans various industries, including automotive, aviation, railway, shipbuilding, and beyond. A wide array of products falls under the umbrella of technical textiles, ranging from nylon tire cord fabrics, seat covers, and upholstery materials to airbags, seat belts, and car body covers. These textiles find their way into products like tufted carpets, insulation felts, helmets, sun visors, and more, all contributing to improved functionality and safety.
The GREAT Guidelines: Accelerating Technological Innovation
The 'Startup Guidelines for Technical Textiles – GREAT' initiative focuses on bolstering various application areas within technical textiles. These encompass agro-textiles, building textiles, geo-textiles, home textiles, medical textiles, mobile textiles, packaging textiles, protective textiles, sports textiles, and the development of high-performance fibers and composites. The overarching goal is to drive sustainable and recyclable textile materials, aligning with modern environmental concerns.
Empowering Incubators and Startup Incubatees
To further empower startups in this sector, the ministry will offer an additional 10 percent grant to incubators that support these budding enterprises. Startup incubatees, on the other hand, are required to make a minimum investment of 10 percent of the granted amount. This financial commitment from the incubatees aims to strengthen their dedication to the project and enhance the authenticity of their endeavors.
Prominent Institutes Enlisted for Support
Several esteemed institutes have been selected to benefit from this program aimed at supporting startups in the technical textiles domain. These include prestigious institutions such as IIT Delhi, NIT Jalandhar, NIT Durgapur, NIT Karnataka, NIFT Mumbai, ICT Mumbai, Anna University, PSG College of Technology, and Amity University, among others. Their involvement is expected to catalyze innovation and research in this sector.
Grants and Infrastructure Enhancement of Laboratories
Under the program's umbrella, a total of Rs 151.02 crores will be allocated, encompassing 15 applications from public institutes amounting to Rs 105.55 crores and 11 applications from private institutes totaling Rs 45.47 crores. Additionally, the ministry has granted approval to 26 institutes to upgrade their laboratory infrastructure and facilitate the training of trainers in various technical textile application areas.
The introduction of the 'GREAT' initiative by the Ministry of Textiles marks a pivotal step in elevating the landscape of technical textiles in India. By offering substantial grants, promoting innovation, and supporting startups, the ministry is set to drive the growth of this critical sector while fostering advancements in technology-led products and applications.