On September 08, 2020, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) issued a direction inviting calls for proposal 2020 for Scheme for Accelerating Start-ups around Post COVID Technology Opportunities (SASACT). This initiative is a part of Meity’s slew of measures in response to today’s changing environment due to the pandemic and importance of quick and reliable technology solutions per local needs.
This scheme is put into place to support electronics hardware/ ICT based tech startups for developing or re-purposing technologies, tools, systems, solutions. It is to promote innovations in the fields of healthcare, education, Medtech, Fintech, and work from home to prepare for a world after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The scheme does not support ideation stage startups but ones in the scaling stage who have already tested their prototypes (hardware/software innovations) with or without any user agency. The startups seeking further validations before becoming market-ready with a demonstrable demand are therefore encouraged to apply.
Startups need to apply online through MeitY Startup Hub portal (https://meitystartuphub.in/). The proposals received in the portal will be scrutinized as per norms and all the shortlisted proposals would be put up for implementation through the 4 designated Implementing Agencies keeping in mind geographical locations, the scope of technology, area of work, and preferences if any.
The CEO of Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Poyni Bhatt, “The scheme is looking to groom startups based on Information and communications technology, hardware, or software in the specific context of a post-COVID-19 world. For example, solutions on home-based healthcare, online tools, education technology, among others.” SINE is one of the four agencies chosen by the MietY for implementing the scheme.
A fund of Rs. 9.6 Crore is provisioned for supporting eligible startups to augment and deploy into the market select technology products by MeitY. An eligible startup can avail maximum support up to Rs. 40 lakh for the proposed technology product or solutions. A total number of 40-50 proposals will be supported under the scheme.
“Following the Covid-19 pandemic, a new normal has been created in the country. There are many technology opportunities arising out of this new normal, such as working from home and home-based diagnostics etc. In line with the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme, we are looking for companies that have established their product but want to go back to the drawing board and rejig their solution to meet these new requirements,” said Ajay Garg, senior director at MietY.