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Indian MMSEs Get Tech Boost

Image credit: tdbgoi; X
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To strengthen India’s micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) sector, the Technology Development Board (TDB) and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The agreement aims to streamline the process of accessing credit for businesses involved in the development and commercial application of either indigenous or imported technology, a press release stated.

Image credit: tdbgoi; X

Through the MoU, TDB and SIDBI have established a credit alliance, wherein both entities shall refer additional funding needs of companies they have previously funded to each other. Through dedicated key contacts, these organisations will enhance coordination, facilitating a smooth exchange of referrals. Moreover, in accordance with their respective policy guidelines, TDB and SIDBI will extend financial assistance to other eligible MSMEs.

This partnership goes beyond providing financial assistance, as the involved parties are also planning joint outreach and marketing initiatives to promote the initiative and expand its reach to a broader audience. The scope of these activities will be mutually agreed upon during the implementation of the terms outlined in the MoU.

The collaboration between TDB and SIDBI underscores a mutual dedication to aiding MSMEs in their efforts to advance and implement state-of-the-art technology for the overall betterment of society, the release noted. Anticipated outcomes of this partnership include increased innovation, the generation of employment opportunities, and economic advancement within the MSME sector.

Rajesh Kumar Pathak, Secretary of TDB said, “This collaboration with SIDBI marks a significant milestone in our mission to promote technology development. By combining our strengths, we aim to create a conducive environment for MSMEs engaged in innovative endeavours, fostering entrepreneurship and economic growth.”

The government has been actively engaged in bolstering support for MSMEs within the technology sector. It has implemented numerous initiatives, schemes, and policies aimed at boosting funding, improving R&D capabilities, and elevating overall competitiveness.

In August, the National Deep Tech Startup Policy (NDTSP) Consortium put forth the Draft National Deep Tech Startup Policy for public consultation. It aims to address the challenges encountered by deep tech startups, as reported by OpenGov Asia.

The policy builds current initiatives to tackle issues such as disjointed funding, mismatches in gestation periods with market expectations, and delays in payments leading to working capital challenges. It intends to establish a system for monitoring government grant payments and channel Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds toward research institutions focused on science. It plans to provide larger fund quanta per startup, allowing them to develop their technologies and reach product maturity within a reasonable timeframe.

The policy recommends increasing R&D spending to improve basic research, broaden the science foundation for deep tech startups, and develop a proficient scientific workforce. It targets enhancing technology commercialisation by fostering partnerships between academic institutions, research labs, and industry. It suggests setting up an Open Science and Data Sharing platform to encourage collaboration and deep tech innovations.

Furthermore, the policy emphasises the need for regular multi-stakeholder consultations with regulators, deep tech startups, and industry representatives. It proposes creating regulatory sandboxes and providing subsidies and exemptions in certification and accreditation costs.

To sustain deep tech start-ups, the policy suggests establishing a centralised core mission office. It will simplify approval procedures, enable IP protection, create awareness in Tier II and III cities, and design a monitoring mechanism based on mapping key performance indicators.

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