Innovative agri startups proposed for assistance of Rs.20 crore


ATMAN 2023: Rs 20 crore support recommended for innovative agri startups (Photo Source: PIB)
ATMAN 2023: Rs 20 crore support recommended for innovative agri startups (Photo Source: PIB)

The ATMAN 2023 programme, organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in collaboration with four Technology Innovation Hubs (TIHs) of the Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) at the Indian Institute of Technology (NM-ICPS) Established under IITs) has recommended financial and technical support to 24 promising start-ups. The support, totaling Rs 20 crore, aims to accelerate innovative ideas, technologies and innovations in various sectors.

These 24 startups were selected from a pool of 55 participants who presented their groundbreaking solutions during five panels of the ATMAN 2023 program. The panels covered topics such as precision farming, agro-IoT, Agri 4.0, mechanization, automation, market intelligence, yield forecasting, and farm advisory and communication. The top performers received the prestigious ‘Best Pitch’ award. Additionally, the event also showcased 20 key agri-tech technologies developed by four TIHs in an exhibition, highlighting India’s potential in the field of agricultural technology.

Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, and MoS of PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy, and Space inaugurated the ATMAN programme. During his address, he emphasized the importance of synergy between research, academia, start-ups and industry to not only advance the development of innovative products but also to enhance national and global branding and marketing efforts. .

Dr Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary DST, emphasized the role of the ATMAN program in supporting the development and commercialization of innovative technologies, products and services. He highlighted his ability to facilitate the success of technology startups in the agritech marketplace while providing these startups with opportunities to showcase their innovations to potential stakeholders in government and industry.

Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Senior Advisor DST and Secretary SERB noted the relative rarity of deep tech startups in agriculture in India. Of the nearly 100,000 startups in the country, only 3,000 are in the deep-tech sector, with only 142 focused on agriculture. The ATMAN program is set to significantly bolster this number by adding another 60 startups to the roster. Dr. Gupta also revealed plans for TIHs to develop interventions across the country and collaborate with agricultural universities and colleges in the future.

As part of the programme’s initiatives, the Technology and Innovation Hub for Internet of Things (IoT) at IIT Bombay launched a Grand Challenge and Competition (GCC). The competition aims to provide a platform for visionary thinkers to develop innovative, modular, and cost-effective solutions for IoT technologies that interconnect water, land, and air.

IIT Ropar’s Technology and Innovation Hub introduced ‘SAMRIDHI 2.0’ (Strategic Acceleration to Market, Research, Innovation and Development), a comprehensive initiative to support ICPS startups under NM-ICPS. The event also saw the launch of the Quantum Enabled Science and Technology (Quest) Compendium and the ATMAN booklet, further demonstrating India’s commitment to promoting innovation and technology in various domains.

With financial and technical support provided to 24 promising startups, these entrepreneurs are poised to make a significant contribution to India’s technological development.

First Published: 30 Sep 2023, 21:05 IST


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