India, with over 338,565 startups, is ranked 4th in the global startup ranking in 2023. Though approximately 90% of the startups are in generic categories like E-Commerce, e-retailing, last-mile logistics solutions, fintech, etc., the rest should be from deep tech backgrounds. In 2016, the Indian government released a start-up policy to give financial support to India’s new-found love – the startups.
This article showcases why the government is bringing another policy to specifically focus on deep technology startups and how it will benefit the deep tech sector.
Introduction to Deep Technology Startups
Deep technology startups deal with early-stage technologies based on scientific or engineering advancements. Since the technologies that deep tech startups work on are in the early stage of development, their commercialization is far away. Such startups develop solutions for unexplored sectors based on new knowledge within a scientific or engineering discipline or a combination of multiple disciplines. Non-deep technology startups may OR MAY NOT create intellectual properties. However, deep tech startups produce and own their intellectual properties.
Deep technology startups work on cutting-edge technology
Deep tech startups play with Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, quantum computing, biotechnology, robotics, the Internet of Things, Big Data, etc. Indian startups engaged in these sectors have grown almost 53% in the last ten years, propelling India as one of the potential leaders in the global technology sphere.
What’s the need for a separate policy for Deep tech startups?
Since 2012, the number of deep technology startups in India has grown rapidly and now accounts for over 10% of the overall number of startups. To support and accelerate this growth in the coming years, the government has released a National deep-tech startup policy (NDTSP) on September 23rd.
What’s the vision of National Deep Tech Startup Policy?
The NDTSP aims to offer the much-required invention and framework for an encouraging technology ecosystem in the country. The Policy will serve as the groundwork for India’s deep tech startup sector and bolster innovation and economic development. The vision of the policy is to strengthen R&D and innovation, spruce up the intellectual property regime, provide funding and resources, support industry-relevant research, create a favorable regulatory environment, attract top talent, promote indigenous technologies, align with national priorities, and support deep tech startups through challenging phases.
Priorities for the National Deep Tech Startup Policy
The NDTSP outlines the following areas as key priorities and interventions for the deep tech startup ecosystem in India:
- Nurture research, development, and innovation: by providing incentives such as tax breaks. Foster collaboration between industry and academia to achieve common goals.
- Strengthening Intellectual Property (IP) Regime: India’s IP regime has been cumbersome, so policy changes are needed to make it easier and less expensive for deep technology startups to file intellectual property.
- Facilitating Access to Funds: Make the process of accessing funds for deep-tech startups easier
- Enabling Infrastructure and Resource Sharing: Sharing infrastructure across deep technology startups, R&D, and educational institutes is cost-effective.
- Creating Conducive Regulations, Standards, and Certifications: The policy aims to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and promote innovation by developing regulatory frameworks, providing subsidies and exemptions for certification costs, and granting access to government-owned datasets for research and innovation.
- Human Resources Capacity Building: The policy emphasizes talent acquisition, specialized training, mentorship, and university partnerships for HR capacity building.
- Sustenance of Deep Tech Startups: The policy aims to help deep technology startups overcome initial hurdles and provide support until they are self-sustaining.
Information in a nutshell
What does the NDTSP aim to achieve?
- Create a network of standardized sites for field tests and experimentation.
- Nurture research, development, and innovation
- Strengthen the intellectual property regime
- Facilitate access to funding
- Enable shared infrastructure and resource-sharing
- Create conducive regulations, standards, and certifications
- Boost India’s knowledge-driven economy
- Boost societal development
The NDTSP 2023 is a strategic policy aimed at fostering the growth and sustainability of deep technology startups in India. This well-thought-out policy will help promote innovation and contribute to India’s economic and technological development. It has all the necessary ingredients for India to become a knowledge-based economy. However, the success of this policy depends on its efficient implementation.