Govt Launches ‘Startups For Railways’ Program: Will Give Rs 1.5 Crore To Startups For Rail Innovation!
On Monday, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology launched a policy, “StartUps for Railways”, aimed at bringing scale and efficiency in the field of operation, maintenance and infrastructure creation through participation of very large and untapped startup ecosystem.
With this, Indian Railways has taken an important initiative in field of innovation through participation of start-ups and other entities.
“StartUps for Railways” Policy
There have been long going discussions over integration of technology into Indian Railways and the same has taken firm shape in form of this initiative launched on Monday, said Vaishnaw, speaking during the policy launch.
Through this policy, the platform start ups will get a good opportunity to connect with Railways said the Minister.
A total of 100 problem statements received from different divisions, field offices/zones of Railways. Out of these 100, 11 statements like rail fracture, headway reduction etc. have been taken up for phase 1 of this program and shall be presented before startups and they shall be engaged in finding the solution of the same.
The minister not only requested the startups to seize the opportunity but also ensured them they shall receive a support from Indian Railways in form of 50 percent capital grant, assured market, scale and ecosystem.
Grant up to Rs. 1.5 Crore will be given to innovator on equal sharing basis with provision of milestone-wise payment as per the policy.
In order to scale up deployment on successful performance of prototypes, enhanced funding will be provided.
In order to make the process transparent and objective, the entire process right from the floating of problem statement to development of prototype is made available online.
Not just that, but the process of selection of innovators shall also be done by a transparent and fair system which will be dealt through online portal inaugurated by Minister of Railways.
Innovation, as per the feature of the new policy, will be recognized and not just that but also the Intellectual property rights (IPR) will remain with innovator only.
These products will also get assured developmental order from the railways.
In order to avoid delays, the new policy will also facilitate de-centralization of complete product development process at divisional level.
Key Problem Areas
In the month of May, field units were asked to provide Problem Areas. In response to it, around 160 problem statements have been received till date. To start with, 11 problems statements have been identified to deal via new Innovation Policy.
These include: Broken Rail Detection System, Rail Stress Monitoring System, Headway Improvement System for suburban section interoperable with Indian Railways National ATP system, Automation of Track Inspection Activities, Design of superior Elastomeric Pad (EM Pad) for Heavy Haul freight Wagons, Development of on-line Condition Monitoring System for traction motors of 3-phase Electric Locomotives, Light-weight wagon for transporting commodities like Salt, Development of analytical tool by using digital data for improving passenger services, Track Cleaning Machine, App for post-training revision & self-service refresher courses, Use of Remote Sensing, Geomatics and GIS for bridge inspection.