Start-ups incubated by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) generated 65,864 jobs as cumulative direct employment and created wealth of Rs 27,262 crores from 2014-19, according to a report launched by the DST this week. The report on the journey of the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) in catalysing innovation, entrepreneurship, and incubation was launched by DST secretary Ashutosh Sharma at an online programme earlier this week, a statement by the DST said.
The NSTEDB, an institute under the DST, aims to promote knowledge-driven and technology-intensive enterprises, it said. The report also indicates a five-fold increase in investments raised by the seed supported start-ups as funding from angels, venture capitals, and other stakeholders with significant valuation gains. Overall, the NSTEDB’s approach has leveraged the technological strength of higher learning institutes to the benefit of start-ups through a network of academic incubators seeded and supported by it. It has led to an effective incubation support system that led to success of these fledgling start-ups, the statement said.
Programmes like the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovation (NIDHI) initiated by NSTEDB, aligning its activities with the national initiative of Start-up India and Stand-up India have played a significant role in energising the incubator-led innovation value chain, it said. This activation process included a range of measures like establishment of a network of technology business incubators, scouting innovations, supporting ideas to prototypes, enabling transition from being innovators to start-ups, provision of timely seed funding to the incubated start-ups, and support to scale up the start-ups through focused mentorship, partnerships, and networks. It played a crucial role in strengthening the academic-led innovation and start-up ecosystem in the country in the last five years.
The collective strength and power of NIDHI program, the DST’s incubator network and its start-ups was tested successfully during the COVID-19 pandemic through the Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH) program by supporting various solutions to resolve the crisis, it added. These efforts have been distributed across all geographical regions of the nation. Besides, the nurturing of 3,681 start-ups under incubation through the network of 153 incubators created by DST, generation of 1,992 intellectual property (rights) has been reported.
Further, in the last five years, the cumulative direct employment generation of 65,864 and Rs 27,262 crores of economic wealth creation are the key highlights of the Impact Report, the statement said. The holistic efforts of the DST have also ignited the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship and added to the multiplier effect across the nation, it said. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has played a significant role in fostering and nurturing the fledgling start-up ecosystem by steering it through its strong network of Incubators through the NSTEDB. The last five years have been significant in bringing this to fruition, as is evident from the report, said Sharma.