Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. AIM’s objective is to develop new programmes and policies for fostering innovation in different sectors of the economy, provide platform and collaboration opportunities for different stakeholders, create awareness and create an umbrella structure to oversee innovation ecosystem of the country.
To encourage and enable holistic progress in the incubator ecosystem across the country, NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission, has launched AIM iCREST – an Incubator Capabilities enhancement program for a Robust Ecosystem focused on creating high performing Startups. This is a first of its kind initiative for advancing innovation at scale in India.
AIM has joined hands with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation – organizations that can lend credible support and expertise in the entrepreneurship and innovation space. These partnerships will provide global expertise and showcase proven best practices to the AIM’s incubator network.
AIM iCREST, as the name suggests, has been designed to enable the incubation ecosystem and act as a growth hack for AIM’s Atal and Established incubators across the country. Under the initiative, the AIM’s incubators are set to be upscaled and provided requisite support to foster the incubation enterprise economy, that will help them to significantly enhance their performance. This will be complemented by providing training to entrepreneurs, through technology driven processes and platforms.
Anjani Bansal, Deputy Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said, “We are thrilled to support this initiative of Atal Innovation Mission and NITI Aayog to nurture an ecosystem that enables development and scale up of innovations to solve problems with far reaching impact. Such innovations in technologies and business models can contribute, both incrementally and radically, to the foundation’s goals of improving maternal and child health, increasing productivity and income of small farmers, increasing access and usage of digital financial services, and improving livelihoods for women. The large network of incubators under AIM-iCREST program also enables us to deliver this program at scale which is particularly exciting.”
The programme aims at going beyond incubator capacity building. Given the current pandemic, the effort will focus on supporting startup entrepreneurs in knowledge creation and dissemination as well as in developing robust and active networks.
Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, sharing his views said, “We firmly believe that the Indian startup ecosystem has evolved into truly world-class movement. NITI Aayog shall play the role of a catalyst in making it happen. India has a great opportunity in its inherent innovative mindset to capture global markets while creating disruptive solutions for the challenges within the country. In order to facilitate an AtmaNirbhar ecosystem that is capable of nurturing such disruptive startups, AIM, NITI Aayog is enabling this partnership with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation.”