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ATMAN 2023: Innovative Agri-Start-ups Recommended for Rs 20 Cr Support

The ATMAN 2023 programme has once again demonstrated India's commitment to nurturing innovative ideas and technologies, positioning the nation as a hub for cutting-edge solutions in agriculture and beyond.

Shivam Dwivedi
ATMAN 2023: Innovative Agri-Start-ups Recommended for Rs 20 Cr Support (Photo Source: PIB)
ATMAN 2023: Innovative Agri-Start-ups Recommended for Rs 20 Cr Support (Photo Source: PIB)

The ATMAN 2023 programme, organized by the Department of Science & Technology (DST) in collaboration with four Technology Innovation Hubs (TIHs) established under the National Mission on Inter-disciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) at Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), has recommended financial and technical support to 24 promising start-ups. This support, totalling Rs 20 Crores, aims to accelerate innovative ideas, technologies, and innovations in various fields.

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

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

Dr. Rajesh Gokhle, Secretary DST, stressed the ATMAN programme's role in supporting the development and commercialization of innovative technologies, products, and services. He highlighted its potential to streamline the success of technology start-ups in the AgriTech marketplace while offering opportunities for these start-ups to showcase their innovations to potential stakeholders in government and industry.

Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Senior Adviser DST and Secretary SERB, noted the relative rarity of deep tech start-ups in agriculture in India. Out of approximately 100,000 start-ups in the country, only 3,000 are in the deep tech sector, with a mere 142 focused on agriculture. The ATMAN programme is set to significantly bolster this number by adding 60 more start-ups to the roster. Dr. Gupta also revealed plans for the TIHs to create interventions across the nation 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). This 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 for Market, Research, Innovation & Development), a holistic initiative to support ICPS start-ups under NM-ICPS. The event also saw the release of the Quantum Enabled Science and Technology (QuEST) compendium and an ATMAN booklet, further showcasing India's dedication to fostering innovation and technology in various domains.

With financial and technical support extended to 24 promising start-ups, these entrepreneurs are poised to make significant contributions to India's technological advancement.

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