Tata Trusts’ Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship joins Lockheed Martin, and Department of Science and Technology’s India Innovation Growth Programme 2.0 to foster sustainable social and industrial innovations

  • Entries for innovative ideas to be accepted through an ‘Open Innovation Call’ and targeted university challenges, covering both social and industrial innovations
  • New and improved India Innovation Growth Programme (IIGP) 2.0 will go beyond mentoring innovators
  • Tata Trusts’ Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (FISE) will focus on social innovations

Mumbai: Honorable Dr Harsh Vardhan, Science And Technology Minister, Government of India, formally announced a new and improved IIGP 2.0 with Lockheed Martin and Tata Trusts as the partners with Deparment of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, during his visit to USA. During the signing event held at the Lockheed Martin Global Vision Center (GVC), Dr Harsh Vardhan, exchanged the Letter of Intent with Rod Makoske, Senior Vice President of Corporate Engineering Technology & Operations (CETO) at Lockheed Martin, and Tata Trusts’ Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship to extend and expand IIGP for three more years, from 2017-2019.

The goal of the new programme is to foster a culture of innovation as well as social and industrial entrepreneurship in the country. India’s oldest non-sectarian philanthropic organisation, Tata Trusts, will support and expand the Social Innovation focus of IIGP through its FISE.

Since 2007, Lockheed Martin and DST have sponsored IIGP with the aim of accelerating innovative Indian technologies into global markets. The programme has produced over 350 successful innovations and nearly USD $1B of economic value addition in India in the last decade. As a first-of-its- kind collaboration, IIGP has successfully brought core competencies from national and international institutions under one umbrella.

The newly-enhanced programme offers mentorship and capacity building and provides opportunities for incubation and financial assistance. Under IIGP 2.0, select innovators across social and industrial sectors will have opportunity to accelerate their proof of concepts to a sustainable product or service for global markets.

Tata Trusts’ FISE along with select thought leaders from the Tata group will evaluate innovations that have strong societal impact and cutting-edge industrial innovations. Furthermore, innovations on the industrial side that are highly potential will be leveraged in the Tata ecosystem to ensure that inventors get the right opportunity which will help them mature their concept.

The applications and technologies will be evaluated and ranked by a joint team comprising all programme partners. Predefined parameters include development status, India centricity, maturity of the idea, social impact, funding required for technology development, and other elements. Selected innovators will receive advanced training from leading academia in basic principles of product commercialisation, readiness for market, business models, IP rights, competitive positioning, and mechanisms for revenue. Additional benefits to look forward to are training in technology commercialisation strategies and entrepreneurship; analysis of commercial potential of their technology; professional business development assistance; and access to US and global investor markets.

Tata Trusts’ FISE will help selected innovators implement some of the social innovations to scale while other IIGP 2.0 partners will work towards assisting the winners in commercialising their technological innovations and finding them suitable business partners in India as well as in global markets.

Speaking at the event, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govnerment of India, said, “This programme is a unique partnership of industry, academia and the government all working towards a single objective of developing innovative solutions that can benefit the society at large. It is rare that such a partnership has completed a decade and continues to retain the same level of interest of all the partners”. He complimented Lockheed Martin Corporation, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Indo US Science & Technology Forum, FICCI and IC2 Institute for having worked towards the success of the programme. He said “India is on a fast track to become a developed nation under the able leadership of our Honorable Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi.”

Speaking on the occasion, Manoj Kumar, Senior Advisor, Tata Trusts and CEO, FISE, said, ‘We imagine an India, where entrepreneurs and innovators can access the resources they need to create high quality, commercially-viable, accessible and affordable solutions for social and economic problems. We are honored to partner with the Department of Science and Technology and Lockheed Martin to further reinforce our commitment to promoting socially relevant innovation and entrepreneurship to enhance the quality of life for underserved communities.”

“Innovation is central to social progress, economic growth and scientific advancement, and it transforms the way we conduct our daily lives,” said Lockheed Martin Chief Technology Officer, Dr Keoki Jackson. “India has great potential to create technologies that can spur industrial and social development and this agreement is intended to unlock those possibilities. We are proud to issue this Letter of Intent with India’s Department of Science and Technology and welcome Tata Trusts to this exciting effort.”

Speaking on the occasion, Kamesh Gupta, Head – Strategic Collaborations and Programs at Group Technology and Innovation Office, Tata Sons, remarked “The Tata group has been pioneering business and industrial practices since inception. This legacy and focus on innovation is not only limited to business but deep rooted in the very purpose, the societal impact. I see India Innovation Growth Programme 2.0, a key enabler in creating a social and industrial entrepreneur eco-system in India.”

Innovators from across the country with breakthrough ideas and demonstrable proof of concepts having either a social or industrial impact are encouraged to participate in IIGP 2.0. Some of the sectors include aeronautics, agriculture, biotechnology, chemistry, communications, computing, defense, electronics, environment, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, materials, life sciences, nanotechnology, petrochemical, semiconductors and transportation.

For more information about the IIGP, visit www.indiainnovates.in.

About Lockheed Martin:
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 98,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

About the Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (FISE):
Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (FISE) is an initiative of Tata Trusts to promote socially relevant innovations and entrepreneurship with a mission to create large scale sustainable social impact. FISE is a Technology Business Incubator, approved by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, that nurtures social sector startups through their lab to market journey, helping them create high quality, commercially viable, accessible and affordable solutions. FISE aims to tap entrepreneurs and innovators having a strong focus on addressing development sector challenges to create social change and remain engaged with them throughout their product lifecycle stages. This is achieved through a unique three-tier ecosystem architecture stack called Social Alpha. Social Alpha stack is focused on catalysing innovation, enterprise incubation and growth hacking, in order to address the challenges of scale and sustainability in providing access to affordable education, healthcare, nutrition, livelihoods, sanitation, water, clean energy, credit, insurance etc. to the underserved communities.