The Ministry of Mines has decided to promote Research and Innovation in Start-ups and MSMEs and has brought out guidelines for “Promotion of Research and Innovation in Start-ups and MSMEs in mining, mineral processing, metallurgy and recycling sector (S&T-PRISM)”. Proposals will be invited from Startups, MSMEs and Individual Innovators for up to two years duration, which have direct bearing on mineral sector, applied and sustainable aspect of mining and industrial applications, for funding.
The above decision can enable them to graduate to a level where they will be able to raise investments or they will reach a position to seek loans from commercial banks/financial institutions. The funding is positioned to act as a bridge between development and commercialization of innovative technologies/products/services in a relatively hassle-free manner.
The main idea of the S&T-PRISM is translation of research into technology (product/process/services) but not to carry out open ended fundamental research. Investigations must lead to innovation or new product/process ready for demonstration or pilot scale deployment (not only publication/ patent).
Jawaharlal Nehru Aluminium Research Development and Design Center, Nagpur, an autonomous body under the administrative control of Ministry of Mines will be the implementing agency for S&T – PRISM.
Selected Startups and MSMEs will be provided mentorship or incubation support and technical advisory support during entire project development period and additionally for two years from the date of technical completion, by a Facilitation & Mentorship team under the implementing agency. Scope of mentoring support will include advisory, networking, tapping resources, piloting, business planning and fund raising. Further, piloting opportunity for supported Startups and MSMEs, shall be provided in the mining, mineral processing, metallurgy and recycling sector. Preference will be given to Startups/MSMEs of North East region and women led enterprises.
The need for a strong Science and Technology (S&T) base for mining Research and Development (R&D) is well recognized. Research in Mining is an essential prerequisite for generating reliable data and new R&D knowledge relevant to Indian conditions for ensuring sustainable development. Since 1978, the Ministry of Mines has been funding research through grant-in-aid projects to many research institutions in different areas under the broad ambit of Mines protection and management. The Ministry has taken a number of new initiatives to strengthen scientific research in the area of mining sciences.
Recognizing the paramount importance of safety, economy, speed and the efficiency in extraction of mineral resources and in its convergence into viable economic alloys and metals, National Mineral Policy has accorded higher priority to Research and Development (R&D) programmes.