With a vision to bring together the stakeholders of the food processing and agriculture sector in India, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog (AIM) today started a series of innovation demo days where start-ups, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), entrepreneurs, corporate partners and sector academics are brought together for a showcase of government-funded innovations.
The first such event was held today in association with Ministry of Food Processing Industries and Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare at Atal Incubation Centre (AIC)- Entrepreneurship & Management Process International (EMPI) Business school, New Delhi.
The innovation demo day series initiative aims at promoting commercialisation of technologies funded by the Ministries of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Food Processing and Industries. It also aims at connecting innovation with sectors like Indian MSME industry and government funded research industries.
Speaking on the occasion, the Mission Director AIM, NITI Aayog Shri R Ramanan said “We are sure that such initiatives will help take the technologies from lab to market, building a collaborative ecosystem. AIM, NITI Aayog will continue to make many such efforts towards making India, the innovation capital of the world.”
“ARISE demo day is our initial attempt to stimulate and showcase innovation in various sectors and we will be working closely with ministries to take this forward. The idea is to ensure the government is able to support start-ups better. Since we are one of the fastest growing economies in the world, there is a tremendous focus by the government to ensure the innovation and entrepreneurship in the country is scaled up,” he added.
Highlighting the need to promote food processing in the country, the Joint Secretary to Ministry of Food Processing Industries Shri Minhaj Aalam said that there is a dire need to push food processing as India is facing huge loss when it comes to recycling of food.
“India is facing issues related to post-harvest crop processing which needs to be addressed. As per a study commissioned by our ministry through Ciphet Ludhiana, nearly 1lakh crore of food products are wasted every year. The processing has to be increased in the country which presently is at an average 10 per cent compared to 50 per cent in other countries. We need to encourage innovations which can help to solve this issue,” he said.
He further said the ministry is encouraging and supporting the entrepreneurs and MSMEs for setting up food processing units by providing grant in aid and networking support with the help of AIM, NITI Aayog under ARISE scheme.
CEO Agrinnovate India Limited Dr. Sudha Mysore also spoke on the occasion and stressed on technology commercialization frameworks in Indian agriculture. She gave an overview of the technology transfer efforts being undertaken by Agrinnovate, a Govt of India initiative to bring Indian agricultural science to the market.
Meanwhile, the event saw a productive panel discussion by officials from both the Ministries, industry representatives, innovators, scientists and venture capitalists. The panellists spoke on ‘commercializing innovations from government R&D institutions into the market and the role of public & private institutions in innovation landscape of India.’ The officials also spoke about public research, importance of communication, technology delivery, technology development, technology commercialization, technology transfer, mentoring, training, job creation, start-up incubation support etc.
More than 30 govt-funded/supported technologies related to food processing and agriculture were exhibited on the occasion. Out of 30, 12 technologies were pitched in detail by the budding innovators and researchers to the stakeholders from the agriculture and food processing ecosystem which was followed by a networking session.