Innovators

NIDHI- PRAYAS Program aims at providing prototype funding to convert idea into prototype to young and aspiring innovators. Innovators should use the PRAYAS grant primarily convert their ideas into prototype of a product that has potential for commercialisation. The IP generated if any, should vest with the Innovator or the Start up. The maximum funding support to an innovator/startup will be upto 10 lakhs, however the final amount is subject to the approval of Monitoring committee of a PRAYAS centre

Applying for PRAYAS grant

The innovators can apply to one of the PRAYAS centres (PCs) for PRAYAS grant. Please Click here for list of PRAYAS centres. The PCs announces periodical call for applications. Innovators may visit website of PRAYAS centres on regular basis to know about periodical call for proposals.

1. Eligibility criteria

  • An individual innovator without having a startup or founder of a startup can apply for Prayas grant.
  • In case of an applicant being an individual innovator without having a startup applying for PRAYAS:
    • The applicant has to be an Indian Citizen with a government approved proof of nationality such as a valid passport, voter’s id etc.
    • The applicant should be minimum of 18 years of age, as on the date of application.
    • If the applicant works in a team with other innovators there has to be an agreement among the team about the lead innovator who would apply, and the funds will be transferred to the lead innovator’s account (after selection). IP generated would vest with the innovator or with the team as per the agreement and it would be further taken for commercialization.
  • In case of an applicant being a co-founders of a Startup applying for PRAYAS:
    • The applicant has to be an Indian citizen with a government approved proof of nationality such as a valid passport, voter’s id etc.
    • The applicant should be minimum of 18 years of age, as on the date of application.
    • The startup should be incorporated in India with a minimum 51% of its equity held by Indian citizens. The startup should not be more than 7 years of existence.
    • The startup wants to develop the prototype for a new product, for which they have not received support from any other funding agency.
    • The startup should not have annual turnover exceeding Rs. 25 lakhs for any of the financial years since its inception.
    • IP generated would vest with the start up.
  • PRAYAS grant is Proof-of-concept grant for converting idea and innovations into a prototype. Proposals for the products having crossed the prototype level are not eligible for support under NIDHI-PRAYAS.
  • The ideas and innovations should be based on technology and science.
  • The product prototype has to be a physical product.
  • Applicants can be individual innovators or early stage startups.
  • Applicants will have ownership of the Project knowhow or IP of the proposed products or right to use knowhow or IP if it is owned by a third party.
  • Prototype must be capable of being completed within 18 months.
  • Innovators should have technical skills or background.
  • Idea or Innovations should have a roadmap towards commercialization.
  • The priority technology areas are manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, clean-tech, energy, water and Internet of Things (IoT). Other technology areas may also be considered on strength or merit of the idea.
  • Preference may be given to the innovators-
    • having bootstrapped or have co-investment commitments.
    • having clear roadmap for commercialization or start up creation
    • Women innovators
    • Young innovators
Additional terms for innovators in employment OR Students with any R&D organisation OR Academic Institution
The innovators in employment or pursuing students have to seek the NOC from their organisation or institution. The NOC should include:
  • Permission to apply for PRAYAS and extending sufficient time to work on the PRAYAS project.
  • Permission that IP generated would vest with the innovator.
Notwithstanding the above, the followings will not be considered under NIDHI-PRAYAS
  • Projects related to Pure Software development, e-Commerce, Service solutions, App based solutions.
  • Funding research or student internship in Academic institutions or R& D organisations.

2. Guideline for Usage of funds

  1. Outsourcing Charges for R & D/Design Engg./Consultancy/Testing/Expert cost
  2. Raw material/ Consumables/Spares
  3. Fabrication /Synthesis charges of working model or process
  4. Business Travel and Event participation Fees (Ceiling 10% of approved project cost)
  5. Patent filing Cost – (PCT- Ceiling 10% of approved project cost)
  6. Contingency - (Ceiling 10% of approved project cost)
It will not be used:
  1. To pay the grantee or their relatives.
  2. To repay pre-existing loans or commitments of the innovator.
  3. To pay usage charges to the Incubator from the PRAYAS grant. Grantee can use other funds to pay any such charges, if any.
  4. To pay rent of own accommodation, creation of infrastructure facility like shed etc.
  5. As a stop gap arrangement to support any other professional pursuits.

3. Terms and Conditions

  1. PRAYAS support is in form of the grant which will be maximum upto Rs.10 lakhs.
  2. PRAYAS applications will be subject to Decision of the committee members of the PC where innovator has applied. The decision of approval or rejection or reduced amount by the committee shall remain final and binding on the innovator.
  3. The applicant will be fully committed to work towards the prototype development for which the support is being sought with an intention to commercialization.
  4. The project duration is 18 months. Prototype has to be complemented within maximum 18 months from receiving the first tranche of the grant.
  5. For incomplete projects, Prayasee must return unutilized amount of the grant.
  6. If innovator has already started a venture, Innovators should assign the IP ownership right to the startups.
  7. Innovators or Start-up teams cannot avail NIDHI Prayas Support for more than once nor from more than one Centre. Innovators shall also not be supported in parallel under NIDHI-EIR and NIDHI-Prayas. Innovators will give declaration at the time of making application indicating that they have not received support under NIDHI-PRAYAS for the same idea or NIDHI-EIR
  8. Click here for PRAYAS Scheme document

FAQs

  • How and where do I apply for availing PRAYAS grant?

    Approved PRAYAS centres announce periodical calls for applications. The details of all PRAYAS centres can be viewed on https://nidhi-prayas.org/prayascenters.html

  • Is there any technology preference under NIDHI-PRAYAS ?

    The priority areas for supporting innovations under NIDHI PRAYAS program are manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, clean-tech, energy, water and Internet of Things (IOT). However, ideas under other technology areas may be considered on merit basis.

  • Can I apply for a software product?

    NIDHI-PRAYAS scheme is for converting an idea into prototype for physical product. Projects related to pure Software development, Ecommerce, Service, App based solutions will not be supported under NIDHI-Prayas. However, software as one of the components of hardware product (for ex. an IoT product) can be considered for project funding for an integrated hardware prototype development.

  • I have prototype ready for a hardware product. Can I apply for NIDHI-PRAYAS for product completion support?

    NIDHI-PRAYAS is a Proof-of-Concept grant. Products that have passed prototype level cannot be supported under NIDHI-PRAYAS.

  • What is the eligibility criteria for innovators to apply under NIDHI-PRAYAS?

    Please click here to know about the eligibility criteria for innovators or start-up.

  • What is the quantum of funding support given to innovators/start-up?

    The maximum funding support provided is upto Rs.10 lakhs. However, the local PRAYAS centre Monitoring Committee decides the funding amount for their selected innovators.

  • Can I take my salary from the PRAYAS grant? Is there any guideline for the use of funds received under PRAYAS?
    No, the innovators cannot take any salary from the PRAYAS grant. The grant fund can be used only for below purposes:
    1. Outsourcing Charges for R & D, Design Engg., Consultancy, Testing, Expert cost
    2. Raw material, Consumables, Spares
    3. Fabrication , Synthesis charges of working model or process
    4. Business Travel and Event participation Fees (Ceiling 10% of approved project cost)
    5. Patent filing Cost – (PCT- Ceiling 10% of approved project cost)
    6. Contingency - (Ceiling 10% of approved project cost)

    The PRAYAS grant CAN NOT be used for:
    • To pay the grantee or their relatives.
    • To repay pre-existing loans or commitments of the innovator.
    • To pay usage charges to the Incubator from the PRAYAS grant. Grantee can use other funds to pay any such charges, if any.
    • To pay rent of own accommodation, creation of infrastructure facility like shed etc.
    • As a stop gap arrangement to support any other professional pursuits.
  • What is the duration of PRAYAS program?

    The total duration of the proposed project by innovator under PRAYAS program should not exceed 18 months. If there is no progress made by the innovator, the PC reserves the right to terminate the support to the innovator and the project will be discontinued, and the Innovator should return the unused funds.

  • For receiving the PRAYAS Grant, is it necessary to incubate with the Prayas Centre:

    The selected applicant must pre-incubate or incubate with the Prayas centre upon receiving the PRAYAS grant.

  • What is the other support which I can get under PRAYAS program?

    They will get access to the space, access to the fab lab, technical guidance, mentorship, during their project duration.

  • I have already received PRAYAS grant, can apply once again?

    No, the innovator/start-up can avail the PRAYAS support only one time.