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Indian Railways launches innovation policy for start-ups

Indian Railways, the national transporter, has taken an important initiative in the field of innovation through the participation of start-ups and other entities.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Indian Railways, the national transporter, has taken an important initiative in the field of innovation through the participation of start-ups and other entities.

Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw launched “StartUps for Railways” today at the Rail Bhavan in New Delhi.

This policy will bring scale and efficiency in the field of operation, maintenance, and infrastructure creation through the participation of a very large and untapped startup ecosystem.

Speaking at the event, Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the prolonged discussions over the integration of technology into Indian Railways have taken a firm shape in form of this initiative launched today.

Expressing his happiness on the launch of this initiative, the minister said that through this platform start-ups will get a good opportunity to connect with Railways. Out of over 100 problem statements received from different divisions, field offices/zones of Railways, 11 problem statements like rail fracture, headway reduction, etc. have been taken up in Phase I of this program. These will be presented before the start-ups to find innovative solutions.

The Railways Minister requested the startups to use this opportunity and assured them of support from the Indian Railways in the form of a 50 percent capital grant, assured market, scale and ecosystem.

Salient features of the Indian Railway Innovation Policy are:-

–Grant up to Rs. 1.5 Crore to innovator on equal sharing basis with provision of milestone-wise payment;

–Complete process from floating of the problem statement to the development of the prototype is online with a defined timeline to make it transparent and objective;

–Trials of prototypes will be done on Railways. Enhanced funding will be provided to scale up deployment on the successful performance of prototypes;

–Selection of Innovator/s will be done by a transparent and fair system which will be dealt with through an online portal inaugurated today by the Minister of Railways;

–Developed Intellectual property rights (IPR) will remain with the innovator only;

–Assured developmental order to innovator; and

–Decentralisation of the complete product development process at the divisional level to avoid delays.