Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is Government of India’s flagship initiative to create and promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across the length and breadth of our country. AIM’s objective is to develop new programmes and policies for fostering innovation in different sectors of the economy, provide platforms and collaboration opportunities for different stakeholders, and create an umbrella structure to oversee the innovation & entrepreneurship ecosystem of the country. AIM’s initiatives have played an important contributory role in the advancement of India from a position of 81 in the Global Innovation Index in 2015 to a position of 48 in 2020.
AIM has adopted a holistic approach encompassing schools, universities, research institutions, industry, MSME, NGOs, Ministries, at district, state and national levels.
Major initiatives taken by AIM to date are:
- Atal Tinkering Labs-Creating problem-solving mindset across schools in India.
- Atal Incubation Centres-Fostering world class startups in universities, instituions, private sector adding new dimensions of outcomes based scale up and monitoring to existing incubator model.
- Atal New India Challenges-Fostering product and service innovations in the country with national socio economic impact and aligning them to the needs of various sectors/ministries/industry.
- Atal Community Innovation Centre- To stimulate community centric innovation and ideas in the unserved /underserved regions of the country including Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and rural India
- ARISE-To stimulate innovation and research in the MSME industry.
- Mentors of Change Mentor India Network – One of the largest voluntary national Mentor networks with specialists, individuals from industry and academia to support all the initiatives of the mission.
- Building strategic Innovation partnerships with Public sector, Private Sector, Multinationals, and Global Country to Country Partnerships which include USA, UK, Germany, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, Israel, Denmark, Australia to name a few
Brief on activities carried out under Atal Innovation Mission
- 1) Atal Tinkering Labs - at school level
Over the last 3 years AIM has launched the establishment of thousands of Atal Tinkering Labs enabling students from grade 6 to grade 12 to have access to and tinker with innovative tools and technologies like 3D printers, robotics, miniaturised electronics do it yourself kits thus stimulating a problem solving innovative mindset to solve problems in around the community they are in. Atal Tinkering Labs are being established in schools nationwide with 4870+ operational in 660+ districts and over 2.5 million students having access to ATLs. 112 out of 115 Aspirational Districts have ATL coverage. AIM has launched a first of its kind Artificial Intelligence Do-It-Yourself learning module in a partnership with Nasscom and several key industry partners of Nasscom.
Some activities related to ATL Operational Excellence, Proactive Promotion of Innovation & Thought Leadership, Collaborations & Partnerships and New Initiatives by AIM:
- 10000+ schools selected for establishing ATLs out of which 5400+ ATLs fully Operational as of date enabling over 2.5+ Million students between Grade VI-Grade XII to advanced emerging tinkering DIY technologies and creating a problem solving and innovative mindset
- 5000+ ATL Teachers Trained with Corporate Partners
- ATL Tinkering challenges at school level, ATL Tinkering fests at Regional level and ATL Tinkering Marathons at National level promoting problem solving and innovation in all ATL students across the country
- ATL Student Innovator Program and Student internship and ATL Student Entrepreneur Program conducted
- Regional Mentor Meets across country –FB Live sessions with Prof Tarun Khanna, Super Mentors
- National ATL Tinkering Marathons – Top 10 District level , Top 100 at National level winners Recognition
- Global Student Innovation exchange programs like Singapore Inspreneur ATL showcasing of Top Student Innovations to PM, MEA Ministers of both countries
- Nobel winner Satyarthi, Nobel Prize Sweden delegates and Nobel winner Prof. Muhammad Yunus from Yunus Social Business visits and interactions with AIM ATLs Labs and students.
- AIM SIRIUS partnership launched by Hon PM Modi and President Putin enabling student innovation exchanges between 50+ Indian and Russian talented students promoting co-innovation and cultural bonds
- 2) Atal Incubators – at Universities, Institutions, Industry level
To promote creation of a supporting ecosystem for start-ups and entrepreneurs AIM has been establishing world class incubators called Atal Incubation Centres (AICs) in universities. Institutions, corporate, etc that would foster world class innovative start-ups and become scalable and sustainable enterprises. To date AIM has selected 102 universities / institutions / private players to establish world class Incubators each of which will foster creation and nurturing of 50 world class Startups every four years. Close to 70 of them are already fully operational and the remaining will be operationalised during this year. AIM has till date has supported 1500+ operational Startups, 500+ women led startups creating new jobs across the length and breadth of the country.
- 3) Atal Community Innovation Centres - serving Unserved and Under-Served regions / communities of India
To promote the benefits of technology led innovation to the unserved/underserved regions of India including Tier 2, Tier 3 cities, aspirational districts, tribal, hilly and coastal areas, AIM is setting up Atal Community Innovation Centres with a unique partnership driven model wherein AIM would grant up to Rs 2.5 crores to an ACIC subject to a partner proving equal or greater matching funding. Over 25 ACICS are currently being established across the country and 50+ ACICs will be established during the next two years.
- 4) Atal New India Challenges – Stimulating Product and Service Innovations with National Impact
To create product and service innovations having national socio-economic impact, AIM has launched over 24 Atal New India Challenges in partnership with five different ministries and departments of central government. 52 winners have been selected for grant aid and hand holding by Incubators / mentors of AIM.
AIM has also helped launch 15+ Defence challenges along with Defence iDEX (Innovations for Defence Excellence) program where AIM is the key strategy and operational partner to Defence. AIM has also helped other ministries like Jalshakti, Urban Housing and Development, Agri and Food processing, Chemicals and Fertilizers launch innovation challenges and innovation demos to spur innovation and entrepreneurship.
- 5) Applied Research and Innovation for Small Enterprises (ARISE) - to stimulate MSME industry innovation
To promote innovation in a phased manner in the MSME/Start-up sector AIM has launched 15 ARISE (Applied Research and Innovation for Small Enterprises) Challenges along with five partnering Ministries including Indian Satellite Research organization, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Food Processing Industries and Ministry of Health. This will enable great early stage applied research innovations to be converted to viable innovative prototypes followed by product development and commercial deployment.
- 6) Mentorship and Partnerships – collaborating with Public, Private sector, NGOs, Academia, Institutions
To enable all the initiatives to succeed AIM has launched one of the largest mentor engagement and management program “Mentor India – The mentors of Change”. To date AIM has over 10000+ registrations nationwide on the AIM iNNONET portal with 5000+ of them allocated to ATLs and AICs
Over the last five years India has jumped over 33 places from rank 81 to rank 48 in the Global Innovation Index rankings index. Atal Innovation Mission initiatives are key to further promoting the culture of innovation and giving expression to the innovative and entrepreneurial ideas of startups to enable development of one of the most Innovative Nations of the world.