Atal Innovation Mission launches ‘AIM-iCREST’

The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) of the NITI Aayog has launched an Incubator Capabilities Enhancement Programme by the name of AIM iCREST

July 30, 2020

The initiative is supported by the Wadhwani Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

iCREST will identify areas of improvement and upskill entrepreneurs in technological platforms.

The programme offers end to end facilities from knowledge creation to forging of strong networks.

India has focused on enhancing competencies across AI, ML, IoT, and Quantum Computing.

The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), a flagship innovation centre instituted by the NITI Aayog has launched an Incubator Capabilities Enhancement Programme by name of AIM iCREST. The programme will prepare the existing business and growth ecosystems to help create and nurture high performing startups thereby fostering large scale innovation across the nation. The initiative will be supported by the Wadhwani Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

In addition to enhancing incubation capabilities, the programme will provide end-to-end requirements ranging from knowledge creation to the forging of strong networks conducive to growth. Through a focus on growth hacking, the iCREST programme will identify areas of improvement for incubators and subsequently upskill entrepreneurs in technological platforms and processes. 

Remarking on the launch of the iCREST programme, Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog said “In order to facilitate an AtmaNirbhar ecosystem that is capable of nurturing such disruptive startups, AIM, NITI Aayog is enabling this partnership with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation. We are positive it will propel our portfolio to become #WorldClassIncubators and reach greater heights.” Mr. Kant also recorded the role of the NITI Aayog as a catalyst in enabling Indian innovators to disrupt global market ecosystems. 

The Government of India, through the NITI Aayog and several ministerial initiatives, continues to focus attention on improving the innovation landscape in India. Capabilities in technologies including Artificial intelligence (AI), Internet-of-Things (IoT), and Quantum Computing are being explored and optimized to further innovation. The institution of CSIR Innovation Parks is an initiative aimed at having startups tap into the strong research network and patent capabilities of CSIR. 

The MSME industry has benefited at a grassroots level through collaborations with the ARISE arm of the Atal Innovation Mission that focused on the sharing of quality technological know-how. Furthermore, the creative and problem-solving abilities of the student population in India are being enhanced through the collaboration between the JIGYASA initiative and Atal Tinkering Labs. With concerted efforts to uplift the existing innovation ecosystem and groom the entrepreneurs of the future, India can expand to see rapid and far-reaching transformations in the innovation landscape.