Start-ups in the field of science have been recently catching a lot of public attention and growing rapidly. To promulgate science-based technology solutions, the government of India has come up with a PRISM scheme, which stands for promoting innovations in individuals, start-ups and MSMEs. To avail of all the benefits offered by the government, it is crucial to get the new company registration in India.

Defining the PRISM scheme.

The TePP (technopreneur promotion programme) was initiated in the year 1998-99 to promulgate technological development. After almost two decades, this scheme has been reinvigorated to be named as the promoting innovations in individuals, start-ups and MSMEs (PRISM) scheme. It is initiated by the ministry of science and technology, from GoI (government of India), to metamorphosise an individual innovator into a successful technopreneur by promulgating and encouraging entrepreneurs.

It offers funding for unfolding the creativity of individual innovators in the technological sphere. The PRISM scheme is not just for firmly established expert entrepreneurs or tech experts but also involves student innovators as the category. Hence, anyone having commercially viable, implementable, or unique innovation will be considered for the scheme.

Eligibility of the start-ups under the scheme.

It operates in two phases. This first one is for Indian students, Indian denizens and innovators.

The first phase – usually, it is for those innovators who have ideas that can transform into successful start-ups.

The second phase – it is for those innovations or innovators that have successfully shown proof of concept with the support of either the government, any institution and so forth. Even R&D proposals are funded publicly or are engaged with autonomous institutions, labs, academic institutions and so on.

Also, it offers support to organisations to establish autonomous organisations under a particular statute or as the society registered under the societies registration act, 1860 or Indian trusts Act, 1882.

Advantages of the PRISM scheme for start-ups.

– The technical, financial viabilities and evaluations studies provided by the government can assist the tech start-up to recognise the key areas that require the improvements.

– The PRISM scheme also predicts helping innovators and creators to get their fundamentals of patenting in order.

– The professionals would also give guidance to start-ups in terms of technicality and strategical assistance to commercialise the project, right from the stage of the idea development.

– With the inception of various initiatives such as Make in India, Start-up India, and Digital India, there has been a renewed significance of innovation in the technological sphere, primarily because it supports every other business and industry in the market. Hence, the PRISM scheme has been made with an aim in mind to strengthen the spirit of innovation among the youth and professionals of India.

Also, one of the primary advantages of the PRISM scheme is that it is not like MUDRA loan – financial assistance to MSME. In PRISM, the ministry of science and technology will give the grant-in-aid. Also, this grant can be utilised towards the commercialisation of project and prototype development.

Nature of funding grant available for eligible start-ups.

PRISM first phase projects.

To decide the nature of funding available, the first phase projects are further separated into two categories.

Category one projects – start-ups that possess the proof of concept, models or prototype with project costing up to Rs. Five lacs, a maximum of Rs. Two lacs can be availed, subject to 90% of the net project cost.

Category two projects – it is for more advanced projects than category one and possesses the working model, testing, process know-how, trials, patenting technologies, technology transfer with project costing betwixt Rs. Five lacs to Rs. Thirty-five lacs, a maximum of Rs. Twenty lacs can be availed.

PRISM second phase projects.

For such projects categorised in phase two of the scheme, enterprise incubation costing anywhere betwixt Rs. Thirty-five lacs to Rs. one crore, financial assistance of up to Rs. Fifty lacs, subject to fifty percent of the net project cost, can be availed.

PRISM research and development proposals.

The maximum underpins for R&D institutions are restricted to Rs. Fifty lacs or up to fifty percent of the net cost of project development.

Focusing areas under the scheme.

It is open for all categories concerning technological projects and start-ups; there is the preference for specific thrust areas as given below;

– Clean energy.

– Green technology.

– Waste to wealth.

– Industrial utilisable smart materials.

– Water and sewage management.

– Any other technology in a knowledge-intensive area.

The start-up idea, prototype, or concept in these areas are more likely to be considered on the priority ladder to grant funds by the ministry of science and technology. In case of abandonment of the project by the recipient, innovators will have to return the given funding, along with twelve percent interest, to DSIR.