Govt. pumped INR 34 Crores under MSME Idea Hackathon 2022

MoS Financial Support given for MSME Innovative component of Champions Scheme

The present monsoon session of the parliament has brought about several discussions on the state of MSMEs in the country. In response to a query raised recently on the progress of the MSME Innovative component of the Champion’s Scheme that was launched in March this year, Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Bhanu Pratap Singh said in a written reply that INR 34 Crore has been sanctioned by the government so far for funding the 257 selected participants of the MSME Idea Hackathon 2022 in the current fiscal.

The outlay was also used for reimbursement of 1196 Trademarks, 186 Patents, 53 Designs and 11 Geographical indications (GIs), says a report in The Financial Express, quoting the MoS. The winning entries of the Hackathon were unveiled by the Prime Minister earlier this month. The MSME Ministry received over 5000 entries for the Hackathon, which aimed to provide entrepreneurial and managerial support to MSMEs to designated incubators. The contest was open to all enthusiastic 

The Hackathon was designed as a springboard to provide support under the ‘MSME Innovative’ section of the Champion Scheme. At the time of the launch, the government had proclaimed MSME Innovative as a channel to create interest in entrepreneurship and encourage creativity in the MSME sector. The three subcomponents of the scheme are Incubation, Design and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), as per a government press release.

Under Incubation, which aims to accelerate the adoption of latest technologies, particularly in the manufacturing sector, the government will provide INR 15 Lakh per idea and upto INR One Crore financial assistance for investment in plant and machinery. Under Design, the government is seeking to bring product design experts and entrepreneurs on a single platform, to ensure that MSMEs receive the necessary technical mentorship opportunities for various design related queries, whether new product development, continuous improvement or refurbishing of existing products. INR 40 Lakh will be granted for a design project and INR 15 Lakh for a student project.

Under IPR, the government seeks to improve the IP ecosystem in the country and familiarise MSMEs with the practice of filing for IP to protect their innovations. Reimbursements will be furnished to MSMEs as per the type of IP criteria they are applying for. The government will provide upto INR 5 Lakh for foreign patent, INR 1  Lakh for domestic patent, INR 2 Lakh for Geographical Indicator (GI) registration, INR 15,000 for design registration and INR 10,000 for trademark.

Talking about the various initiatives undertaken by the government to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the country, MoS Verma briefly touched upon the above MSME Innovative scheme, in addition to the Prime Minister Employment Guarantee Programme and the Entrepreneurship and Skill Development Programme (ESDP). These programmes enable MSMEs to play an important role in Atmanirbhar Bharat as they help the youth to confidently choose self-employment as a career path and create competitiveness in the innovation sector, the MoS said. 

The investment in innovation comes at a crucial time, as the global uncertainties over the past two years have caused a slight drop in the participation of the MSME sector in manufacturing output. MSME share dropped from 36.68%  in 2019-20 to 35.98% in 2020-21, as per data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, says a report in Business World.