Selected startups and MSMEs will receive funding, mentorship, incubation support, and technical advisory assistance throughout the project development period
The programme aims to empower startups and MSMEs working in the segment to progress to a stage where they can attract investments or qualify for loans
The ministry will prefer women-led startups or MSMEs or ones hailing from India’s Northeast.
The Ministry of Mines is inviting proposals from startups, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and individual innovators to promote research and innovation in the mining, mineral processing, metallurgy, and recycling sectors.
To promote research and innovation, the Centre has released guidelines for the ‘Promotion of Research and Innovation in Startups and MSMEs in mining, mineral processing, metallurgy and recycling sector (S&T-PRISM)’.
The ministry will accept proposals focussing on the mineral sector, emphasising applied and sustainable aspects of mining and industrial applications. The programme will provide funding for projects up to two years in duration.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Aluminium Research Development and Design Centre, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Mines, will act as the implementing agency for S&T–PRISM.
What Will S&T-PRISM Entail?
According to the ministry, S&T-PRISM will focus on translating research into technology rather than conducting open-ended fundamental research. It will work to drive innovation and develop new products or processes ready for demonstration or pilot-scale deployment, emphasising practical outcomes over publication or patenting.
The programme aims to empower startups and MSMEs working in the segment to progress to a stage where they can attract investments or qualify for loans from commercial banks and financial institutions. The funding will be placed to serve as a facilitator between the development and commercialisation phases.
Selected startups will also receive mentorship, incubation support, and technical advisory throughout the project development period and an additional two years post-technical completion from a facilitation and mentorship team under the implementing agency.
The mentoring scope includes advisory services, networking, resource tapping, piloting, business planning, and fundraising. The ministry will prefer women-led startups or MSMEs or ones hailing from India’s Northeast.
The move comes against the backdrop of India discovering massive lithium reserves in Jammu & Kashmir. The element is used in batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). While commercial lithium mining in the region is still nearly a decade away, funding and research in mining in India’s startup ecosystem might lead to faster headways being made in the field.