“The best way to foresee the future is to create it”. – Anonymous
- Innovation is the process of creating value by applying novel solutions to meaningful problems. It is about creating new applications for an invention or an established technology.
- Conventional GDP estimates suggest that the real GDP of the world grew at less than 0.1% per annum until up to 1700 AD, as it was only linked to consumption growth led by population increase.
- The exponential growth of world GDP came into play after the 1750s. This shift can be attributed to the advent of technology and technology-led innovations during the industrial revolution. A classic example of this is the development of steam engine technology in the 18th century.
- Empirically, we see that the most developed nations of the world – the USA, UK, France, Germany, Japan, etc. – have traditionally been the most technologically innovative ones. This substantiates the vital role of innovation in determining the growth story of a nation.
Atal Innovation Mission
- To promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across the length and breadth of the country, the Government of India, in 2016, set up the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) under NITI Aayog, the apex public policy think tank of the country.
- AIM’s mandate has been to create a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in India.
- NITI Aayog has developed programmes, policies, and institutions that cover the whole spectrum from ideation to deployment, from school students to established start-ups. This continuum of interventions ensures that an innovator is not lost in the way due to a lack of support.
Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL)
- With a vision to ‘Cultivate one million children in India as Neoteric Innovators’, AIM has established ATLs in schools across India.
- ATL is a state-of-the-art space to foster curiosity and innovation in young minds between grades 6th and 12th and stimulate a problem-solving, innovative mindset. ATLs house 21st-century tools and technologies such as IoT, 3D printing, rapid prototyping tools, robotics, etc.
Atal Incubation Centres (AIC)
- AIM has been supporting the establishment of incubation centres called Atal Incubation Centres since 2017 to nurture innovative start-ups in their pursuit to become scalable and sustainable enterprises.
- AICs are equipped with suitable infrastructure in terms of capital assets and operating facilities, coupled with the availability of sectoral experts for mentoring the start-ups, business planning support, access to seed capital, industry partners, training, and other relevant components required for encouraging innovative startups.
Atal Community Innovation Centre (ACIC)
- ACIC is designed to create a thriving ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship in regions that have not yet been a part of the growing culture of innovation and lack the systems to support it —tier 2/3 cities, rural and tribal areas, the North East, J&K and the Ladakh region.
- ACICs aim to reach innovators from the grassroots and give them equitable opportunities by providing them with infrastructural, financial, and learning support to ideate and design novel solutions for the upliftment and sustainable transformation of the community. .
Atal New India Challenge (ANIC)
- The Atal New India Challenge is a national initiative to seek, select, support, and nurture technology-based innovations that solve sectoral challenges of national importance and societal relevance.
- The primary goals of the ANIC programme are to incentivise innovations in areas critical to India’s development and growth – Education, Health, Water and Sanitation, Agriculture, Food Processing, Housing, Energy, Mobility, Space Applications, etc.
Mentors of Change (MoC)
- Mentor India is a strategic nation-building voluntary initiative to engage leaders (‘Mentors of Change’) who can guide and mentor students in the 10,000 Atal Tinkering Labs that AIM has established across India.
- Sustained efforts over the past decade have moved India in the Global Innovation Index ranking – from 57th in 2018 to 40th in 2022.
- However, the country is still evolving in terms of the number of startups per lakh of the population – when compared to the innovation powerhouses – USA, Israel, etc.
- It is our duty to realise New India’s economic potential and lead the way for New India’s decade of technology.