PRISM (Promoting Innovations in Individuals, Start-ups and MSMEs): An overview

PRISM (Promoting Innovations in Individuals, Start-ups and MSMEs): An overview
The spirit of entrepreneurship is widely seen in many who have innovative ideas and can organise, manage risks and enter into business. Entrepreneurship has become an important part of a nation’s asset in generating new national incomes and creating jobs thus improving the economic conditions of the society. Understanding this necessity of entrepreneurship for the development of a country, the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology has put forth a programme named Technopreneur promotion programme (TePP) initially started by Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) and Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC). This programme is at present known as the PRISM ((Promoting Innovations in Individuals, Start-ups and MSMEs) scheme, which is considered as one among the important areas in the 12th five year plan (2012-2017) of India.

The major motive of this scheme is to support the budding entrepreneurs who are willing to start an enterprise within a technology driven platform and also provide support to MSME clusters to set up autonomous organisations with the highest level of technology solutions. This programme financially upheld the individual innovators through grants, and technically guided them throughout the various stages leading from converting innovating ideas into live models to fundamental patenting knowledge. PRISM focuses on receiving proposal from major sectors like clean energy, waste to wealth, green technology, affordable healthcare, industrially utilisable smart materials and sewage and water management, and any technological or knowledge driven areas. But this scheme does not support general proposals related to software development and basic research with no nearest to time societal benefit and of academic nature.

The financial support varies from each stage the entrepreneur is currently working on; the divisions are as follows:

  • Category I (Total project cost of Rs. 5,00,000/-): A maximum support of Rs 2, 00,000/- or 90% of the total project cost is given for micro budget ideas with an initial support for the innovator to foster and develop his/her ideas to demonstrable models.

  • Category II (Project cost more than Rs. 5,00,000/- and up to Rs. 35,00,000/-): A support of around Rs 20,00,000/- per project is given for the start-up innovator where the applicant can fabricate his/her idea into a working model or working process along with focus on testing, patenting, technology transfer or any such important factors.

  • PRISM Phase –II (Project cost more than Rs 35,00,000/- and up to Rs 100 lakhs)
    A maximum support of Rs 50,00,000/- or 50% of the total project cost is given for successful PRISM innovators or individuals with financial support from other government institutions in order to take their concepts a to form a product or process required for an enterprise establishment hubbed with technology based innovations like patenting or design trademarking or technology transfer.

    PRISM R&D proposals (Project cost up to Rs 100 lakhs)
    A maximum support of Rs 50,00,000 or 50% of total project cost is given to any R&D institutes, private institutes, public funded laboratories or academic institutes solely for developing technological solutions to help improve MSME clusters.

    Many TePP Outreach cum Cluster Innovation Centres (TOCICs) are established for promoting and implementating the PRISM activities in various regions of India. The innovators can take advice from these TOCICs before submitting an application, where the coordinators of each TOCIC will screen the applications for completeness. After the initial screening process, the applications are evaluated by the Domain Knowledge Experts within the TOCICs. The complete proposals will be forwarded to DSIR for further recommendation and approval from the PRISM advisory and screening committee (PASC). At present, there are 16 TOCICs throughout the country, helping many innovators to mould their orginal ideas by making use of the infrastructure and knowledge support to emerge as entrepreneurs.

    The PRISM scheme is playing a major part in strengthening the concept of entrepreneurship right from the institutes by providing incubation for startups within various research centres who were earlier too much involved in publishing or perishing research culture. This programme not only focuses on initiation of a project but also gives equal importance to the evaluation of the regular progress which is done twice in a year and also at the completion of the project. But however many more universities and academic institutes should be able to adopt this scheme and help ignite the younger minds to the endless possibilities of entrepreneurship. Through this, the innovators can improve their idea developing skills, bring an awareness of economic issues that can be exploited and increase their confidence towards risk taking for being an entrepreneur.

    We need more channelisation for the scheme to penetrate and reach wide number of end users in the society. Such channels should motivate innovators and entrepreneurs towards understanding the process and procedures involved in setting up an enterprise and thus bringing a major impact in the nation’s economic welfare.
    How to cite this article:
    Deepa Mary Stanly. PRISM (Promoting Innovations in Individuals, Start-ups and MSMEs): An overview. BioLim O-Media. 25 July, 2017. 5(7).
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