Indian Railways launches 'StartUps for Railways' Innovation Policy for young Innovators

Anushka Khare Posted on: 2022-06-14 08:25:00 Viewer: 1,133 Comments: 0 Country: India City: New Delhi

Indian Railways launches 'StartUps for Railways' Innovation Policy for young Innovators

New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): Indian Railways, the National transporter has taken an important initiative in the field of innovation through the participation of start-ups and other entities. Union Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw has launched “StartUps for Railways” in Rail Bhavan, New Delhi on June 13, 2022.

This policy will bring scale and efficiency in the field of operation, maintenance, and infrastructure creation through the participation of a very large and untapped startup ecosystem.

Objectives of the Policy

The objective is to leverage innovative technologies developed by Indian Startups/ MSMEs/ Innovators / Entrepreneurs to improve the operational efficiency and safety of the Indian Railways

  • To develop cost-effective, implementable, scalable solutions, functional prototypes and innovative products for addressing Quality, Reliability and Maintainability related issues of IR and improving the same through specified usage of the developed products and innovative solutions by IR.
  • Leveraging new innovative technologies, developed by entrepreneurs and Startups, for improving Operational Efficiency & Safety on Indian Railways.
  • Promoting „Innovation Culture‟ in the country for co-creation and co-innovation in the Railway sector

Speaking at the event, Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the long-going discussions over the integration of technology into Indian Railways have taken today the firm shape in form of this initiative launched today.

Expressing his happiness on the launch of this initiative the Minister said that through this platform start-ups will get a good opportunity to connect with Railways. Out of over 100 problem statements received from different divisions, field offices/zones of Railways, 11 problem statements like rail fracture, headway reduction etc. have been taken up for phase 1 of this program. These will be presented before the start-ups to find innovative solutions.

Railway Minister requested the startups to use this opportunity and ensured them of support from Indian Railways in form of a 50 percent capital grant, assured market, scale and ecosystem.

The salient feature of the Policy

Some of the salient features of the Indian Railway Innovation Policy are as under:-

  • Grant up to Rs. 1.5 Crore to innovator on equal sharing basis with provision of milestone-wise payment.
  • The complete process from floating the problem statement to the development of the prototype is online with a defined timeline to make it transparent and objective.
  • Trials of prototypes will be done on Railways. Enhanced funding will be provided to scale up deployment on the successful performance of prototypes.
  •  Selection of Innovator/s will be done by a transparent and fair system which will be dealt with through an online portal inaugurated today by the Minister of Railways.
  •  Developed Intellectual property rights (IPR) will remain with innovators only.
  •  Assured developmental order to innovator.
  •  De-centralization of the complete product development process at the divisional level to avoid delays.

In the month of May, field units were asked to provide Problem Areas. In response to it, around 160 problem statements have been received to date. To start with, 11 problem statements have been identified to deal with via new Innovation Policy and uploaded on the portal.

  • Broken Rail Detection System
  • Rail Stress Monitoring System
  • Headway Improvement System for suburban section interoperable with Indian Railways National ATP system
  • Automation of Track Inspection Activities
  • Design of superior Elastomeric Pad (EM Pad) for Heavy Haul Freight Wagons
  • Development of an online Condition Monitoring System for traction motors of 3-phase Electric Locomotives
  • Light-weight wagon for transporting commodities like Salt
  • Development of analytical tool by using digital data for improving passenger services
  • Track Cleaning Machine
  • App for post-training revision & self-service refresher courses
  • Use of Remote Sensing, Geomatics, and GIS for bridge inspection

According to Railway, more problem statements have been collected from Railways, which are under scrutiny and shall be uploaded in a phased manner.

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