Government to launch Rs10,000-crore Electronics Development Fund

Government plans to start an Electronics Development Fund with a corpus of Rs10,000 crore to provide financial assistance to domestic companies in the field of electronics manufacturing and encourage innovation in the sector.

"We will soon start Electronics Development Fund (EDF), which I hope will very soon have a corpus of Rs10,000 crore. It will be used to encourage innovation and support entrepreneurship," Department of Electronics and IT (DeitY) secretary J S Deepak said while speaking at the launch of Qualcomm's Design in India initiative. The fund, housed with Canbank Venture Capital Fund, would start this month with an initial corpus of Rs2,500 crore while the rest would be raised from various sources, he added.

"This fund is a fund of funds. This will fund venture capitalist who in turn will fund domestic companies in the field of electronics system design and manufacturing.

"We need to change present system of electronics manufacturing. It has to be rich in domestic Intellectual Property Rights," Deepak said.

The event saw Qualcomm announce a $4 lakh corpus for development of electronic products by Indian entrepreneurs under its 'Design in India' programme in association with IT industry body Nasscom. "The company creating a product under the Design in India programme will own IPR for it. We only want to boost ecosystem for electronics design and commercialisation of innovative products," Qualcomm India president Sunil Lalvani said.

Under the programme, Qualcomm, has called for participation from people who can innovate in the field. The last date for application is 29 February, and 10 entities would be shortlisted. The shortlisted entities would be eligible for funding of $10,000 each to start prototyping their product idea at Qualcomm's lab in Bengaluru. The company would thereafter, select three best products and extend them funding of $100,000 each.

Working in tandem with the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge aims to catalyse the creation of products and also improve hardware design ecosystem in India in the domains of smartphones, tablets and Internet of Everything (IoT) products for healthcare, education, banking, agriculture, automotive, wearables and smartcities.
 
"We are delighted to see an industry leader like Qualcomm, joining forces and contributing to the government's Digital India vision," said Deepak, secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), ministry of communications and information technology. "We look forward to seeing the Qualcomm Design in India Initiative propel more opportunities for innovation, design and development in India, which will energise the domestic hardware manufacturing ecosystem to address both domestic and global market needs.''
 
"Energised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Make in India vision, Qualcomm is excited to support the possibility of making India a hub for product and hardware design in the areas of smartphones, tablets and IoT," said Sunil Lalvani, vice-president of Qualcom and president of Qualcomm India & South Asia. "The Qualcomm Design in India Challenge has been conceived to leverage India's vast pool of skilled engineering talent and to galvanize hardware design companies to innovate technological breakthroughs."