Union minister for railways, communications and electronics & information technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw launched an innovative scheme StartUps for Railways on Monday.
The policy will bring scale and efficiency in the field of operation, maintenance and infrastructure creation through participation of large and untapped startup ecosystem.
Speaking at the event, Vaishnaw said that the long going discussions over integration of technology into Indian Railways have taken today the firm shape.
Expressing happiness over the launch of the initiative, Vaishnaw 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 one of this program.
These will be presented before the start ups to find innovative solutions. He urged the startups to use this opportunity and ensured them of support from the railways in form of 50 per cent capital grant, assured market, scale and ecosystem.
The police ensures grant up to Rs 1.5 crore to innovator on equal sharing basis with provision of milestone-wise payment, complete process from floating of problem statement to development of prototype is online with defined time line to make it transparent and objective, trials of prototypes to be done in railways.
Besides, enhanced funding will be provided to scale up deployment on successful performance of prototypes. The innovators will be selected through a transparent and fair system which will be dealt through online portal inaugurated on Monday by Vaishnaw. Minister of Railways.
In May this year, field units were asked to provide problem areas. In response to it, around 160 problem statements have been received till date. To start with, 11 problems statements have been identified to deal via new innovation policy and uploaded on the portal.
Some of the problems include 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 for heavy haul freight wagons, etc.