Nidhi Prayas



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About NIDHI PRAYAS - Grant in Aid and Support for Early Stage Innovators
At present, even though there are several schemes for supporting innovation projects, there is a profound lack of support for early stage prototyping & trying out of innovative ideas causing many innovators to lose interest in their ventures in the absence of support at that critical juncture.
There is a definite need to address the gap in the very early stage idea/ proof of concept funding. National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) is an umbrella programme conceived and developed by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, for nurturing ideas and innovations (knowledge-based and technology-driven) into successful start-ups.

Under this initiative, DST has launched National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations- Promoting and Accelerating Young and ASpiring innovators (NIDHI-PRAYAS) program. This program caters to idea-stage entrepreneurs with a physical product offering, who require support for prototyping. It would also facilitate the innovators with the physical infrastructure, technical guidance, business mentorship etc. This support shall allow the innovators to try their ideas without fear of failure, hence allowing them to reach a stage where they have a ready product and are willing to approach incubators for commercialization. Hence NIDHI-PRAYAS can be considered a pre-incubation initiative and a source of pipeline for incubators.

Focus Domains

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    (The followings will not be considered under NIDHI PRAYAS:

  • Projects related to Pure Software development, e-Commerce, Service solutions, App based solutions.
  •  Funding research or student internship in Academic institutions or R& D organisations)



  • An individual innovator without having a startup or founder of a startup can apply for Prayas grant.
  • In case of an applicant being an individual innovator without having a startup applying for PRAYAS:
    • The applicant has to be an Indian Citizen with a government approved proof of nationality such as a valid passport, voter’s id etc.
    • The applicant should be minimum of 18 years of age, as on the date of application.
    • If the applicant works in a team with other innovators there has to be an agreement among the team about the lead innovator who would apply, and the funds will be transferred to the lead innovator’s account (after selection). IP generated would vest with the innovator or with the team as per the agreement and it would be further taken for commercialization.
  • In case of an applicant being a co-founders of a Startup applying for PRAYAS:
    • The applicant has to be an Indian citizen with a government approved proof of nationality such as a valid passport, voter’s id etc.
    • The applicant should be minimum of 18 years of age, as on the date of application.
    • The startup should be incorporated in India with a minimum 51% of its equity held by Indian citizens. The startup should not be more than 7 years of existence.
    • The startup wants to develop the prototype for a new product, for which they have not received support from any other funding agency.
    • The startup should not have annual turnover exceeding Rs. 25 lakhs for any of the financial years since its inception.
    • IP generated would vest with the start up.
  • PRAYAS grant is Proof-of-concept grant for converting idea and innovations into a prototype. Proposals for the products having crossed the prototype level are not eligible for support under NIDHI-PRAYAS.
  • The ideas and innovations should be based on technology and science.
  • The product prototype has to be a physical product.
  • Applicants can be individual innovators or early stage startups.
  • Applicants will have ownership of the Project knowhow or IP of the proposed products or right to use knowhow or IP if it is owned by a third party.
  • Prototype must be capable of being completed within 18 months.
  • Innovators should have technical skills or background.
  • Idea or Innovations should have a roadmap towards commercialization.
  • The priority technology areas are manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, clean-tech, energy, water and Internet of Things (IoT). Other technology areas may also be considered on strength or merit of the idea.


Preference For

  • Who have bootstrapped or have got co-investment commitment
  • Who have clear roadmap for commercialization
  • Women innovators
  • Young Innovators

Application Process







The application will be evaluated on the following parameters:

  • Innovativeness of the idea/proposal
  • Roadmap/Timeline of activities planned
  • Market and business potential of the proposal, on completion of the prototype
  • Clinical relevance
  • Social impact/relevance of the proposal
  • Team Strength
  • Team composition-young aspiring innovators, women members in team etc.
  • Potential to form a startup company
  • Potential to get follow up funding
  • Potential for IPR


As a biotechnology graduate,I have been aiming to develop a medical device,a composite material for bone regeneration. I am privileged and honored to receive Nidhi Prayas grant by DST through TIMed-SCTIMST.This funding along with the support from the mentors in SCTIMST helped a lot to develop my research skills while working on the prototype.I was able lay a strong foundation to develop the medical device successfully,by which I could apply for other grants to reach the goal. I am very grateful for the support and experience gained from the DST-Nidhi Prayas and the team TIMed-SCTIMST.


- Sujatha Manoharan


ss“After getting the initial funding from the Kick start grant of SIIP fellowship for developing an idea into a POC, I had to raise more funds for developing the prototype. As an individual innovator I applied for NIDHI PRAYAS, DST grant for prototype development through SCTIMST TIMed. Through Nidhi Prayas fund I got the opportunity to develop a working prototype of Hydrating patch”. For any individual innovator, Nidhi Prayas is an ideal scheme to apply. I could utilize the fund for PCT application, final designing of the product, initial testing and validation of the prototype and to convert the proof of concept to a prototype. Personally, for me, the mentoring and the validation from the expert committee of Nidhi Prayas gave me confidence to start my company Bylin Medtech Pvt Ltd.”

-Dr Lini Basil
CEO& Director’
Bylin Medtech Pvt Ltd

Contact details

For further details on NIDHI PRAYAS programme at SCTIMST-TIMed please contact:
Mr Aswin R Krishnan
Project Coordinator-Nidhi Prayas
Mob: 8089761608

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