PM unveils ‘SPRINT challenges’ to promote indigenous tech in Indian navy

Defense R&D is now open to the private sector, academia, MSMEs, and startups. PM Modi unveiled the SPRINT Challenges to use indigenous tech in Indian navy

sprint challenges for indigenous tech for navy

PM Modi unveiled the ‘SPRINT Challenges’ to the use of indigenous technology in the Indian Navy on July 18, 2022, at the Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO) seminar ‘Swavlamban.’ NIIO hopes to induct at least 75 new indigenous technologies/products into the Indian Navy in collaboration with the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO).

SPRINT stands for Supporting Pole-Vaulting in R&D via Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), NIIO, and Technology Development Acceleration Cell (TDAC).

“We have to work to continuously increase the number of indigenous technologies. Your goal should be that when India celebrates 100 years of its independence, at that time our Navy should be at an unprecedented height,” PM stated. 

Referring to the importance of oceans and coasts in India’s economy, PM added, that the role of the Indian Navy is continuously increasing and therefore its self-reliance is of critical importance. “Innovation is critical, and it has to be indigenous. Imported goods can’t be a source of innovation”, he said. He also stressed the need for a change in the mindset of attraction for imported goods.

Defense R&D is now open to the private sector, academia, MSMEs, and start-ups. This has accelerated long-delayed defence projects, and the Prime Minister expressed confidence that the wait for the commissioning of the first indigenous aircraft carrier will be over soon.

Imports have decreased by about 21 per cent in the last 4-5 years. Today, we are rapidly transitioning from the largest defence importer to a major exporter. Last year, defence exports totaled Rs 13,000 crore, with the private sector accounting for more than 70 per cent of the total, he said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stated that, in accordance with the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat‘ campaign, the Indian Navy spent more than 64 per cent of its capital budget on domestic procurement in the previous fiscal year, and this figure is expected to rise to 70 per cent in the current fiscal year. Several projects under the iDEX initiative and the ‘Technology Development Fund’ are promoting innovation in the defence sector with the active participation of the private sector, MSMEs, and start-ups.

He emphasised that as a result of these efforts, the Indian Navy has developed the necessary capabilities to protect not only India’s maritime interests, but also those of its friendly countries, in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’ (SAGAR).

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