With the Indian renewable sector lacking new technology development, The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a draft Technology Development and Innovation Policy (TDIP) for New & Renewable Energy to further research, development and demonstration (RD&D) efforts with an eye to promote indigenous technology development and manufacturing, quality improvement. The draft is open for comments and suggestions up to October 20, 2017.
The MNRE wants to double the budget for technology development efforts in new and renewable energy for the current three-year plan period.
The TDIP aims to set up a comprehensive framework and ecosystem for implementation of the Technology Development Program (TDP). It will involve increased interaction among researchers, innovators industries, scientists, related stakeholders and departments and policy makers sharing knowledge and expertise for working in consortia. Innovation ideas will be encouraged with cash prizes and further support for translating ideas into prototypes and then for scaling up.
The strategy would be based on supporting project proposals in focused areas for pilot plants, technology, process development, demonstration, and commercialization, taking into account scalability and bankability, and also to encourage the exploration of new ideas and concepts to achieve long-term goals.
A strong institutional mechanism for collaboration is expected to be established to encourage research and for the efficient transformation of knowledge into technology, and to monitor technology development and innovation to meet the technology needs of the country.
Innovative ideas will be rewarded with cash prizes. The winners will be provided with a support mechanism for transforming their ideas and prototypes into commercial products as start-ups for entrepreneur development. For technology development and demonstration, the MNRE may provide up to 100% financial assistance as core support to R&D, academic, government, and non-profit institutions for prototype, process, system, and technology development to strengthen and set up specialized centers of excellence in new and renewable energy.
The centers of excellence will be funded in the form of TDI projects with an aim to strengthen the expertise of the research groups for pursuing research in advanced areas for technology development and demonstration, and for promoting R&D in the area in the country by conducting trainings and workshops. In the case of proposals to carry out studies of policy issues and analysis purported to renewable energy, 100 percent of funding will be supported by MNRE.
Financial assistance for projects including technology validation and demonstration projects that involve partnerships with industry and private institutions including engineering colleges should normally be restricted to 50 percent of the project cost.
Projects from private academic institutions, including engineering colleges accredited by a government accreditation body will be eligible for 50 percent support. The balance of funds will be met by institutes and industries. Projects aiming at applications of R&D and demonstration of technology and systems will be supported up to 50 percent of the project cost. Innovative projects will be supported through start-up support mechanisms, which will involve an investment agreement with investors.
Image credit: Fraunhofer ISE