AIM – Mission to promote entrepreneurial Eco system in India

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R. Ramanan
Mission Director – Atal Innovation Mission
Addl. Secy Niti Aayog

Ramanan Ramanathan is currently the Mission Director of the Atal Innovation Mission, leading a flagship strategic National Innovation initiative of the Prime Minister of India, launched under the auspices of the Niti Aayog. Ramanan is serving in the capacity of Additional Secy, Government of India at the NITI Aayog ( National Institution for Transforming India) since June 1, 2017

R Ramanan was previously Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of CMC Ltd., a subsidiary of the globally acclaimed Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and has been associated with the growth of TCS since 1981 when he joined TCS / TATA Group. He is a recipient of multiple national, international innovation and business awards, is on the board of Defence Innovation organization (DIO) and I4F Indo Israel innovation foundation, as well as chair of the New Zealand Govt Beachead advisors.

Ramanan Ramanathan is a graduate from IIT Bombay, B.Tech Electrical Engineering 1981. He is also an Advanced Management Program Graduate from Harvard Business school and has been certified in a sustainability leadership programme by University of Cambridge.

AIM – Mission to promote
entrepreneurial Eco system in India

The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is a flagship initiative of the Prime Minister of India under NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) to promote Innovation and Entrepreneurship across the length and breadth of the country.

India, over the centuries has never lacked some of the greatest thinkers, scientists, innovators of the world. Indian intellectual might is second to none with great scientists like President Abdul Kalyan, Sri Ramanujam, Sir CV Raman, Shri Jagdish Chandra Bose and Vikram Sarabhai .

What India has however lacked is a holistic innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem that enables the thinking capabilities of more of our people to be expressed as great practical innovations. This is why whenever Indians go abroad they excel, and become scientists, business leaders, doctors, engineers, and also in the fine arts. Many Indians lead in some of the largest most innovative companies of the world like Google, Microsoft , Citibank etc because they had access to an innovative ecosystem in these developed countries that has helped them translate their aspirations and dreams into realities.

The Atal Innovation Mission focus is to create and promote such a vibrant, world class, sustainable, scalable innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem in India that will transform our youth from being job seekers to job creators of the future.

Towards this end, Atal Innovation Mission is engaged in the following

  • Atal Tinkering Labs : Setting up state of the art Atal Tinkering Labs ( ATL) in thousands of schools across the country that would enable children from Grade 6 to Grade 12 have access to state of the art technologies like 3D printers, Robotics, Miniaturized electronics and electronic assembly boards, mobile and IOT sensor Technologies etc.. to tinker with, learn from, ideate with, and develop prototype solutions to problems seeking solutions. The students will also be introduced to design thinking and other entrepreneurial skills. With Atal Tinkering Challenges regularly posed to the students, the students get an opportunity to solve these challenges leveraging emerging Technologies. These initiatives will create and promote a problem solving, innovative, solution searching mindset in the students at a school level that would subsequently enable innovative students familiar with the latest technologies enter higher academic institutions and become potential entrepreneurs / job creators
  • In the last one and a half year, 5441 schools have been selected for establishment of ATL Labs across 650+ districts and covering all states / UTs, out of which 2000+ are already operational and the remaining will be operational by the end of this year. 70% of the selected schools are government and government aided schools. More than two million students will be exposed to innovation through this game changing intervention at the school level
  • Atal Incubators : For the higher academic / engineering colleges / institutions, Atal Innovation Mission is also enabling the creation of world class incubators – Atal Incubators ( AICs) that can effectively promote and create support startups in these institutions. AIM is also providing scale up support to existing incubators in the country. To date 101 Incubators have been selected across the country out of which 19 are already operational and 500+ startups created through them. The remaining 82 world class incubators would be operational by the end of next year. These 101+ Atal Incubators will spawn more than 5000 startups in the next four years
  • Atal New India Challenges : To stimulate product innovations with national social and economic impact AIM has launched 24 Atal New India challenges in collaboration with various Ministries (Ministries of Agriculture, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Rail, Transportation and Urban Housing and Development ). Upto 1 crore grant would be given to three winners of each of these challenges and the winners will also be supported by Atal Incubators / network for further commercialisation of the product in the market place. This will incentivize the creation of products and solutions addressing various critical challenges relevant to India from the startups / entrepreneurs in these incubators which can benefit the economy as well as society.
  • AIM Innonet Mentors of Change National Network : AIM has also created a national network of mentors called Mentors of Change – Mentor India network where more than 5000 mentors from corporate and other professional organisations have registered interest to mentor Atal Tinkering Labs and incubators across the country
  • AIM ARISE ( Applied Research and Innovation in Small Enterprises ) : AIM ARISE initiative is work in progress to trigger wide spread applied research and innovation in the MSME industry aligned to Make in India initiatives that will reduce import dependencies and increase futuristic technologies based export industry of India. This is being designed with the help of ministries to provide great impetus to Make in India initiatives in almost every sector of MSME operations
  • AIM STEER (Science and Technology entrepreneurial ecosystem Rejuvenation) initiative will seek to ensure alignment between the research and development in major national research institutions and universities of the country to products and services that will have great national and social impact over the next decade. This will also promote applied research to relevant emerging areas leveraging technologies like AI, Blockchain, IOT and satellite technologies

All of Atal India mission initiatives are aligned to the sustainable development goals of the UN to create a Healthy India and a Healthy world from school to university to industry levels.

The ultimate aim of all these initiatives is to create and encourage a mindset in the burgeoning youth of this country to be productive job creators of the future rather than just job seekers, and to familiarize them with relevant tools and technolgies of the future.

To ensure that these initiatives succeed Atal Innovation Mission is proactively developing partnerships with leading Indian and Global academia, global governments, large multinationals, corporates and individual mentors. This support could be extended in various forms such as adoption of ATL labs or AICs, mentorship involvement, technology assistance, training the trainers, domain expertise,
co- investments and in other creative approaches.

I have been consistently amazed over the last year and half to see the fascinating innovative ideas and solutions by our young school students in the ATL Labs, Atal Tinkering Challenges as well as by the startup incubatees of the Atal Incubators. I can confidently assert that this has now become an irreversible leap forward into a new era of innovative thinking, innovators and potential job creators by the youth of our county.

I truly believe that the sparks of innovation ignited in our schools, universities, startups and corporate institutions through AIM will lead India into a leadership position in the knowledge based economy that is sweeping the world in the current century.

The Atal Innovation Mission is a well thought out, long term, disruptive innovation led initiative, the success of which will immensely benefit the future of the children and the youth of Healthy India, as well as that of the world.

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