National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations
PRomoting and Accelerating Young and ASpiring technology entrepreneurs

The program aims at providing prototype funding to convert idea into prototype to young and aspiring innovators. Innovators should use the PRAYAS grant primarily convert their ideas into prototype of a product that has potential for commercialisation. The IP generated if any, should vest with the Innovator or the Start up. The maximum funding support to an innovator/startup will be upto 10 lakhs, however the final amount is subject to the approval of Monitoring committee of a PRAYAS centre

In the present climate of innovation in India, there is support available for both R&D of ideas and commercialization of products, especially that which is provided by Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Parks (STEPs) and Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) promoted by National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) of Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. However, the primary aim of the STEPs and TBIs is to tap innovations and technologies for venture creation by utilizing expertise and infrastructure already available with the host institution, be it an academic, technical, management institution, or a technology and research park. An early stage prototype/ proof of concept (PoC) fund is needed to be effectively able to convert these technology ideas and innovations into products, and eventually to spur entrepreneurship.The emphasis is to foster indigenously developed innovations and product in alignment with the nation's "AtmaNirbharBharat Mission".


  • To enable translation of an innovative idea to a prototype.
  • To provide a platform for faster experimentation and modify approaches in the idea to market journey.
  • To indigenously generate innovative solutions relevant to the local and global problems.
  • To attract a large number of youth who demonstrates problem solving zeal and abilities
  • To work on their new technology/knowledge/innovation based startups.
  • To enhance the pipeline in terms of quality and quantity of innovative startups to the incubators.
  • To build a vibrant innovation ecosystem, by establishing a network between innovators, academia, mentors and incubators.

DST-NIDHI’s PRomoting and Accelerating Young and ASpiring technology entrepreneurs (PRAYAS) is specifically to support young innovators turn their ideas into PoC. 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. NIDHI-PRAYAS a pre-incubation initiative that would be implemented through a Program Management Unit (PMU) and the incubators selected for implementing the PRAYAS progam will be the PRAYAS Centres (PCs). The program will also help incubators source the potential incubatee companies.

Applying for PRAYAS grant

The innovators can apply to one of the PRAYAS centres (PCs) for PRAYAS grant. The PCs announces periodical call for applications. Innovators may visit website of PRAYAS centres on regular basis to know about periodical call for proposals.

List of PRAYAS centres

Following are the guidelines and prerequisites for the innovators wanting to apply for grant:

1. Eligibility criteria

  • 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.
  • he 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 may be given to the innovators:-

    • having bootstrapped or have co-investment commitments.

    • having clear roadmap for commercialization or start up creation

    • Young innovators

    • Women innovators

2. Guideline for usage of funds.

  • Outsourcing Charges for R & D/Design Engg./Consultancy/Testing/Expert cost.
  • Raw material/ Consumables/Spares.
  • Fabrication /Synthesis charges of working model or process.
  • Business Travel and Event participation Fees (Ceiling 10% of approved project cost).
  • Patent filing Cost – (PCT- Ceiling 10% of approved project cost).
  • Contingency - (Ceiling 10% of approved project cost).

  •  It will not be used:

  • To pay the grantee or their relatives.
  • To repay pre-existing loans or commitments of the innovator.
  • To pay usage charges to the Incubator from the PRAYAS grant. Grantee can use other funds to pay any such charges, if any.
  • To pay rent of own accommodation, creation of infrastructure facility like shed etc.
  • As a stop gap arrangement to support any other professional pursuits.

3. Terms and Conditions.

  • 1. PRAYAS support is in form of the grant which will be maximum upto Rs.10 lakhs.
  • 2. PRAYAS applications will be subject to Decision of the committee members of the PC where innovator has applied. The decision of approval or rejection or reduced amount by the committee shall remain final and binding on the innovator.
  • 3. The applicant will be fully committed to work towards the prototype development for which the support is being sought with an intention to commercialization.
  • 4. The project duration is 18 months. Prototype has to be complemented within maximum 18 months from receiving the first tranche of the grant.
  • 5. For incomplete projects, Prayasee must return unutilized amount of the grant.
  • 6. If innovator has already started a venture, Innovators should assign the IP ownership right to the startups.
  • 7. Innovators or Start-up teams cannot avail NIDHI Prayas Support for more than once nor from more than one Centre. Innovators shall also not be supported in parallel under NIDHI-EIR and NIDHI-Prayas. Innovators will give declaration at the time of making application indicating that they have not received support under NIDHI-PRAYAS for the same idea or NIDHI-EIR.
  • Click here for PRAYAS scheme related document.