Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has approved the enhancement of funding under the Technology Development Fund (TDF) scheme of the Ministry of Defence to Rs 50 crore per project from Rs 10 crore. The TDF scheme, executed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), supports the indigenous development of components, products, systems, and technologies by MSMEs and start-ups.
It may be recalled that 25 percent of the defense R&D budget was earmarked for private industry, start-ups, and academia in Union Budget 2022-23. The enhanced funding is in line with the budget announcement and it will give further boost the vision of ‘Aatmanirbharta in defense’.
The TDF Scheme aims to provide a major fillip to the defence manufacturing sector by encouraging the industry to innovate and develop defence technologies in order to place India on a self-reliance trajectory. The scheme facilitates up to 90 percent of the total project cost and allows the industry to work in consortium with another industry/academia. With the enhanced funding, the industry and startups will be able to develop more complex technologies for existing and future weapon systems and platforms. To date, 56 projects have been sanctioned under the TDF scheme.