Last Date to Apply: 31st July 2023

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Call for application for prototyping projects at CIIF

CIIF (Chitkara Innovation Incubator Foundation) has openings for prototype level projects under the NIDHI-PRAYAS scheme of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. This grant will primarily be utilized by young and aspiring innovators to convert their ideas into prototype. The period of prototyping support can be up to 18 months.


A NIDHI-PRomotion and Acceleration of Young and Aspiring technology entrepreneur (NIDHI-PRAYAS) - Support from Idea to Prototype, is the scheme under NIDHI, aimed at addressing the gap in the very early stage of an idea/proof of concept funding. The NIDHI-PRAYAS program focuses on addressing the idea to prototype funding gaps. Innovators should use the PRAYAS grant, primarily to convert their ideas into prototype. The innovators selected under this scheme by CIIF, i.e, the prayasees would get access to the infrastructure, prototype grant and mentorship.

This support shall allow the innovators to try their ideas without fear of failure, allowing them to reach a stage where the innovators / entrepreneurs have a ready product and are willing to approach incubators for commercialization.

General Guidelines

The PRAYAS program is focused to provide funding support to innovators.
  • Innovators should use the PRAYAS grant, primarily to convert their ideas into prototype.
  • The project should involve hardware prototype development to a well-defined problem.
  • The idea proposed should be innovative/novel.
  • Technology ideas and proposals that can result in a viable start-up shall be preferred.
  • Preference will be given to those innovators who have raised a portion of the project cost themselves or have secured co-investment commitment & who have a clear road map for commercialization or start up creation.
  • Among the eligible applicants preference will be given to Women Innovators & Young Innovators.
  • Maximum duration for project completion would be 18 months.
  • Screening will be subject to the parameters other than the eligibility, such as innovation, potential for commercialization and start-up creation, team capability and commitment etc.
  • Screening of applications will usually take 4-6 weeks, from the date of closure of online applications.
  • The decision of the screening committee for approval and funding support will be final, firm and binding.

Eligibility criteria

  1. Any innovator applying for PRAYAS has to be an Indian citizen with a government approved proof of nationality such as a valid passport, voter’s id etc.
  2. The applicant should be in the age group of minimum of 18 years, as on date of application.
  3. The project should involve physical product development. The projects relating to software development and those involving pure academic research are not eligible.
  4. NIDHI-PRAYAS grantee should be fully committed to work towards the prototype development for which the support is being sought and should not treat this as a stop gap arrangement to support any other pursuits.
  5. The innovator can avail the NIDHI-PRAYAS support only once and they should not have sought the similar support previously, from other Government of India organisation / Institution for the same innovative concept as proposed in the application form
The Innovator can be
  • Individual person or Team of innovators: IP generated would vest with the innovator/team and it would be further taken for commercialization
  • Startup
    1. At the time of application, the period of existence of a start up and its operations should not exceed 7 years from the Date of Incorporation,
    2. Wants to develop the prototype for a new product, for which they may have not received similar kind of support.
    3. Company should have annual turnover not exceeding Rs. 25 lakhs for any of the financial year since its inception
    4. IP generated would vest with the start up
  • Employee or students with any R&D organization/academic institution
    1. It is mandatory that the innovators pursuing PRAYAS should have the project know how and own the IP
    2. The innovator has to seek the NOC from their organization/institution. The NOC should have the following:
      1. Permission to apply for PRAYAS and the innovator will be granted sufficient time to work on the PRAYAS project
      2. IP generated would vest with the innovator/team and it would be further taken for commercialization
NIDHI PRAYAS Grants can however be not used for/by
  • Innovators/ start-up who do not/will not own the project know-how/IP.
  • Funding research student/internship in academic institution or R&D organization.
  • Innovators/team/start-up who is already supported once under NIDHI PRAYAS.
  • Innovators who do not have the necessary NOC on IP, granting sufficient time to work on PRAYAS project from their respective organization/institution/College.
  • Innovator supported under NIDHI-EIR in parallel with NIDHI-PRAYAS.
  • Innovators who do not have a roadmap/will towards commercialization.
  • Ideas purely relating to Software/App development.

Nidhi Prayas Cohort- I Startups