US firm Lockheed Martin invites innovative ideas from startups

Applications for India Innovation Growth Programme from March 21

Kochi, March 10: US war aircraft manufacturers Lockheed Martin will soon invite  innovation ideas from startups through its annual scheme “India Innovation Growth Programme,”   meant for start-ups and university students to take forward their ideas and hit the market.

“The applications for this programme, launched in 2007, will be received from March 21. It looks for start-ups and university students, who have got innovation, and they may be allowed to take their ideas to the next stage, enabling them to enter the market, said Phil Shaw, Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India.

Every year, the company has been getting around 1500 applications, Shaw  said while addressing the audience at the Kerala’s first ever National level hardware startup conclave conducted by Maker Village in Kochi on Saturday.

“People need exposure, investors or venture capitalists. The programme is set up to identify the innovation that is taking place in India. From the ideas, an expert panel will select the best 10 and they will be going to the States each year to be exposed to the innovation ecosystem in the US,” Shaw explained. 

The details of the scheme will be available at

 Lockheed Martin is an American global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company.

In his keynote address to the event, Mr M. Sivasankar , IT Secretary, Government of  Kerala, said that the Maker Village should associate itself with talents emerging from work experience fest being held in schools and colleges. 

 “One major thing that is happening in Kerala is the huge thrust, which we are trying to give on democratising of internet by ensuring that high quality bandwidth is available to every citizen and republic at large,”  he said commenting  on the digital initiatives of the state.

“In the first week of April, along with Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), we are planning to have an international conclave of start-ups, in which around 2000 startups will participate,” he added. 

In his address, Dr Saji Gopinath, Director, IITM-K , said that to realise the new wave of industrialisation we need to create several new enterprises, which are agile to adopt the new technological changes and reform themselves to remain in the leading edge.

“Significance of small, agile and smart startups becomes relevant in this context. However, in order to support such startups, we have to create an ecosystem, infrastructure and right milieu,” he noted.

“Creating a market makeup culture in electronics hardware is now not an option, but perhaps the only option for India to go into the next level of development. With this objective, IIITM-K with the support of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology set up Maker Village in 2015, Dr Saji said.             

“Today around 48 companies have been incubated into Maker Village. Mechanical machining and plastic moulding facilities will be added to it, making it one of the largest incubators in the country.”

 “By showcasing the technologies and providing a platform for exchanging ideas in the maker space, we expect that Hardtech will become a benchmarking conference in the field in the years to come,” he added. 

In his presidential address, M. Madhavan Nambiar, Chairman, IIITM-K said, the state is giving a new focus on to hardware and semiconductor manufacturing keeping in mind the rising demand for electronic hardware.    

 “In 2004, we were looking only at software development and exports. Suddenly, we found that we are missing the hardware bus completely. We also found that by 2020 the demand for electronic hardware will be 200 billion and our domestic production is going to be only 50 billion. So we decided to give a new focus to hardware manufacturing and semiconductor manufacturing. We changed the name of the Ministry of IT to Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.”    

“In 2012, the Electronic Policy came up and it stapled many of the things like Make in India, Skill India and Startup India to create an ecosystem so that the cost advantage that China and other countries had enjoyed has started to come to us. Thanks to this, we are very competitive now,” Nambiar pointed out. 

“For instance, after the 2012policy, in 2015-16, the mobile imports were $5.9 billion and in 2016-17, it has gone down to $3.7billion. Thanks to these policies, there was 37per cent decrease in imports,” he said.

Suggesting ways to improve, he said, “We have to get into the globally distributed value chains. This is the key and we have to get into the high-end value chains and become the nodal partners in the high-end.”

“In the 1960s and 70s, we had got some of the state-of-the-art factories on electronic manufacturing in the country in Kerala. Now it’s for us to see how to reinvent that. Japan, Korea and Taiwan are looking for alternate places as they find it difficult to manufacture LED and other things there. We must market Kerala in this scenario,” Mr. Nambiar reminded.  

Mr Prasad Balakrishnan Nair, CEO, Maker Village proposed a vote of thanks. Maker Vilage signed three MoUs with NIELT, Calicut; Dassault and Mentor Graphics at the event.


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