Rise in Funding of Technology Development Fund (TDF)- Highlights

The funding limit of innovative defence projects that are made under the Technology Development Fund (TDF) has been recently raised to Rs 50 crore per project. The present limit was Rs 10 crore. The TDF scheme is executed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). To date, 56 projects have been sanctioned under this scheme.

What does this scheme support?

This scheme supports the indigenous development of various products, components, technologies, and systems by start-ups and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). In the Union Budget for 2022-23, provisions were made to increase the funding for innovative TDF products. 25 percent of the defence R&D budget was reserved for start-ups, private industry, and academia. The enhancement of the TDF funding is in line with the 2022-23 budget announcement, and it will also be boosting the government’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbharta’ or self-reliance in the defence sector.

What is the aim of the TDF scheme?

The aim of the scheme is to provide a major boost to the country’s defence manufacturing sector by encouraging the industry to develop and innovate various defence technologies to place the country on the trajectory of self-reliance. The scheme provides around 90 percent of the total project cost, thus, allowing the industry to work in association with other academia or industry. The TDF also aims to develop products not only for the military but also for other strategic industries like the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

How will the enhanced funding help?

With the increase in funding, the start-ups and the industry will be able to come up with more complex technologies for the future as well as existing platforms and weapon systems.

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