|Introduction: What are deep tech startups?|
Body: How can deep tech startups help in transforming science and technology discoveries in public sector labs to market?
Conclusion: Way Forward
Deep tech start-ups in India are characterized by their focus on cutting-edge technologies, such as advanced materials, quantum computing, space and remote sensing, artificial intelligence, robotics, biotech and pharma, electric vehicles, drones, defence, telecommunications, semiconductors, and many more. The importance of these start-ups lies in the fact that these startups go beyond the traditional digital marketplace and impact many more sectors of the economy, which will bring deeper industrialization in newer areas and more jobs.
How can deep tech startups help in transforming science and technology discoveries in public sector labs to market?
Innovation: The successful examples of various startups have shown how innovation & entrepreneurship have helped in transforming scientific discoveries from public labs to market. E.g., include IIT Madras’s Research Park, which has incubated over 200 deep tech companies, especially in space and aviation; the C-CAMP, which has in its portfolio seven deep biotech startups, and the National Chemical Laboratory’s Venture Centre support to file and commercialise high-quality patents.
Leverage ties between academia and industry: Various discussions with technology leaders in academia and industry have shown that faculty members find it easier to push their discoveries through startups founded by themselves or their alumni, instead of licensing or patent re-assignments. This helps the startup ecosystem thrive through unique relationships.
Access to capital: Due to their tremendous potential for development and disruptive nature, deep tech firms frequently draw venture funding and other types of private investment. The need is for the government to put more emphasis on such startups through the use of SIDBI funds.
Use of indigenously developed technologies: The need for the industry is to enable mass procurement of indigenously developed technologies across sectors like defense, urbanization, and health. This can help in successful collaboration between government and industry as seen in successful models like Tatas buying Saankhya and Tejas Networks, Reliance acquiring Faradion, and Hero Motors buying equity in Ather Motors.
Commercialization of Research: Public sector labs often conduct groundbreaking research, but translating these findings into practical applications and products for the market can be a lengthy and complex process. Deep tech startups can provide the entrepreneurial drive, agility, and specialized expertise needed to accelerate the commercialization of these technologies, turning research into real-world solutions.
The success of Startup India depends on collaboration between industry, academia, and government. The Startup movement has successfully captured the imagination of suburban and rural entrepreneurs with half of one lakh startups coming from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. The future start-up movement should direct the energies of India’s entrepreneurs towards building Indian industrial and public capabilities, to support Indian economic growth, job creation, national security, and other national capabilities.