National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) is an umbrella programme conceived and developed by the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, for nurturing ideas and innovations (knowledge-based and technology-driven) into successful startups. NIDHI-PRomotion and Acceleration of Young and Aspiring technology entrepreneurs (NIDHI-PRAYAS) – Support from Idea to Prototype, is the scheme under NIDHI, aimed at addressing the gap in the very early stage idea/ proof of concept funding. The NIDHI-PRAYAS program focuses on addressing the idea to prototype funding gap.

The innovators selected under this scheme by TBI NITC, i.e, the prayasees would get access to the infrastructure, prototype grant and mentorship. NIDHI-PRAYAS is positioned as a pre-incubation initiative.

Objectives of NIDHI-PRAYAS:

  • To enable translation of an innovative idea to a prototype.
  • To support for faster experimentation and the idea to market journey.
  • To generate innovative solutions relevant to the local and global problems.
  • To attract a large number of youth who demonstrates problem solving zeal and abilities
  • To work on their new technology/knowledge/innovation based startups.
  • To build a vibrant innovation ecosystem, by establishing a network between innovators, academia, mentors and incubators.

Focus Areas

The priority areas for supporting innovations under NIDHI PRAYAS program are manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, clean-tech, energy, water and Internet of Things (IOT) NANO Technology and other allied technology areas.

Benefits to prayasees

The prayasee will get access to

  • the infrastructural support
  • prototype grant
  • mentorship
  • fab lab
  • facilities of the host institute
  • business facilitation

The prayasee can get a prototype grant limited to a maximum of Rs 10.00 lakhs for making the prototype of the innovative idea.

Who can apply (Eligibility)

  • Individual innovator: He/she is required to be an Indian Citizen with at least 18 years of age as on the date of application. An Indian citizen is the one who is in possession of a government of India approved proof of nationality such as a valid passport, voter’s id etc.
  • Existing incubatee of a PRAYAS centre (Incubator): a) The company is less than 2 years and wants to develop the prototype of the product for which they are incubated and for which they may have not received similar kind of support. b) Company should have no significant revenue at the time of application.
  • Team of individual innovators: If the team wants to pursue a project, then there has to be an agreement among the team about the lead applicant and the lead applicant has to apply for NIDHI-PRAYAS. The financial support (after the selection process) will be given to the lead applicant on behalf of the team.
  • Preference will be given to those innovators
    1. Who have raised a portion of the project cost themselves or have secured co-investment commitment.
    2. Who have a clear road map for commercialization or start up creation.

Among the innovators who are applying for NIDHI – PRAYAS satisfying all the requirements, preference will be given to Women innovators and Young innovators.

The applicants will have to become an incubatee of the TBI fulfilling the admission criteria so as to avail the benefits.

Restrictions to apply for the Scheme

  1. Student applicants pursuing long term research projects like doctoral research projects or similar projects will not be supported
  2. Professors or Academicians engaged in teaching with any academic or R&D institute.
  3. The project should involve physical product development. The projects relating to software development and those involving pure academic research are not eligible.

The following also cannot be supported under PRAYAS Scheme:

  • Any institute/organization (not being a start-up company) to develop an IP into prototype.
  • Any innovators working/pertaining to an institute/organization for converting their IP into prototype.
  • Any idea that is developed into prototype where the IP could vest with any institute/organization.

Statistics of Innovators selected under NIDHI PRAYAS: TBI NIT Calicut has selected 12 PRAYASEES during the first of operating the NIDHI PRAYAS Scheme.

The duly filled in application form in the prescribed format as is given above may please be emailed to

Last date of receiving the Application :Monday, 10 July 2023, 5:00PM



  Technology Business Incubator of NIT Calicut has selected 12 Innovators under the NIDHI PRAYAS Scheme for disbursing an amount of Rs. 100 Lakhs for developing their Ideas. This is a scheme of Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India. In this scheme, funding is given to develop prototype from the idea of the innovators. The Technology Business Incubator of National Institute of Technology Calicut has held a function for the release of Grant to the selected Innovators (PRAYASEEs) under the NIDHI PRAYAS. Each project under NIDHI PRAYAS is of 18 months’ duration and once they come with a prototype, further assistance and financial support will be given by TBI to grow them to a successful venture. Apart from the financial assistance, the technical expertise of the faculty and students and the lab facilities are made available for these innovators.

  TBI NIT Calicut has been supporting the start up ecosystem of the region for the past 15 years. TBI has provided incubation to 62 companies and many of them have achieved good growth and are operating in multiple countries. Apart from incubation assistances, TBI NIT Calicut extends training support to prospective entrepreneurs through the entrepreneurship development programmes.

  The Director of NIT Calicut, Prof. Shivaji Chakravorti was the chief guest of the function and gave away the cheques to 8 innovators. While talking in the function, the Director Prof. Shivaji Chakravorti and Registrar, Lt. Col. K. Pankajakshan (Rtd) reiterated the importance of developing new technology products which will ease the life of the people. While addressing the gathering, Dean (Research & Consultancy) Dr. S. Ashok said that NIT Calicut has been supporting innovations through various means, of which important one is the TBI. Professor Ravi Varma, Secretary of TBI and Ms. Preethi, CEO of TBI while addressing the gathering offered all supports to the innovators.

A brief of how their innovations are going to be beneficial for the mankind was explained by each of the PRAYASEEs.