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Tata Capital > Blog > Generic > What is the Atal Innovation Mission?


What is the Atal Innovation Mission?

What is the Atal Innovation Mission?

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), an initiative by the Government of India under the aegis of NITI Aayog, aims to encourage a culture of x and entrepreneurship across the country. Launched in 2016, it seeks to nurture innovation and research and development (R&D) in various sectors to address societal challenges and boost economic growth.

In this article, we discuss the objectives, various initiatives, and impact of this mission.

What are the objectives of the Atal Innovation Mission?

The objectives of the Atal Innovation scheme are:

1. Fostering innovation culture:

AIM aims to instil a culture of innovation and creativity among students, entrepreneurs, and educators by providing them with the necessary resources, mentorship, and guidance.

2. Promoting entrepreneurship:

One of the primary objectives of AIM is to promote entrepreneurship and startup culture in India. It provides support to aspiring entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey, from ideation to commercialisation.

3. Encouraging collaboration:

AIM fosters collaboration between academia, industry, and government organisations to facilitate knowledge exchange, technology transfer, and innovation-driven partnerships.

What are the initiatives under the Atal Innovation Mission scheme?

Some of the initiatives under AIM include:

1. AIM Ecosystem Development Program (AEDP):

This program involves collaboration and capacity-building among incubators, academia, industry, and government to strengthen India's innovation ecosystem.

It includes projects with international collaborations (AIM-ICDK, AIM-UNCDF), renewable sources (AIM-iCREST), youth (Infinity) and women entrepreneurs, mentorship, and gender inclusivity (Her & Now), among others.

2. Atal Incubation Centres (AICs):

The ongoing round of ANIC focuses on 18 challenges spanning 5 sectors, including Agriculture (Millet), Post and Telegraph, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Renewable Energy and Clean-Tech, Education, and Women-Centric Challenges, along with an open innovation category.


1. Startups must be registered with AIC for more than three months.

2. Indian-registered enterprise, excluding Indian subsidiaries of MNCs.

3. Indian Promoter/Host Institution ownership ≥ 51%.

4. Focus on addressing India's challenges.

5. Seed support covers prototyping, testing, mentoring, consultancy, IPR, and manpower, not capital equipment.


Maximum grantRs. 1 crore
Disbursement timelineAfter one year of operations
Funding typeGrant, disbursed as debt, equity, or combination

3. Atal New India Challenges (ANIC):

ANIC is an initiative aimed at solving pressing problems faced by various sectors through innovation and technology. It invites innovators, startups, and MSMEs to develop innovative solutions to specific challenges identified by multiple ministries and departments.


1. Indian companies registered under the Companies Act 1956 and 2013, primarily MSME as per the MSMED Act.

2. Recognised startup by the Department for Promotion of Industry and International Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India.

3. Majority stake (over 51%) held in India.

4. Developed a working prototype relevant to the ANIC challenge.


Maximum amountUp to Rs 1 crore
Disbursement timeline12-18 months through the commercialisation stage
Funding typeGrant

The program targets bridging the "Commercialisation Valley of Death" by supporting testing, piloting, and market creation.

4. Atal Community Innovation Centres (ACICs):

ACICs are hubs for innovation at the grassroot level and community-driven problem-solving. These centres provide resources and support to individuals and communities to develop innovative solutions that address local challenges and improve livelihoods.


1. Minimum existence of three years

2. Mandatory documents for business loans.

3. Meeting minimum space requirement for the Innovation Centre.

4. Confirmation of matching funding commitment from partners.


Maximum Support from AIMRs 2.5 crore
Disbursement timelineFive years
Funding typeGrant

Establishing a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model with Company Social Responsibility (CSR) funds or other sources is encouraged under the program.

5. Applied Research and Innovation for Small and Medium Enterprises (ARISE):

It aims to enhance the innovation capabilities of SMEs by providing support for research projects, technology adoption, and innovation-driven initiatives, thereby boosting their competitiveness and growth in the market.


1. Startups: DPIIT-recognized startups.

2. Indian MSMEs: Companies under the Companies Act, categorised as MSMEs by the Ministry of MSMEs.

3. Majority stake in India: More than 51% stake must be held in India.

4. Partnership details: Startups partnering with MSMEs must provide relevant information.


Funding SupportMaximum of Rs. 50 lakhs in three portions 40%, 30%, and 30%.
Disbursement timeline1. Minimum tranche utilisation duration: 3 months 2. Maximum tranche utilisation duration: 6 months 3. Total allowed project time: 9 to 12 months
Funding typeGrant

Other initiatives include:

1. Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs):

ATLs are dedicated innovation workspaces set up in schools to foster curiosity, creativity, and problem-solving skills among students. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology and tools, this Atal Innovation lab provides hands-on learning experiences in areas like robotics, 3D printing, electronics, and coding.

2. Mentor India Network:

AIM has established a Mentor India Network comprising experienced entrepreneurs, industry leaders, academicians, and professionals who mentor and guide aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators.

3. Vernacular Innovation Program:

The Vernacular Innovation Program promotes innovation and entrepreneurship in regional languages, aiming to empower diverse communities and bridge language barriers for inclusive growth.

What is the impact of the Atal Innovation Mission?

The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) has had a significant impact on various fronts:

1. Empowering youth:

Provides support and resources to young innovators and entrepreneurs, enabling them to bring their ideas to life.

2. Promoting STEM education:

Advances STEM education through initiatives like ATLs, encouraging innovation and problem-solving among students.

3. Fostering entrepreneurship:

Accelerates startup growth with business loans, grants, mentorship, and incubation support, fuelling entrepreneurship and job creation.

4. Driving social impact:

Innovations from AIM address societal challenges in healthcare, agriculture, education, environment, and sanitation, creating positive change.

5. Building innovation ecosystem:

Strengthens India's innovation ecosystem by facilitating collaboration, knowledge exchange, and platforms for innovation-driven entrepreneurship.

Final thoughts

The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) empowers innovators and entrepreneurs by providing crucial support and resources. However, if you are looking for competitive business loan interest rates, consider Tata Capital as an alternative solution.

With flexible loan conditions, easy EMI payments, and expert guidance from our finance team, We are committed to fostering inclusivity and supporting the aspirations of all entrepreneurs, including women. Explore our business loans for women and unlock opportunities to turn ideas into reality.

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