Yatee Gupta, the founder and CEO of Fabiosys Innovations, a New Delhi-based startup specialising in medical textiles, told Fibre2Fashion, "We've long called for specific support for startups in technical textiles, as they have been overlooked in broader textile sector schemes. GREAT will motivate startups to tackle the challenges they face." He added that while many startups aspire to develop innovative products in technical textiles, they often struggle in the initial stages due to a lack of funding.
According to Gupta, the global market for technical textiles is expanding rapidly. The scheme will encourage startups to capitalise on these vast opportunities. "India's technical textiles could make significant strides if startups succeed in developing innovative products. However, a grant amount of ₹50 lakh is quite small for such an important cause," he noted.
Dr Arindam Basu, director general of the Ghaziabad-based Northern India Textile Research Association (NITRA), shared similar sentiments. "Not only do technical textile startups face challenges in obtaining grants, but they also struggle to secure bank loans. This initiative will offer the much-needed financial boost to startups in their early stages," he told F2F. Basu said that the scheme is designed to assist companies in commercialising prototypes and launching products. He expects that the initiative will also draw more entrepreneurs to the rapidly expanding sector of technical textiles. The government plans to provide an additional 10 per cent of the total grant-in-aid to incubators.
Recently, the government issued the Startup Guidelines for GREAT funding in technical textiles. The initiative will provide grants-in-aid of up to ₹50 lakhs for a period of up to 18 months. The GREAT Guidelines focus on various application areas within technical textiles, including agro-textiles, building textiles, geo-textiles, home-textiles, medical-textiles, mobile-textiles, packaging-textiles, protective-textiles, and sports-textiles. They also aim to advance the development of high-performance fibres and composites, sustainable and recyclable textile materials, and smart textiles that utilise artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, 3D/4D printing, and rapid prototyping. The guidelines also encourage the development of indigenous machinery, equipment, and instruments.
With a strong emphasis on developing the startup ecosystem in technical textiles, the guidelines aim to support individuals and companies in transitioning from prototypes to technologies and products, including commercialisation. The ministry of textiles has also given the nod to 26 engineering institutions to introduce courses in technical textiles under the National Technical Textiles Mission.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (KUL)