Indian Railways Latest Innovation Program Aims To Boost Start-Ups


Indian Railways, the National transporter has taken an important initiative in the field of innovation through the participation of start-ups and other entities. Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw launched “StartUps for Railways” on Monday, June, 13, in Rail Bhavan, New Delhi.

This policy will bring scale and efficiency in the field of operation, maintenance and infrastructure creation through the participation of a very large and untapped startup ecosystem. Speaking at the event, Vaishnaw said that the long-going discussions over the integration of technology into Indian Railways have taken today a firm shape in form of this initiative launched.

Expressing his happiness on the launch of this initiative the Minister said that through this platform start-ups will get a good opportunity to connect with Railways. Out of over 100 problem statements received from different divisions, field offices/zones of Railways, 11 problem statements like rail fracture, headway reduction etc. have been taken up for phase 1 of this program. These will be presented before the start-ups to find innovative solutions.

Railway Minister requested the startups to use this opportunity and ensured them of support from Indian Railways in form of a 50 per cent capital grant, assured market, scale and ecosystem.

Salient details of the Indian Railway Innovation Policy are as under:-

  • Grant up to Rs. 1.5 Crore to innovator on equal sharing basis with provision of milestone-wise payment.
  • The complete process from floating the problem statement to the development of the prototype is online with a defined timeline to make it transparent and objective.
  • Trials of prototypes will be done on Railways. Enhanced funding will be provided to scale up deployment on the successful performance of prototypes.
  • Selection of Innovator/s will be done by a transparent and fair system which will be dealt with through an online portal inaugurated today by the Minister of Railways.
  • Developed Intellectual property rights (IPR) will remain with the innovator only.
  • Assured developmental order to innovator.
  • De-centralization of the complete product development process at the divisional level to avoid delays.

In May, field units were asked to provide Problem Areas. In response to it, around 160 problem statements have been received to date. To start with, 11 problem statements have been identified to deal with via the new Innovation Policy and uploaded on the portal.

i. Broken Rail Detection System

ii. Rail Stress Monitoring System

iii. Headway Improvement System for suburban section interoperable with Indian Railways National ATP system

iv. Automation of Track Inspection Activities

v. Design of superior Elastomeric Pad (EM Pad) for Heavy Haul Freight Wagons

vi. Development of online Condition Monitoring System for traction motors of 3- phase Electric Locomotives

vii. Light-weight wagon for transporting commodities like Salt

viii. Development of analytical tool by using digital data for improving passenger services

ix. Track Cleaning Machine

x. App for post-training revision & self-service refresher courses

xi. Use of Remote Sensing, Geomatics and GIS for bridge inspection

More Problems Statements have been collected from Railways, which are under scrutiny and shall be uploaded in a phased manner.

Also Read: Ministry Of Railways: No Change In Existing Luggage Policy

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