Startups in Deep Tech

Context - 

The government will establish the Digital India Innovation Fund to aid deep tech businesses.

Describe Deep Tech.


  • Deep tech, also known as deep technology, refers to a group of startup companies that create new products based on real engineering innovation or scientific advancements.
  • These firms often focus on industries like green energy, chemistry, aerospace, agriculture, and life sciences.
  • Artificial intelligence, advanced materials, blockchain, biotechnology, robotics, drones, photonics, and quantum computing are just a few high-tech sectors that are moving from early research to market applications with increasing speed.

Deep Tech characteristics include:

Impact -

  • Deep tech breakthroughs are extremely radical and either create a new market or disrupt an existing one. Deep tech innovations frequently transform people's lives, economies, and society.

Time and Scale -

  • Deep technology development takes much longer than shallow technology development to complete the technology and make it market-ready (like mobile apps and websites). Artificial intelligence takes a long time to develop and needs to be flawless.
  • Capital: For research and development, prototyping, hypothesis validation, and technological development, deep tech frequently need much early-stage money.

What is the status of deep tech startups in India?

  • At the end of 2021, India had more than 3,000 deep-tech startups exploring cutting-edge fields, including artificial intelligence, machine learning (ML), the internet of things, big data, quantum computing, robotics, etc.
  • According to NASSCOM, deep-tech startups in India raised USD 2.7 billion in venture capital in 2021, and they now make up more than 12% of the nation's entire startup ecosystem.
  • India's deep tech ecosystem has increased by 53% in the past ten years and is comparable to established countries like the US, China, Israel, and Europe.
  • Deep-tech startups in India are mostly concentrated in Bengaluru, followed by Mumbai (10–12%) and Delhi-NCR (15–20%).
  • Deep-tech startups are becoming more visible in various industries, from sustainable energy and climate change to drone delivery and cold chain management.

What difficulties does deep tech face?

  • Obtaining money is one of the major problems for deep-tech firms. Only 20% of new businesses acquire funding.
  • Both domestic and government funding are underused for such enterprises.
  • Their main hurdles are access to people and markets, research advice, investors' comprehension of deep technology, customer acquisition, and talent cost.

What initiatives are related to this?

  • To serve as a platform for promoting Innovation Hubs, Grand Challenges, startup businesses, and other self-employment activities, particularly in technology-driven areas, the Atal New India Challenge has been introduced as part of the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) of the Niti Aayog.
  • NASSCOM's Deep Tech Club (DTC) 2.0, which will be introduced in 2021, will scale the effect to over 1,000 businesses utilizing technologies like AI, ML, the Internet of Things, robots, and blockchain.

The Future Perspectives:

Review the road maps -

  • Organizations and the government will need to rethink their roadmaps for embracing deep tech as the continuous age of continually emerging new technologies fuels the expansion of the Indian startup ecosystem.
  • Future use will include technologies like 5G, comprehensive AI, quantum computing, cloud-native technologies, cybersecurity meshes, and consumer data platforms. The thriving and resilient Indian startup ecosystem may become the world leader in deep technology, thanks to various factors.

Utilization of CSR Budget:

  • Corporate Social Responsibility has historically helped the social sector. This expanding corpus should, however, also be exploited to create strategic technologies.
  • A significant firm can be persuaded to contribute some of its money to the country's strategic requirements. The government must let this funding go to a few key vital digital businesses.

Source: PIB 


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