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Smart, safe and clean mobility solutions are of paramount importance specially in the urban regions which are grappling with challenges like traffic and pollution caused due to ever-increasing population in such centers. There is an unmet need to have a multi-faceted approach in improving the urban mobility to make it faster, efficient and clean.
Sona Comstar has partnered with FITT/IIT Delhi to support development of innovative solutions from startups in this area.

  1. The host institution – IIT Delhi & FITT
    IIT Delhi – a top-ranked HEI has gradually evolved from a knowledge institution to a Knowledge Enterprise – thanks to its active interfacing with business and community through its autonomous body FITT (est. 1992) which leverages the vast intellectual and infrastructural resources of IIT Delhi. In 1994, it adopted its IPR policy. Over 950 patents have been filed and close to 120 technologies have been licensed/transferred.
    IIT Delhi provides a conducive environment for science and technology entrepreneurship and was amongst the earliest institutes to initiate an incubation program (1999-2000). FITT operates the Technology Business Incubation Unit (TBIU) on campus. TBIU has been instrumental in converting novel technological concepts/ideas into commercially viable opportunities. The IIT Delhi incubator program is inclusive and open to people from outside of the IIT system as well.
    The next frontier towards diffusion of the resultants from cutting-edge R&D at IIT Delhi is envisioned in the creation of world-class infrastructure having facilities to facilitate incubation and skills enhancement for design and development of advanced technologies. This is being realized through Incubation Centres’/ Research Parks’ Program.
  2. Sona Comstar
    Sona Comstar is an Indian origin, global automotive systems and components manufacturer with 10 plants spread across India, China, Mexico, and the USA. The company enjoys the distinction of being the world’s largest manufacturer of precision forged gears for differentials with a global market share of 6% as well as being the producer of the world’s lightest starter motor. In addition to differential gears, the company produces BSG solutions for hybrid cars, traction motors for EV application, starter motors, alternators, transmission gears, axle stubs and differential assemblies for electric & combustion engine vehicles.
  3. The aim of the program
    It is felt that innovative mobility solutions can change the way we travel. The need for improvement over existing solutions subsists in various areas including, but not limited to
    a) Improvements in EV technologies like extending range through battery capacity improvements, and battery management, fast charging infrastructure, efficient motors, mobile charging solutions for emergencies, etc.
    b) Vehicle diagnostic solutions to understand maintenance issues.
    c) Autonomous functions in vehicles especially pertaining to safety, convenience.
    d) Innovative last mile connectivity solutions for safer reach.
  4. Criteria for eligibility
    4.1 In terms of proposals:
    Concepts/ideas relating to e-mobility, smart mobility, solutions for safe, clean, and eco-friendly mobility with IP potential and having strong translational/commercial prospects.
    • A product or process innovation with substantial market potential/disruption. To be called an innovation, an idea must be replicable at an economical cost and satisfy a specific need. Innovation involves the deliberate application of information, imagination, and initiative in deriving greater or different values from resources and includes all processes by which new ideas are generated and converted into useful products. Only those proposals, which consist of innovative concepts/ideas relating to e-mobility, smart mobility, solutions for safe and clean mobility with IP potential, and having strong translational/commercial prospects, will be considered.
    • Having clear objectives in terms of validating their proof of concept.
    • Projects focused on generating the necessary technical data needed for de-risking i.e., reducing uncertainties in the technology, which in turn will be helpful to demonstrate it to investors/ funding programs for startups.
    Exploratory projects lacking technological depth or novelty and without commercialization plans will not be considered. Projects with serious ethical or EHS risks may not be considered. The funding cannot not be used to support academic research or any other academic work. The project should not be having similar objectives as another project by the project leader/team members of the startup that has already received funding from other sources of grant-in-aid funding for innovation/entrepreneurship.
    4.2 Criteria for project leader
    The Entrepreneur Project Leader/ Principal investigator / must be an Indian citizen and technically qualified to undertake the project. The Project Leader should desirably have completed postgraduate training in sciences or engineering. The
    essential qualification is BTech/ MSc / BDes and equivalents. Entrepreneurs with full-time entrepreneurship or R & D experience shall get preference.
    The Entrepreneur is required to formally register a company before joining the program if not already a startup, failing which, they may be deemed ineligible for further support.
    In case the applicant is employed, he/she must provide an undertaking that he/she plans to terminate his association with the current employer and take up the project full time in the event of grant approval. A resignation/ relieving/retirement letter and startup registration will be needed as supporting document before final approval and release of the grant.
    4.3 Criteria for eligible startups
    The company should be registered as a Pvt. Ltd. entity under the Indian Companies Act, 2013. The date of incorporation must be within the past 5 years from the date of application to the program to qualify as a startup for this program.
    The cash in-flow in terms of funding/grants/revenue from sales or operations should not be exceeding ₹ 2.5 Cr. in any fiscal year since its incorporation. Majority stake (>51%) and control of the startup company should be held by resident Indian citizens.
    The major shareholders/ promoters or directors (having >20% stake) should not be directors/promoters of ineligible companies (as per this program’s eligibility criteria). *This may be waved off only in case of bonafide serial investors.
  5. Duration for incubation and funding support
    The incubation and funding support will be provided over a period of 24 months in determined installments against milestones laid as per the objectives of the project. However, mentorship and networking opportunities will be provided even after completion of this incubation period. The startup will need to comply with the incubation rules of the institute.
  6. Support provided to startups in this program
    6.1 The financial support
    a. Financial support up to ₹ 80 Lakhs will be provided as a grant in aid which shall be provided in 4 or more tranches as per the progress made under predetermined milestones decided based on objectives of the project.
    The tentative release schedule will be:
    Released at
    % of the total budget
    Signing the agreements for Incubation
    Max 30%
    Completion of 1st Milestone
    ~ 25%
    Completion of 2nd Milestone
    Completion of 3rd Milestone
    Submission of Final report/exit from the incubator
    ~ 5%
    (the 5th/last tranche will be in form of reimbursement against actual expenditures)
    The general guidelines for budget utilization are:
    a) separate no-lien account is required to be opened for receiving this funding. This account should not be used for other purposes or other funding/revenue streams of the startup.
    b) The budget heads allowed under the scheme are
    In very specific and justifiable cases, the budget can be re-appropriated with FITT’s permissions
    6.2 The Incubation support
    Incubation space and support will be provided as per institute norms regarding the engagement and equity terms according to institute guidelines.
    Budget head
    Maximum 25% of the total project budget can be utilized for acquiring equipment not available at the incubator and not easily outsourceable. The startup will be required to present justifications for the equipment required to complete the project.
    Human resources
    A maximum of 30% of total project cost can be utilized for salaries/hiring of manpower. There will be a cap on the maximum salary and no individual can draw a monthly salary of more than ₹ 50 thousand.
    The applicant can utilize this with flexibility if the items procured can be justified for their utility in the project.
    A maximum of 7.5% of the total budget, can be utilized for project related travel within India and miscellaneous bona fide expenses.
    Maximum 30% of the total budget can be used for outsourcing like necessary equipment usage at paid facilities/consultancy work at industries/prototype designing and manufacturing from advanced manufacturing facilities, market research etc.
    Patent filing
    The applicant can use up to a maximum of 3 lakhs for their IPR filing costs.
    6.3 The mentoring support options
    a. The Entrepreneurs will get the technical advice and mentorship from the Institute’s faculties who can work as scientific advisors with the startups.
    b. The review, evaluation and monitoring process will dispense valuable comments and inputs to the startup from the network of experts from IIT Delhi, Industry and other institutions.
    c. FITT will organize periodic events to provide learning, visibility and networking opportunities for the incubatees.
    d. Business mentorship programs and workshops will be held by FITT to help the startups improve their business plans and market outreach.
    e. FITT’s IP Cell can assist the incubatees with IP related services on need and availability basis.
    f. The innovators will be connected with FITT’s network of investors/VCs.
  7. Application Procedure
    a. FITT will advertise a national call for application once a year.
    b. The Call for Proposals will be advertised through the FITT/IIT Delhi website, web broadcast, intimation to major institutions, universities, incubators and social media platforms.
    c. The Call for Proposals will be open for a period of one month.
    d. The online application form may be submitted on FITT’s website
    (The applicants are requested to provide sufficient details within the mentioned word limits under each column to facilitate an informed and fair evaluation /review. Applicants are advised to provide self-contained proposals, with any other relevant supporting materials to be provided as separate attachments.)
    e. Proposal submitted will be treated as final and any requests for changes will not be encouraged.
    f. Any incidence of incorrect information provided in the application may lead to disqualification of the application.
  8. Evaluation process
    a. First level selection shall be effected by a technical expert committee having representatives from academia, research and industry. The evaluation of the proposal will be based on technical innovation, novelty, feasibility, technology readiness level and preliminary technical data etc.
    b. In the second round, the shortlisted candidates will be called for the presentation of their techno-commercial plans. The selection committee shall have representation from industry, financial bodies, investors and FITT. The evaluation of proposals will be done based on technical strength, market potential, entrepreneurial intent, the strength of IP, team and clarity etc.
    The evaluation process flow will be:
    The criteria for evaluation will consist of weightages to the following:
    a. The technical advancements ~25%
    b. Capabilities/expertise of team members ~25%
    c. Commercialization prospects/IP ~30%
    d. The strength of business plan ~20%
  9. Due diligence, project monitoring, and progress reviews.
    a. FITT will be completing the due diligence process which involves:
    Receiving applications
    Eligibility and technical screening
    Presentation for Techno-Commercial evaluation
    Due diligence and signing of agreement
    • Reconfirming eligibility
    • Legal, technical and financial due diligence
    • Confirming that the applicant has access to resources and establishments/industry/partners required for project execution.
    • Safety and EHS requirement are met.
    • Budget justifications (usually by providing quotations); meeting budget caps as per program guidelines.
    • Discussing with the innovator and finalizing milestones, payment schedule.
    b. FITT signs agreements with incubatees.
    c. Funds released into the no lien account created by the grantee for the project.
    d. Once the project gets started, FITT periodically monitors progress and reviews the project along with subject matter experts including from Sona Comstar. Incubatees must submit periodic reports and utilization certificates in the prescribed format as asked, to FITT.
    e. Detection of any misuse (use for purposes other than for accomplishment of project objectives) of grant shall lead to summary cessation of incubation and financial support under SCIDIP
  10. Submission of final reports and Exit from incubator
    a. Successful project completion in terms of project objectives is expected from the startup.
    b. On completion, the startup will be required to furnish reports mentioning following details
    • Technical progress against each objective and milestone as laid out during the due diligence process.
    • Details on the final deliverable of the project, TRL of the product.
    • Progress in terms of commercialization, market readiness of the product, time to reach market, follow on funding generated etc.
    • Detailed financial reports audited and certified by CA clearly mentioning all expenses under each budget head, bank statements stamped and verified by bank.
    • The address where the company will be moving after the exit from incubator.
    • Details on the support required and the plans and projections of the company for next 5 years.
    • No dues certificate from the incubator.
    • Any other detail as requested by FITT.
  11. Contact
    The office of Managing Director, FITT
    Phone: +91-11-26857762,
    Incubation Manager
    Phone: +91-11-26597116

The last date for submission of forms is September 15, 2020. Submission of application forms to be made over e-mail to with the subject of your e-mail as “APPLICATION FOR SONA-COMSTAR-IIT DELHI INNOVATION PROGRAM (SCIDIP)”.

Download Application form here!