Innovation and Start Ups get Focussed in Sagarmala Policy

Aimed at nurturing start-ups and other entities to co-create the future of growing maritime sector, India came out with a draft on ‘Sagarmala Innovation and Start-up Policy’ on April 10.

The Draft put forth by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) intensive collaboration of the organizations to build a strong eco-system facilitating innovation and Startups in the country. The Ministry said that this would drive sustainable growth and generate large-scale employment opportunities.


The draft focuses on enhancing the cooperation and coordination between academic institutions, public sector, private sector and convergence of different schemes and programs to groom fresh ideas and approaches to resolve the issues and challenges to boost up the efficiency in the areas of operation, maintenance, and infrastructure development.

The Ministry policy hopes to create a field to establish a long-term action plans, network, infrastructure, and other resources to build a robust maritime innovation ecosystem

MoPSW Minister Sarbananda Sonowal stated: “the start-up India policy is the brainchild of PM Modi and this is the right step taken by MoPSW to create a strong ecosystem for fostering start-ups and innovation in the nation. This will surely promote innovation and entrepreneurship. Through this policy, MoPSW wants to enable start-ups to grow and prosper through innovations”

The designed framework enables the distribution of responsibilities and benefits among the various stakeholders. This is not only limited to the existing stakeholders but also includes upcoming young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas.


Draft policy has identified several key areas for the startup to flourish including decarbonization, optimizing processes through data, maritime education, multi-modal transportation, manufacturing, alternate/ advance materials, maritime cybersecurity, smart communication and marine electronics.

  • Digital Portal based selection of startups ensuring a transparent process
  • Grants to create a minimum viable product/ services (MVP), commercialization of proprietary technology including market entry or scaling up
  • Creation of ‘Launch pads’ at Ports for carrying out trials, facilitating pilot projects, establishing working space and adopting products and solutions
  • Annual Start-up Awards in the maritime sector recognizing distinguished efforts of innovation
  • Organizing Buyer-Seller Meetings and providing Technical Knowledge Support for VCs
  • Guidance to Non Registered Start-ups and Individuals with promising ideas in Maritime Sector including registration of start-up and availing Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) recognition
  • Regulatory support in Tenders and Sub-contracting
  • Legal and accountancy back up to start-ups for IP-Patent filing, Company registration, annual filings and closures

The promotion of start-ups shall be through development of Maritime Innovation Hubs (MIH) which shall perform the following functions:

  • Develop incubators and accelerators with state of the art facilities to cover all aspects of the startup journey from idea to scaled product.
  • Develop centralized repository containing all pertinent information to assist emerging entrepreneurs
  • Attract investment for eligible start-up businesses and innovative maritime technology
  • Entrepreneur development through ‘know-how’ sessions about the various aspects of the maritime industry and launching of innovation focused programs
  • Collaborate with national & international stakeholders for mentorship, knowledge sharing and facilitate access to global subject matter experts, serial entrepreneurs, business leaders, and investors with the potential to get their entry and scaling in the India


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