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High-Risk High Reward Research Scheme for Startups

Government Schemes for STARTUPS: Initiatives by Central Ministries and Departments

Ministry: Ministry of Science & Technology Department: Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) Key Sector Covered: Science and Technology

In the dynamic landscape of innovation and research, the Indian government, through the Ministry of Science & Technology, has introduced a pioneering scheme – ‘High-Risk High Reward Research.’ Administered by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), this initiative aims to support groundbreaking proposals that are conceptually new, risky, and have the potential to bring about paradigm shifts in Science and Technology (S&T).

Objective

The primary objective of the Scheme for Funding High-Risk High-Reward Research is to provide financial support to proposals that challenge existing hypotheses and, if successful, promise to have a transformative impact on S&T. This may involve formulating new hypotheses, achieving scientific breakthroughs, and contributing to the emergence of novel technologies.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for this scheme, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicant: Indian citizen residing in India.
  • Position: Hold a regular academic/research position in a recognized institution.
  • Submission: Proposals can be submitted by an individual or a team of investigators, with a designated Principal Investigator leading the research objectives.

Nature of Proposals to be Supported

The scheme is designed to support proposals that are:

  • New and challenge existing hypotheses.
  • Exhibit ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking on important problems.
  • Contain significant risk elements with the promise of high rewards if challenges are overcome. Proposals should avoid addressing scientific issues leading to ‘incremental’ knowledge. Instead, they should focus on bold research ideas with wide-ranging impacts and potential for new scientific and technological innovations.

Nature & Duration of Support

  • Funding Duration: Typically provided for three years, with the possibility of extension to five years in exceptional cases.
  • Budget: No limit, covering equipment, consumables, contingency, travel, and overhead grants.

Selection & Mode Of Application

  • Evaluation: Proposals undergo evaluation through a peer-review process approved by the Board.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What is the difference between an EMR project and an HRHR project? A1: Both EMR and HRHR projects address important issues, but HRHR projects involve higher risks with the potential for high rewards, leading to new frontiers in S&T.

Q2: Does the Board have any priority areas for funding HRHR projects? A2: No, the Board funds all areas of Science and Engineering without discrimination, focusing on conceptually new and risky proposals.

Q3: Can I apply for an HRHR project while implementing another project (such as EMR) in SERB? A3: Yes, applicants can apply and implement an HRHR project alongside other ongoing projects.

Q4: Can I execute multiple HRHR projects simultaneously in different disciplines? A4: No, only one HRHR project can be executed at a time.

Q5: Is there a maximum grant amount for HRHR projects? A5: There is no upper limit; the budget is decided based on the project’s requirements for successful implementation.

Q6: Are Co-Investigators allowed, and can budgets be provided separately? A6: Yes, Co-Investigators are allowed, and separate budgets can be provided if they bring complementary expertise.

Q7: Is there a specific timeline for applying proposals under this scheme? A7: SERB plans to fix timelines for proposal submissions, which will be available on their official websites.

In conclusion, the High-Risk High Reward Research scheme offers a unique opportunity for Indian researchers to explore bold ideas, take risks, and contribute to groundbreaking advancements in Science and Technology. By fostering innovation and supporting high-risk projects, the government aims to propel the nation toward the forefront of global scientific and technological leadership. Interested individuals and teams are encouraged to explore this scheme and contribute to the transformative journey of Indian research and development.

About the author

Mayank Sharma

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