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Ministry provides start-up money for innovation fund

India’s Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has committed 1 billion rupees (US$18 million) to kick-start a fund to promote innovation by small companies.

The India Inclusive Innovation Fund (IIIF), a public-private partnership designed to foster innovation in agriculture, water, energy and healthcare, still awaits approval despite government’s initial plan for a July launch.

MSME’s contribution to the fund is aimed at improving the competitiveness and efficiency of small and medium-size enterprises, a government statement on 9 August said.

The fund is a part of efforts to strengthen national R&D. The government has declared a “Decade of Innovation” and in 2010 it launched the National Innovation Council, which will run the IIIF.