Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways launched the ambitious project Sagarmala in the year 2015 with the aim to reform the maritime sector by harnessing the vast potential for the economic upliftment and development of India. Sagarmala Innovation and Startup Policy has been introduced as a part of this ambitious program to encourage entrepreneurial aspirations and to promote innovation in the maritime sector.
The Sagarmala Startup Policy’s vision is to revolutionize the maritime sector by creating a conducive environment, encouraging entrepreneurial endeavours and to promote innovation. The draft startup policy seeks to create an ecosystem wherein homegrown startups propel on the global stage. It acknowledges the crucial role of startups in steering the growth of the nation’s economy in a positive direction by accelerating technological advancements and sustainable growth. To boost the maritime startup ecosystems, the startup policy encourages sustainable growth and sows the seeds of employment opportunities.
It envisions creating an entrepreneurial culture by providing the required support and resources to venture into the maritime sector business to address the bottlenecks in the ecosystems. To start their own ventures, the new framework promotes awareness programs, skill development initiatives, and mentorship opportunities to nurture and inspire individuals. The Sagarmala Innovation and Startup Policy, to encourage innovation and technological progress has a wider vision to harness the potential of startups by encouraging the startups to explore new avenues for efficiency improvement, sustainability, digitalization, and automation. The key areas identified for startup participation by the draft are decarbonization, optimisation of processes through data, maritime education, multi-modal transportation, manufacturing, maritime cybersecurity, smart communication and marine electronics.
The policy recognizes the challenge of funding as it is the crucial component for the success of startups by facilitating funding support by promoting collaborations between startups, venture capital firms, angel investors, and financial institutions. To ease the financial burden it also encourages the startups to leverage government funding schemes and initiatives designed for the maritime sector. Funding is a crucial component to thrive and scale their operations. To foster innovation, the policy encourages startups to collaborate with academic institutions, and research organizations by developing a space for partnerships and dissemination of knowledge between these entities. It also recognizes streamlining regulations and policy reforms by promoting transparent and business-friendly policies. It aims to advocate for streamlined regulatory processes, reduced bureaucratic hurdles, and simplified compliance procedures. Sagarmala Innovation and Startup Policy recognizes the importance of skill development and human capital therefore it seeks to foster a conducive environment in order to promote skill development programs, training workshops, and capacity-building initiatives with the vision to enhance the capabilities of individuals associated with maritime entrepreneurship.
In conclusion, Sagarmala Innovation and Startup Policy is an ambitious initiative that aims to unleash entrepreneurship and innovation in the maritime sector. The growth of the startups focused on the maritime sector will lead to economic upliftment, technological advancements, and sustainable practices thereby evolving the maritime landscape of India. The policy will reshape the dynamics of India by unlocking the immense potential of coastal resources.