FORGE, Coimbatore has been nominated as one of the five incubator partners for the iDEX Program launched by 
Department of Defence Production (
DoDP ), Ministry of Defence. 
DISC is an initiative by Defence Innovation Organization (DIO) in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) aimed at supporting innovators create prototypes and/or commercialise products/solutions based on advanced technologies in areas of national security.
11 DISC Challenges
To facilitate creation of a widespread awareness of the Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) initiative instituted as a part of this iDEX program and establish institutional linkages between the military personnel and innovators, FORGE organized an outreach and sensitization meetup on 8th Oct'18 at Bangalore following the one organized at Coimbatore last week on Sep 26.
DISC Meetup @Bangalore Highlights

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DISC Outreach & Sensitization Meetup Teaser

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DISC Meetup @Coimbatore Highlights

The meetup witnessed the august presence of several dignitaries from the Ministry of Defence and Defence sector including Dr Ajay Kumar [Secretary, Defence Production & Chairman, Defence Innovation Organization (DIO)], Mr Sanjay Jaju [Joint Secretary, DoDP & CEO, iDEX], Mr Y.S. Rajan [Former Chief Scientist, ISRO],  Mr Madhavan [CMD, HAL], Mr Phil Shaw [CEO, Lockheed Martin, India], Mr Moshe Porat [Founder & CEO,  MESH Labs, Israel] along with Officers from the three wings of Indian military in the ranks of Brigadier, Commodore, Captain and Commander to directly engage with the innovators & researchers, startups, MSMEs, R&D institutions, and industry stakeholders.  

Dr Ajay Kumar, Secy, Defence Production (DoDP), GoI & Chairman, iDEX (Chief Guest), in his address shared his vision for iDEX & the immense potential for the role of startups and venture capital in delivering breakthrough technologies &
world-class products to the Indian Defence sector

 DISC Open House 

To ensure that the voices of each of the visiting dignitaries, defence officers and DPSU officials are heard loud and clear, and also to give an opportunity for the attending beneficiaries to state their views, perspectives and expectations, a 2-3 hour interactive session was organised.

Mr Sanjay Jaju, Joint Secy, DoDP & CEO, iDEX elaborated on the specific gaps that a program & platform such as DISC seeks to address in the Defence Technologies & Production going way beyond the current trend of reverse engineering to address technology obsolescence and import substitution.
Mr R. Madhavan, Chairman & Managing Director, HAL shared his thoughts on the larger vision of HAL to co-create with innovators and highlighted the potential areas of technologies HAL would immensely benefit from in the immediate term.
The meetup had the presence of special guests including Mr Ravindra Barlingay [General Manager, Schneider Electric], Mr Varad Krish [Managing Director, 100 Open Startups, India and Partner, India Israel Innovation Centre], Mr Ori Mendelevich [CEO, Connectoo], Mr Rajiv Kumar Sikka [CEO, BEL -Thales], Mr Satish Mugulavalli [Venture Capitalist & Director, YourNest Investors] and Mr K S Vishwanathan [Vice President -NASSCOM, Bangalore]
 DISC Showcase 
+ To give startups, MSMEs and innovators an opportunity to showcase their innovative ideas, technologies, research projects, and commercially proven products, all of which have relevance to the needs of the defence sector, a showcase in the form of a mini-expo was organised.
 1:1 Interactions 
+ In-depth conversations opened up several possibilities for co-creation within the specific context of DISC challenges.
+ In addition, it seeded ideas for further study and exploration in the minds defence officers and the DISC beneficiaries.

 DISC ThinkTank 

Team FORGE and other delegates attending the DISC Meetup engaged in 1-on-1 conversation with the visiting defence officers and DPSU officials to discuss and deliberate the requirements, specifications, and other constraints related to the stated challenges.

As the Guest of Honour,  Mr  Y.S. Rajan [Fr. Chief Scientist, ISRO] shared from his rich experience the need for startups, innovators to benchmark their innovations against global standards & to carefully analyse the gaps of existing technologies and solutions, and work closely with the stakeholders of defence services and PSUs
Interest to collaborate