Tuesday, November 29

Ignite Board approves launch of funds for startups, innovators

ISLAMABAD: Ignite National Technology Fund, a public sector company associated with Ministry of IT and Telecom, held its 91st board meeting that was chaired by Ms Aisha Humera Moriani, Additional Secretary, Ministry of IT and Telecom.

According to an official statement issued here on Friday, the board approved the annual budget for 2022-23 and the revamped Research and Innovation Framework presented by the management. The proposed framework supports all of the stages of innovation from R and D on the scientific underpinnings of breakthrough technologies, to concept validation and demonstration of breakthrough technologies and innovations to meet real world needs.

The evaluation of proposals will be conducted by means of a structure of high-level scientific panels comprising of industry and academic experts. Financial support is provided through three main instruments: the ‘Challenge-driven Innovation Fund’ for solving societal challenges by applying breakthrough technologies, the ‘Technology Transition Fund’ for transforming research results into innovation opportunities. Ignite will also plan and launch an acceleration fund for pre-seed funding of early stage startups.

This will address the access to capital issue for many early stage startups. Qualified startups will be evaluated and selected through a competitive process. Besides that, Ignite will also organize Competitions in the form of hackathons during the year on selected topics of interest such as cleantech, cybersecurity, edtech, etc.

Ignite plans to initiate the process for these programs from July 2022 onwards. Ignite has recently launched version 2.0 of its popular Digiskills online training program for freelancers which includes 5 new courses in video editing and animation, data analytics and business intelligence, affiliate marketing, virtual assistant, and communication skills.

The popularity of the digiskills program can be gauged from the fact that online registrations for 2nd batch were opened on 1st June and 250,000 registrations for 15 digiskills courses was completed by 5th June in 5 days only.