Bengaluru. 22 December 2021. Social Alpha, an initiative supported by Tata Trusts, along with the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC, an enterprise under Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, Ministry of S&T, Govt. of India) and CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), a constituent of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), today announced the launch of mach33.aero.
mach33.aero is set to be the first Public-Private Partnership in India focused on accelerating innovations in Aerospace. mach33.aero will develop a support eco-system for nurturing start-ups in aerospace and allied engineering housed at a dedicated state-of-the-art centre in the CSIR-NAL campus in Bangalore, with a vision to expand its reach to new geographies in the future.
Speaking on the launch, Ratan N Tata, Chairman -Tata Trusts, said, “I am pleased to note that CSIR-NAL and Social Alpha have joined hands to promote innovations in aerospace engineering with wide ranging applications across Aviation, Defence, Agriculture, and Climate technologies. I hope a number of high impact and scalable solutions emerge from this initiative, creating a new wave of technology entrepreneurship in the country.”
mach33.aero’s focus will lie in the fields of Aviation, Defence, Space Exploration and Climate Action among others. Its “lab-to-market” model will act as a catalyst to accelerate innovations and entrepreneurship while promoting start-ups and SME’s in sectors of national strategic importance. mach33.aero will leverage innovations to build solutions for some of our toughest challenges with the help of advanced systems and frontier technologies like Robotics, AI/ML/Data Science, Nanotech, Material Science, Advanced Manufacturing, Cryogenics etc.
Commodore (Retd.) Amit Rastogi, Chairman and MD, NRDC said, “As a JV partner of mach33.aero, NRDC has forged strong links with the scientific and industrial community in India and abroad and developed a wide network of research institutions, academia and industry and made formal arrangements with them for the commercialization of know-how developed. NRDC has concluded more than 5000 technology license agreements to large number of small and medium scale industries paving the way for the success of indigenous technologies and creation of wealth. With its expertise in establishing and successfully running the start-ups, NRDC will support incubatees of mach33.aero with professional services like IPRs search, analysis, filing, market survey, feasibility report, technical consultancy, expert advice etc., and/or any other kind of technical services.”
With access to multi-stage funding, regional, national and global market linkages, mach33.aero will offer start-ups strategic connections with government, academia and industry resources and accelerate pathways for technology commercialisation and also encourage scientists and engineers to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities . This unique model will also allow access to physical and virtual infrastructure, certification and testing facilities to carry out pilots for product deployment and validation.
Jitandra J Jadhav, Director, NAL thanked Social Alpha and NRDC for coming forward to set-up mach33.aero at CSIR-NAL campus, which aspires to be the foremost platform that accelerates growth of intellectual property and indigenous manufacturing in Aerospace and Defense with multidisciplinary applications, including selected dual use technologies. He stated that, “In recent years, start-ups have been receiving increased attention in many parts of the world especially in the aerospace sector. With the emergence of start-ups backed by leading industries the aerospace technology is propelling us into the future of transportation, be it autonomous vehicles and UAV, Hybrid & electric regional aircrafts, Electric VTOL aircraft, Air Taxi’s, High Altitude Platform, New Space (communication, research space exploration), Aircraft connectivity & entertainment, Traffic control management etc., CSIR-NAL has developed many aerospace technologies which will be of interest to start-ups, to name a few like UAV-multi-copter for agricultural and medical applications, Wankel engine for UAVs, autoclaves for composite fabrication, multi-zone hot bonder composite repair, eco-friendly process for aircraft aluminium alloys etc., With its expertise, knowledgebase in the aerospace sector supported with several advanced test facilities, CSIR-NAL is embarked to provide start-ups with aerospace technologies, technical assistance/expert advice, test facilities and skill development programmes in aerospace design, development & manufacturing areas”. He called upon young and budding entrepreneurs to make use of the opportunity and contribute to the sustainable economic growth of the country.
Shekhar C Mande, Secretary DSIR & DG, CSIR while virtually inaugurating the mach33.aero congratulated team Social Alpha, NRDC and CSIR-NAL for setting up a first of its kind incubation Centre in the country to create and support eco-system for nurturing start-ups in aerospace and allied engineering. This will catalyse, incubate and accelerate start-ups and SMEs towards Atmanirbhar Bharat in these sectors of national strategic importance. He added that, “mach33.aero would lead a deep tech innovation and entrepreneurship promotion in areas of wide-ranging applications across diverse sectors like SpaceTech, Defence, Air Mobility, Agriculture, Climate Change, Natural Resources Management, Insurance and Weather Forecasting.”
Transitioning deep science and technology start-ups from “lab-to-market” is extremely complex and requires a multi-stage innovation curation and de-risking model. Innovators may need support and guidance for establishing product-market fit, pilots and validations, capital access, regulatory pathways and accelerated market entry. Social Alpha’s architecture integrates the innovation, incubation and investment ecosystems to support mission-driven founders throughout their “lab-to-market” journey.
Talking about the unique partnership Manoj Kumar, Founder and CEO of Social Alpha and Chairperson – mach33.aero said – “mach33.aero combines the Aerospace Research and Engineering leadership of National Aerospace Laboratories, technology commercialisation prowess of NRDC and the venture development model of Social Alpha. This is a unique partnership that will further strengthen the science and technology start-up ecosystem in the country”
This new joint venture promises to offer a platform for industry, academia and government to promote innovation, indigenous manufacturing and a means to promote dual use tech in Agriculture, healthcare, climate change and natural resource management among others.