Telecommunications Technology Development Fund (India)

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Deadline: 15-Nov-22

The Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) now provides grants through its Telecommunications Technology Development Fund to develop advanced telecommunications technologies and enable the proliferation of affordable broadband and mobile services in areas rural and remote.

The Telecommunications Technology Development Fund (TTDF) program is for national companies and institutions involved in the design, development and marketing of telecommunications products and solutions, to enable affordable broadband and mobile services in rural and remote areas.

Goals

  • The program is envisioned to bridge the digital divide by developing and manufacturing advanced technologies for rural and remote areas. The objectives are, among others, to:
    • promote technological ownership and indigenous manufacturing (Atmanirbhar Bharat)
    • reduce imports and open up export opportunities
    • proliferation of next-generation telecommunications technologies in rural and remote areas
    • create a culture of technological co-creation and co-innovation
    • promote the ecosystem for research, design, prototyping, development, proof of concept testing, IPR creation, field testing, security, certification and manufacturing of telecommunications products, solutions end-to-end, use cases, drivers, etc.;
    • develop and establish relevant standards to meet national requirements and enable their standardization in international standardization bodies;
    • promote the development of applications and use cases of communication technologies specific to rural areas that meet the needs of the rural masses and add value to their daily activities, both economic and social;
    • create synergies between universities, research institutes, start-ups and industry for capacity building and development of the telecommunications ecosystem through awareness raising to create relevant technologies and solutions in rural areas / distant;
    • bridging the gap between R&D and the commercialization of products and solutions;
    • enable the proliferation of affordable broadband and mobile services
    • enable technology demonstration, product integration, pilots and field testing of products and solutions; Enable technology/business innovation in solutions and services using existing infrastructure from USOF/DoT/GoI funded projects; Where
    • commercialize the technologies developed under the program. USOF programs should incorporate the necessary provisions to ensure the deployment of these locally developed and piloted technologies in all of its models.

Budget expenditure

  • 5% of the annual USOF collections, or such amount as may be decided by the government from time to time, would be allocated for this purpose.
  • In order to improve funding under the program, other sources and mechanisms would be explored further.

Financing modalities

Here are the different funding methods available under the program. However, entities are eligible to request funding from different public or private resources for different products/technologies/solutions or for different deliverables in the development of the same technology. Details of other funding (available/applied) should be indicated in the application form. The TRL levels mentioned are indicative to ensure that the relevant groundwork has been done by the entities for a successful outcome.

  • Grant in aid
    • The grant is being considered to meet the funding needs of small to medium sized projects in the development of technology(s)/product(s)/research, solution(s), use cases, use case lab(s) , integrated proposal(s) with focus on end-to-end solution(s) or pilot(s);
    • It aims to serve technology/product/solution development, pilot activity in TRL levels 3-7 with the objective of bringing it to TRL level 7-9, within the framework of the roadmap, if applicable. At TRL level 3, analytical and experimental critical functions must have been performed with or without proof of concept;
    • In the case of research project(s), the research must have reached at least level TRL2;
    • In the case of applications for next-generation products, the applicant(s) must have achieved at least TRL level 6-7 in the previous generation product(s) or must provide details of capabilities at least at TRL level 3 for the products/solutions offered;
    • In the case of funding for SoCs and communications chipsets, TRL levels would be set separately as part of the funding agreement.
  • Project period
    • Project timelines are generally up to two years. However, this can be decided at the project level in consultation with the applicant under the terms and conditions of the agreement. An extension of six months each at a time may be granted at the sole discretion of the USOF/DoT.
    • The commitment ends automatically and without warning, on the first occurrence of one or more of the following events:
      • Mutual written agreement of the parties to end the assignment
      • Completion of two years (if no further extension is granted) from the effective date of the undertaking, unless otherwise agreed by the parties to extend it beyond the expiration date for one term ( six months)
      • Any breach or breach of any agreement or contractual term
      • Underperformance in terms of agreed outcome
      • When the company enters into an acquisition, merger or amalgamation or reorganization agreement resulting in a substantial change in the profile of the company from domestic to non-domestic status.
      • Any other reason for which IA deems it necessary to end the partnership. These reasons must be communicated to the partner.

Eligibility criteria

  • The following Indian entities are only eligible for support from this fund:
  • National company(ies) focused on telecom R&D, use case development
  • Start-ups / MSMEs
  • Academic institutions
  • R&D Institutions, Section 8 Enterprises / Corporations, Central and State Government Entities / PSUs / Autonomous Bodies / SPVs / Limited Liability Partnerships – focused on telecommunications research and development
  • Collaborative consortium of entities
  • For Pilots: Entities can partner with, among others, PSUs, TSPs, Central/State Government Entities, Autonomous Government Agencies, SPVs, etc.

For more information, visit https://usof.gov.in/ttdf

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