Kolkata: In an endeavour to enhance indigenisation capability to 70 per cent in defence and aerospace sectors over the next 3-4 years, the government has implemented measures for MSME capacity building, including a five-fold increase in product development funding support to Rs 50 crore.

Samir V Kamat, Secretary of the Department of Defence R&D and Chairman of DRDO, highlighted the initiatives undertaken by the government to build MSME capacity during the EEPC virtual event of 'MSME Defense Week'.

"The government aims to increase the indigenisation level in defence and aerospace to 70 per cent over the next 3-4 years," Kamat stated.

He said the defence ministry has raised funding for technology development projects by MSMEs from Rs 10 crore to Rs 50 crore.

Speaking at the event, he underscored the transformative impact of these initiatives on the country's manufacturing landscape.

The cornerstone of these efforts is technology development including the Product Development Fund (TDF), a crucial scheme initiated by DRDO to fund MSMEs in advancing technologies.

Kamat urged MSMEs to explore the scheme, emphasising the increased funding ceiling of Rs 50 crores per project.

To date, approximately 70 projects have been awarded under the scheme with Rs 295 crores disbursed, he said.

Of these projects, 16 technologies have been indigenised against the requirements of the Air Force and Navy.

Kamat highlighted success stories, citing examples such as the development of avionics video processing and switching modules for the Air Force and composite-based submersible pumps for the Navy.

In addition to the development funds, Kamat outlined various technologies available on the DRDO website, inviting MSMEs to consider acquiring them at reasonable costs.

Kamat disclosed the establishment of 15 Centers of Excellence, termed DRDO Industry Academia Centers of Excellence, in prominent academic institutions.

MSMEs were encouraged to engage in collaborative projects with DRDO and academic institutions through these centres.