How To Apply For DRDO’s TDF Scheme For MSMEs And Start-Ups

Priyanka Tanwer
Priyanka Tanwer Jun 09 2022 - 4 min read
How To Apply For DRDO’s TDF Scheme For MSMEs And Start-Ups
The scheme, which supports indigenous development of components, products, systems and technologies, will now have an upper limit of INR 50 crore per project from INR 10 crore so far.

Aiming to improve participation of public and private MSMEs industries to create an ecosystem for better technology capability for defence application and to place India on the self-reliance trajectory, the government has increased the funding to MSMEs and start-ups under the Technology Development Fund (TDF) scheme of Ministry of Defence.

The scheme, which supports indigenous development of components, products, systems and technologies, will now have an upper limit of INR 50 crore per project from INR 10 crore so far.

The scheme facilitates up to 90 per cent of the total project cost and allows industry to work in consortium with another industry and academia. With the enhanced funding, the industry and start-ups will be able to develop more complex technologies for existing and future weapon systems and platforms.

The scheme is limited to the development of technologies or prototype of product having potential use for the services with a typical development period of two years.


In order to avail the benefits of the scheme the industry must be a public limited company, a private limited company, a partnership firm, a limited liability partnership, one-person company, sole proprietorship registered as per applicable Indian laws.

It must be a Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) or a start-up and must be owned and controlled by a resident Indian citizen. Entity with excess of 49 per cent foreign investment will not be eligible for the scheme.

Why Apply For The Scheme?

The Scheme is aiming to provide a major fillip to the defence manufacturing sector by encouraging the industry to innovate on defence technologies, in order to place India on the self-reliance trajectory. In addition to providing the grants-in-aid for the development of indigenous technology, the Scheme also provides the industry with the various benefits.

After applying for the scheme, the industry gets a joint ownership of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) along with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

It provided sales opportunity to primes as subcontractors along with export opportunities.

Other benefits include licensing of the product and technology for commercial gains, and direct channel of sales in the private marketplace for the development of dual use technology and spin-offs.

Additionally, DRDO has partnered with Invest India to help in the implementation of the TDF scheme and further facilitate MSME and startup participation. Invest India is the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India, set up in 2009, as a non-profit venture under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.

How To Apply

To give comfort in applying for the scheme, the application process for TDF has been made completely digitised.

Every interested industry, technology expert, and academia must first register on the TDF portal.

On receiving a verification link, they must verify themselves, complete their profile and submit the same for approval.

Once the profiles are approved from the TDF admin panel, the respective industry can look at the projects it wishes to apply for.

Projects Open For Application

Following are the projects which are open for application:

Underwater Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (ULUAV)

Indigenously design and develop technology to produce ULUAV and its associated support equipment to enable operations from underwater platforms.

Development Of FSM Based Motion Deblurring Device

To develop an optical means of the motion deblurring. Mechanism involves customised Mirror, actuator assembly, drive amplifier and the deblur electronics as components and its packaging as per environmental requirements.

Development Of Hyperspectral Imaging Camera With Real Time Material and Target Detection

The proposed system will use low-cost high performance General-purpose computing on graphics processing units (GP GPU) based edge computation platform for sensor data capture, signal processing, and spectra matching.

Design And Development Of 75 KVA Constant Frequency Alternator For Combat Aircraft

Constant Frequency Alternator converts mechanical power from Airframe Mounted Accessory Drive (AMAD) into electrical power. The function of this constant frequency alternator in the aircraft is to supply power to AC bus bars. The system shall conform by and large to the requirements of the relevant standard.

Enabling Design And Optimisation For Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) Deployment.

This project tries to address the challenge of enabling design and optimisation of AI/ML systems at all the layers of Data, Model and Code. The aim is to enhance the process of AI/ML deployment with flexible interface access to the AI/ML and data layers, with adequate data integration and model update monitoring mechanisms.

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