India plans to launch $1b innovation fund by July

India plans to launch a $1 billion fund by June-July, with an initial capital of Rs 500 crore, to invest in innovations that can generate services and products to uplift the poor, according to Sam Pitroda, adviser to Prime Minister on public information, infrastructure and innovation.

Interacting with media on sidelines of Grid Week Asia Summit, organised by Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers’ Association (IEEMA), here on Monday, Pitroda said: “We need to provide money to those who have ideas but no seed capital.  The fund — India Inclusive Innovation Fund — will invest in sectors such as agriculture, water, energy and healthcare.”

He said: It will have an initial investment, seed capital from the government. The finance ministry has already talked about allocating Rs 100 crore, while the fund intends to raise Rs 500 in its first phase.

“It will be a private fund, where the government is one of the investors,” he said adding the government’s stake would not be more than 20 per cent.

The fund is expected to generate modest returns of about 10-12 per cent.

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