The government is mulling offering incentives to VC-funded start-ups, which work on Internet of Things technologies, as it aims to attract such early stage funding as well as tap the huge potential of this sector for a boost to 'Make in India' programme.
The plan is to promote small firms, particularly start- ups, which are working on IoT technologies with focus on memory storage devices, processors, sensors, power devices and solar electronics panels and equipment, a source said.
IoT is a network of devices which communicates among itself using IP connectivity without human interference. This ecosystem includes intelligent systems, network equipment, connectivity services and data integration.
"The incentives can be in the form of low or even zero cost funding on targeted projects among other things. Already there is M-SIPS and some other incentive schemes. But, there is some serious thought on this one," the source added.
Confirming the development, a government official said there are also plans to launch a programme for promotion of export of IoT products and services.
"Government is planning to provide easy import facilities for capital goods and raw materials required for manufacturing IoT products and there can be duty benefits of up to 100 per cent.
Also raw materials purchased from domestic market may be get reimbursements on excise and CST," the official added. Besides, the government is mulling providing subsidised rates on purchasing land to small firms and start-ups for developing IoT centres.
"The government is also thinking on connecting various initiatives on developing entrepreneurial ventures in IT and electronics with IoT and utilise this huge market momentum on IoT to give a boost to 'Make in India'," the official said.
These steps will also aid government's plan to develop 100 smart cities in the country, for which Rs 7,060 crore has been earmarked, he added. Government's draft IoT policy aims to to create an IoT industry in India of USD 15 billion by 2020.
This will also lead to increase in the connected devices from around 200 million to over 2.7 billion by 2020. The number of Internet-connected devices (12.5 billion) surpassed the number of human beings (7 billion) on the planet in 2011 and by 2020, Internet-connected devices are expected to number between 26 billion and 50 billion globally, the draft policy document said.
According to research firm IDC, explosive growth in cloud and number of Internet-connected devices is expected to propel the IoT market globally to USD 3.04 trillion by 2020.