NITI Aayog has chosen NIFT-TEA Knitwear Fashion Institute, Tirupur for setting up incubation centre in the first round. CMN Muruganandan, Chairman of the institute, said that out of 3,800 government and private institutions across India which applied, NIFT TEA Knitwear Fashion Institute, Tirupur, to host the Atal Incubation Centre under the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) scheme which will focus on developing product technologies of functional garments, will get Rs. 10 cr for five years.

They have planned to construct a 10,000 sq. ft. building to establish the incubation centre, which will be called AIC -NIFTTEA Incubation Centre for Textiles and Apparels. The facilities will comprise product development, training, conferencing and incubate work space. Budding entrepreneurs who want to create start-ups in textiles and apparels could be enrolled and their innovative ideas nurtured. Muruganandan said that Tirupur is already known for entrepreneurial promotions, and TEA is working towards achieving the goal of Rs. 1 lakh cr cluster turnover by 2020.

Even though the cluster is becoming prosperous, the product diversification and innovative startup for market development is not up to the mark. At present, the garment manufacturers in the cluster have been struggling to expand their product portfolio beyond the predominant cotton-based garments owing to lack of high quality research and development.

Venturing into all-season apparels at affordable costs has become the need of the hour for small and medium scale manufacturers in the cluster to survive in the highly priced and quality-driven global apparel market. The centre could provide needed support to overcome such issues as it will create a pool of resources for providing hand-holding support to the innovators.

The centre has taken the initiative to enter a cooperation agreement with textile research associations and industries for better access to technologies and product development. It is a good opportunity for Corporates to be associated with the centre for supporting the incubation and start-up by spending their corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds. Successful entrepreneurs, sectorial experts and industrialists will be invited to the centre for mentoring the startups. The recognition is a great milestone for the institute and adds feathers to the cap of the Tirupur Exporters’ Association (TEA).