The AGNIi Mission has had longstanding relationships with MSMEs due to their pivotal role in supporting the Indian innovation ecosystem. MSMEs provide valuable opportunities for innovations originating from public R&D to become commercially viable, and AGNIi remains committed to creating opportunities for such innovators to realize their goals of scaling up and expanding their market.

From 22nd to 23rd of December, AGNIi partnered with the Expert Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) to conduct a 2-day visit to the Moradabad Handicrafts Cluster. 

EPCH was established under the Companies Act in the year 1986-87 and is a non-profit organisation, with an object to promote, support, protect, maintain, and increase the export of handicrafts. 

AGNIi facilitated interactions and field visits between the Public R&D community and the industry, covering all stakeholders from the individual artisans in their workshops to large scale manufacturers and exporters. We developed use-cases for technological interventions to upgrade the MSMEs and make our exports more competitive in the international market. Scientists from CSIR-IMMT, CSIR-NML and IIT Kanpur were also a part of this. 

AGNIi visited two large scale manufacturing and export units- Venus Export and Designco. The team from CSIR-IMMT made a note of the level of technology and machines being used to evaluate the technological landscape at Moradabad. Various methods of casting and metal crafting were identified.

AGNIi visited a highly specialized polishing & plating exporting unit, Oliver McInroy & Co. The team met traditional artisans at their workshops in the residential areas of old Moradabad. This was followed by a visit to the Metal and Handicrafts Service Centre (MHSC) to understand the common facilities available to the artisans and exporters for testing and job work, as well as training. The visit concluded with a meeting with exporters to understand their issues.

AGNIi will continue to work with EPCH and other partners in the public R&D and MSME ecosystems in order to continue working towards maximizing opportunities for Indian artisans to refine their craft and establish a viable export market. Supporting public R&D innovations, as well as MSMEs, is critical to the future of India innovation.

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