Institutional Mechanism

Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development (STED) Project


The Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development (STED) Programme is now phased out since FY 2015-16. However, support to the existing STED projects will be continued. No new proposal for STED programme will be considered by the division and no action would be taken by the Department in case of submission and receipt of  new STED proposals from various organization.

Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Scheme (STEDS) was launched in 1985 when NSTEDB prepared a scheme to map the available material resources in industrially backward regions and prepare a basket of technically feasible and economically viable project profiles of enterprises that could be promoted by local S & T entrepreneurs and thus tapping hitherto un-utilised / under-utilised resources. Later the scheme was re-christened as "Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Scheme (STEDS)".

Initially the scheme was launched in 13 districts in consultation with the Planning Commission. A National Advisory Committee was formed to prepare the guidelines and oversee the implementation of the scheme. Accordingly, Task Forces having members from concerned state govt. agencies, banks, etc. were constituted under the Chairmanship of the District Collector to guide the officials manning the scheme. The scheme took off quite well in most of the locations and project profiles for utilisation of available resources were prepared.

In 1996-97, STEDS programme was reformulated. The National Advisory Committee was reconstituted and eminent scientists, technologists, economists and social activists were invited as its members.

The STED Project

In the project mode, the STED project aims to bring about a socio-economic development of an area through the intervention of Science & Technology. The project envisages matching of the material and the human resources of the district to create new enterprises and employment by usage of Science & Technology processes. It involves identification of opportunities through a detailed scientific survey and exploitation of the opportunities thus identified by the entrepreneurs. The total project life is four years. Currently the STED project is being implemented in 43 districts of the country.


The broad objectives of the project are:-

  • To identify possible resource based projects in the region covering both rural and urban areas.
  • To identify S&T intervention (like technology selection, modification, alteration and dissemination) for exploiting the opportunities by prospective entrepreneurs.
  • To improve working of existing enterprises through S&T intervention to upgrade the technology and modernisation of units.
  • To organise regular enterprise awareness programmes and skill development programmes for creating suitable entrepreneurial environment in the district.
  • To launch at least 200 micro-enterprises in the district during the four years of duration in which at least 50 technology-driven micro-enterprises are to be in technology specific areas as identified by the implementing agency earlier.

Implementation Methodology

Implementation Mechanism

The Host Institution (HI) or Implementing Agency (IA) identifies amongst other 3-4 specific technology areas, which are specific to the location of STED project implementation. Based on this identification, the HI / IA prepares the opportunities available in these technology areas indicating the source of technology and likely collaboration with the technology provider. The HI / IA should also mention his expertise in the selected technologies, if any.

The broad mechanism to be adopted for implementation are:-

  • Market survey for identification of resources of the region which include
    • Man
    • Material
    • Market
    • Methods (Science)
    • Mechanics & Mechanism (Technology)

  • Preparation of opportunities profile.
  • Identification & counseling of potential entrepreneurs.
  • Training of entrepreneurs.
  • Providing escort services to the potential entrepreneurs
  • Counseling the existing enterprise for technology upgradation and modernisation.

Target Group

The target group would be essentially unemployed youth who may or may not possess necessary skill to launch a micro-unit but have the necessary desire and aptitude for such venture. Others including ex-army men, would also be covered under the project.


The project is awarded to a reputed Technical Consultancy Organisation (TCO), Non-Government Organisation (NGO) or any organisation having a proven track record in the field of entrepreneurship development. The agency is selected based on their past Performance in the area, credibility and staff availability.


For successful and effective implementation, linkages would be established with reputed and national level R&D institutions for sourcing technologies and upgradation of existing technologies. Institution like SIDBI, NABARD and the Lead banks would be involved right from the training stages for better acceptability of the project proposal amongst the financial institutions at the time of sanctioning and disbursing the loan. The STED project would function closely with the district administration without whose involvement and intervention it may not produce desired results. Linkages with other schemes and programmes of the Central and State Government would be established for availing benefits of various Government schemes.

Evaluation and Monitoring

The STED Project is a four-year project with the financial support for four years. However, the continuation of project and annual funding is entirely Performance oriented. The Performance is monitored both in quantitative and qualitative aspect. The Expert Advisory Committee on STED project evaluates the Performance and monitors the progress of the project. For this purpose, the Advisory Committee meets two to three times in a year at the project site. Regular site visits by a team consisting of one committee member and one officer from NSTEDB secretariat ensures a timely monitoring of the project. In such case where shortfall in achievement of target is noticed monitoring team visits the project to suggest mid-term corrective action. In extreme cases, the project may also be terminated mid-term if revival is found to be unfeasible or impossible.

Expected Outcome

Each STED Project is expected to generate at least 200 model micro-enterprises over the project duration of four years. It is also expected that at least 50 micro-enterprises will be launched in the specific technology areas (identified earlier by HI/IA through survey).

Achievements at Select Locations

In Karaikudi

The STED project in Karaikudi is being implemented by Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CECRI), a national level R&D laboratory of repute under CSIR umbrella, it implementing the STED project in Karaikudi. The STED project immediately after the launch, was able to spread its wings in nearby rural areas. Some of the units promoted by the STED Project include superfine chemicals which are being exported to Germany, manufacture of TV sets in the rural areas and various other units in the service sector in electronics (both consumer and industrial) , computer and associated fields. The STED project has been providing its support to other STED projects in its area of specialization viz. repairing of lead acid batteries. The project has supported more than 1500 micro enterprises.

In Kozhikode

Kerala has a large population of Non Resident Indians (mostly in Gulf) who wish to invest in India and on their return take the entrepreneurial route for settling down in the state. An association of NRIs called "Pravasi Sangam" was sensitised and through regular interaction and training programmes a number of enterprises have been launched. The STED Project through its close association with the State Government has taken on the job of servicing and maintenance of all the electrical energy meters in the state. For this a workforce of 500 women were trained and are now self-employed through a cooperative promoted by the STED project. A number of such activities have been taken up by the STED project.

In Agartala

Agaratala the capital of Tripura is a difficult area in North-east where the entrepreneurship culture was totally missing. The activities of the STED project has catalysed the establishment of 60 micro-enterprises in areas like fruit and food processing, Internet and related business, DTP, and lost cost construction. Experts from the industry, R&D Institution were invited for technology demonstration. The project has achieved its target of micro entreprise establishment.


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