The deadline for application submission of PMNIA has been extended to 30th November 2022.
The Prime Minister's National Innovation Award (PMNIA), is an initiative of the Prime Minister's Youth Programme being executed by the Higher Education Commission, Islamabad.
The PMNIA is providing an open opportunity for Pakistani youth within the age limit of 15 to 30 years to propose innovative ideas and get funding as well as technical support to augment their ideas into a business.
Young innovators/entrepreneurs are invited to submit applications for the competition. The objective of the competition denotes new digital, technical, governance, and social ideas that could motivate the youth to use their innovative and novel skills and help society and the country's economy at the national level. This will also help in resolving the local challenges faced by Pakistan through creative ideas.
The objectives of the Innovation Award are;
- Improving Pakistan's Ranking in the Global Innovation Index,
- Foster Entrepreneurial Culture among the Youth
- Transforming Ideas into a Successful Business
A. Innovation Thematic Areas /Disciplinary Domains:
The innovation challenge aims to support solutions to the indigenous problems pertaining to the following thematic areas:
- Food Security (agriculture, nutrition, sustainable food eco-system, etc.)
- Water Management and Sustainability (irrigation, water conservation, waste & water treatment, etc.)
- Sustainable Energy (electric mobility, smart energy, transmission, and grid issues, etc.)
- Urban planning (preservation of urban space and life, planning of second-tier cities & towns, transportation, Waste collection and disposal, water and sanitation, healthcare, law, and order, etc
- Climate Change and Environment (climate mitigation, disaster management, metro-scale pollution reduction, climate modeling, mitigation of large climate change impacts, climate, and disaster surveillance, etc.)
- Information Technology and Telecom (Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Cloud Computing, Big Data, disparities in excess of technology, 5G networks, healthcare delivery through the use of ICT)
- Innovative Governance and Reforms (responsiveness to citizen services, accountability reforms through Right to Information (RTI), citizen scorecards),
- Sociology and Philosophy (intellectual heritage, material culture, future of work and family, politics, gender, population, work ethics, etc.)
- Health Care and Medical Sciences
The solution must impact any of the following SDG goals:
B. Award Categories:
Awards will be given in two stages:
- Top 10 winners will be awarded the cash amount of Rs. 1.00 Million each
- 40 runner-ups will be awarded a cash amount of Rs. 0.5 Million each
- The 50 winners selected in Stage 1 will be inducted into follow-up programs to scale up their ideas and will also be encouraged to opt for incubation so that their ideas may lead to startups. The 50 winners may also request supplementary funds up to Rs. 1 million in addition to the award money as per their requirement, to scale up their ideas through Business Incubation Centers as a follow-up program. For this purpose, a tripartite agreement will be signed between respective BICs, Awardee, and HEC. The additional funding will be given through respective Business Incubation Centers and will be tied to startup deliverables and approved cash plan/budget.
II. Eligibility Criteria/ Application Submission Instructions
A. General Eligibility:
Young participants within the age bracket of 15 to 30 years are eligible to apply.
B. Basic Guidance for Application Submission
- All applications must be submitted through the online portal available at https://pmyp.gov.pk
- Proposals with URLs of company and/or products, video links will be given preference. However, information or documentation beyond what is included in the written proposal will not be used in the evaluation process.
Guidelines for tsubmission of applications are available at online portal. (https://pmyp.gov.pk)
C. Application Formatting
D. Due Date:
Applications must be submitted to HEC by the 15th of November 2022.
III. Proposal Submission and Evaluation Process
The selection of awards will be made through an open, rigorous, transparent, competitive, and merit-based process that proceeds through the following phases:
A. Submission of Concept Notes
- Parallel to the Opening of the call, road shows, drives, and interactive sessions will also be in progress. The aspiring students will learn the core concepts of innovation around the thematic areas of the NIA.
- The students will submit the concept notes in consultation with their mentors, based on the competition and submission criteria while following the eligibility benchmarks.
B. Evaluation Process
All applications submitted in response to this Call for applications will be evaluated by respective review panels. The Evaluation process consists of the following sequential steps:
Phase 1 Evaluation:
The evaluation consists of Administrative Scrutiny and Review by the shortlisting committee through Review Panels.
After initial administrative scrutiny, the evaluation committee will broadly rate the idea/concept based on 3 key sets of criteria – creativity & innovation; objectives, planning & execution; and effectiveness & results i.e., problem-solving techniques.
Conflict of Interest in the review process will be taken care in accordance with the HEC Policy.
Phase 2 Pitching Competition:
The shortlisted applicants will rationalize their projects during the training in “Idea Pitching" before appearing in the region-wise pitching competitions in front of the juries. The partner universities will arrange these trainings as well as host the “Pitching Competitions". The project Experts Committee of PMNIA will finalize region-wise juries. The 250 to 300 applicants will prepare pitches and will participate in the pitching competition. Logistics support will also be provided to the students appearing in the pitching competition.
The young contestants will pitch their ideas in front of the PMNIA jury members, entrepreneurs, academic experts, and members from the industry. The Jury will rate the idea/concept based on 3 key sets of criteria – creativity & innovation; objectives, planning & execution; and effectiveness & results i.e., problem-solving techniques. The guests will interact with the participating teams and will have live question-answers about the projects with the team members. The jury members will discuss each pitch and will recommend the best ones for the award.
A. Awards Ceremony
The top 50 ideas will be awarded in a National level Awards Ceremony.
Awards will be given in two stages:
- Top 10 winners will be awarded the cash amount of Rs. one million each
- 40 runners-up will be awarded the cash amount of Rs. 0.5 million each
The 50 winners selected in Stage 1 will be inducted into follow-up programs to scale up their ideas and will also be encouraged to opt for incubation so that their ideas may lead to startups. The 50 winners may also request supplementary funds up to Rs. 1 Million in addition to the award money as per their requirement, to scale up their ideas through Business Incubation Centers as a follow-up program. For this purpose, a tripartite agreement will be signed between respective BICs, Awardee, and HEC. The additional funding will be given through respective Business Incubation Centers and will be tied to startup deliverables and approved cash plan/budget.
- If any of the top awardees opts for incubation, an additional amount of up to Rs. one Million will be awarded to scale up their ideas into reality. The release of the additional amount will be based on their approved cash plan prepared in consultation with their mentors.
B. Way Froward/Follow-up Programs for awardees
A mentor will be provided to each of the 50 selected awardees to further guide them in scaling up from ideation to startup. The Project Experts Committee as per the recommendation of the jury will decide about the connection of mentors based on further requirements and the plan of each awardee.
The awardees will be informed about the following different available options.
a. Incubation of awardees at Business Incubation Centers
The 50 selected winners will further be given chance to avail the incubation opportunity in any Business Incubation Center of public sector universities. The maximum period to avail of this opportunity will be a 6-month incubation program.
b. Collaboration Opportunities in Startup Ecosystems other than BICs
Those awardees who will not be able to join for incubation in the BICs of public sector universities will be informed about the other available startup incubators and accelerators in Pakistan including but not limited to National Incubation Centers, Plan 9, The Nest i/o, invest 2 innovate, Women X, Fintech and WeCreate Pakistan, etc.
- Government Sector Funding Opportunities
The awardees will also be informed about other available funding opportunities including but not limited to the Innovative Seed Fund (ISF) from HEC and different loan schemes available on the forum of the Prime Minister Youth Program etc. The associated mentor will be responsible for connecting the awardee with relevant setup, monitoring activities, and reporting to HEC on the physical progress of the awardee. Depending upon the availability of funds, the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan will also arrange different acceleration events and boot camps from time to time and the awardees will be invited to participate in different programs.
C. Post Incubation Investment Readiness Program
Those meeting the defined goals during the period of incubation will enter the final leg of the program to ensure their sustainability beyond the PMNIA program. This phase will focus on getting the start-ups “investor ready" and identifying relevant investors/ networks that are relevant for those companies to ensure self-sustainability with the capability to raise commercial capital to satisfy all future funding needs of the awarded start-ups.
An investor-connect event will be organized upon successful completion of incubation. HEC in collaboration with partner universities will make sure that the bright ideas get maximum exposure before the major principals/ industries. With the full support of the Government of Pakistan under the PMU of Program, this innovative program will become a source of business/start-up development. For the spinoff, the industry partners will collaborate with Higher Education Commission for the program.
- Project Website and Contact Information
Updated information of the Prime Minister National Innovation Award will be available on the program's website provided below:
Questions regarding the HEC PMYIL Awards may be directed to:
Email: onlinehelp.hec.gov.pk Phone: 051-90407853