New Delhi, June 14 -- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved the budgetary support of Rs 498.8 crore to Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) by Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) for the next five years.

The scheme is aimed at providing financial support to nearly 300 start-ups, MSMEs, individual innovators and 20 partner incubators under the DIO framework.

''It will support increased awareness in the Indian innovation ecosystem about defence needs and, conversely, in the Indian Defence establishment about the potential of the Indian innovation eco-system to deliver innovative solutions to meet their needs,'' an official statement from the Defence Ministry said on Sunday.

''The scheme aims to facilitate rapid development ...