USHUS is a startup engagement program launched by CSL to augment the government of India's initiatives to encourage and develop an ecosystem in India for supporting maritime start-ups from the technical, regulatory, financial, and marketing points of view by bringing the stakeholders together. This programme will provide a platform for young and talented entrepreneurs to develop products/services in the marine space with financial support provided by CSL. Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) will act as one of the implementation partners of this initiative and will provide incubation, mentorship, and training to start-ups selected under this programme. Under this initiative, start-ups can get up to Rs.50 lakhs as seed grants and Rs one crore as prototyping grants. There will be equity funding for start-ups at the scale-up stage. The institute will invite applications online twice a year to identify start-ups for funding under seed funds, pilot grants, and equity investment schemes.


Eligibility Criteria

The Eligibility Criteria for startups applying for funding under this funding initiative is as follows:

  • A start-up must be recognised by DPIIT (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade)
  • Start-up must have a business idea to develop a product or a service with market fit, viable commercialization, and scope of scaling
  • Start-up must have the solution or product in the maritime sector for Focus Areas as specified in this Policy
  • Start-up should be using technology in its core product or service, or business model, or distribution model, or methodology to solve the problem being targeted
  • Shareholding by Indian promoters in the start-up should be at least 51% at the time of application to incubator for the scheme, as per Companies Act, 2013 and SEBI (ICDR) Regulations, 2018

Program Structure

Key Focus Areas


Decarbonization of Maritime Industry as per IMO GHG strategy and Paris Agreement

Artificial Intelligence

Start-ups using artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize processes and create scale in the maritime sector e.g., in vessel-tracking data using position analytics

Supply Chain

Improving efficiency in the maritime sector. E.g. improving logistics supply chain through technology


Smart technologies that automate processes, free from human error


Autonomous ships and ROVs

Block Chain

Using block chain for shared ledger of data inputs in the maritime industry

Simulation & VR

Simulation e.g. Virtual reality for training, gaming & augmented reality to reinvent product & service levels

Simple & safe livelihood

Make life simpler and safer for users/stakeholders in the port and maritime sector

Coastal Community Development

Improving the lives of coastal communities

Transferrable Product Application

Direct transferable product application to the port and maritime sector

Improving earnings from fishing

Improving earnings from fishing

Inland waterways

Enhance cargo and passenger movement by Inland Waterways & coastal shipping

Manufacturing processes

Applications and innovations related to manufacturing processes like 3D printing etc

Innovative alternate materials

Innovations in the field of alternate/advanced materials applicable in maritime sector

Financial Support

Seed Funding Scheme

Expenses for the following broad activities would be supported under this programme

  • Prototype Development, Minimum Viable Product Development, Refinement of Testing of product, Test Marketing, Market Launch
  • Expenses on data generation/data acquisition for ideas working on IT side/AI side
  • Fees for IP issues/one-time technology licensing fees
  • Manpower for day-to-day operations but not promoter's remuneration
  • Day-to-day operational expenses like electricity bill, incubation charges etc.
  • Procurement of web hosting space, software licenses, marketing tools etc.

Pilot Grant Scheme

This fund will be provided for the commercialisation of proprietary technology and includes both Proof-of-Concept (POC) and Proof-of-Value (POV) grants depending on the developmental stage of the technology.

Equity Investment

CSL investing into the equity of the Start-up company and equity will be held in the name of CSL.In general, the equity stake of CSL shall be limited to maximum 9% of the paid-up equity of the company.