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Udgam - An initiative of HPCL to support innovative and promising Startup projects

Udgam is a program to enable innovators and entrepreneurs pursue a promising idea, establish and validate proof of concept (POC) and support commercialization. HPCL wishes to help innovators and entrepreneurs or projects having established proof of concept (POC) to eventual commercialization / implementation.

Objective of Scheme

  • To support innovative and promising Startup projects in the area of energy and related sectors and foster the spirit of entrepreneurship.

Nature of Projects Supported for Funding

  • HPCL makes equity investment in the selected startups.

  • Projects that propose a process / product innovation with significant potential impact or commercial potential.

  • Projects with clear technology objectives.

  • Projects focused on establishing or validating proof-of-concept for an innovative idea.

  • Projects aimed at technology de-risking i.e. reducing uncertainties in the technology.

  • Projects focused on generating and providing the scientific data needed to demonstrate an idea to potential licensors/ investors, etc.

  • Innovative ideas present or future, allied / ancillary areas of business areas which are of relevance to HPCL's line of business / petroleum industry / future areas of the industry.

Nature of Projects Not Supported for Funding

  • Basic / exploratory research projects that aim to demonstrate scientific principles, techniques, etc. without technology commercialization objectives.

  • Projects with no plan to convert ideas into saleable (implementable) technology / products / services.

  • Projects with no element of novelty or innovation.

  • Projects with serious ethical and EHS risks.

  • Projects which are not in line with the Objectives of Startup India scheme.

  • Funding under this scheme cannot be used to support PhD student research or any other academic research. This grant is not a research fellowship.

  • Projects which have received funding for the same objectives from other companies.

  • Projects which are of Pure R&D in nature with no potential for commercialization.

  • Projects which are not connected to the nature of HPCL business or allied services.

Focus Area

Following topics and themes / indicative ideas related to primary energy, specifically in the areas of petroleum refining, marketing and alternate energy will be supported under the HPCL Startup scheme:

  • Alternate Usages of Petroleum Products, Lubes & Base Oils.

  • Automation / Robotics - LPG, Retail, Refineries.

  • Business Analytics including IOT.

  • Business process / re-engineering software / IT related and logistics related development.

  • Cashless payments solution - Retail.

  • Cost Optimization solution - Storage / Logistics / Usage / Packaging.

  • Cross country pipelines security & safety.

  • Customer Loyalty Program

  • Development of device for cracks / leak detection in pipelines.

  • Gas/ liquid leak detection and protection system.

  • Improved Asset Utilization.

  • Innovative scheme for zero effluent in refineries.

  • Innovative storage solution - Energy, Petroleum Products, Lubes, Base Oils.

  • Inventory Management - Petroleum Products, Lubes, Base Oils.

  • Light weight LPG cylinders for improved safety standards.

  • Low cost fuel quality monitoring and onsite detection device/s.

  • Low Cost Model for Waste to Energy.

  • Low cost on-site lube condition monitoring techniques.

  • Low cost process for desalination of sea water.

  • Low cost synthetic Lube base stocks Polyalpha Olefins (PAOs) / Esters and friction modifiers.

  • Lube Packaging.

  • Manufacturing of biofuels including Ethanol.

  • Manufacturing of Nano Materials/Catalysts.

  • Non-fuel business model for Retail Networks / LPG.

  • Portable bio-toilets for Retail Outlets.

  • Replacing the heat source in refineries by renewables.

  • Secured Digital Marketing solution.

  • Significant reduction in emissions.

  • Waste disposal.

  • Other open areas related to petroleum refining, marketing and alternate energy.

Project Leader

  • Every proposal must clearly identify a Project Leader who will take responsibility for the technical and managerial aspects of the project execution.

  • The Project Leader must be technically qualified to undertake the project. The Project Leader must have completed graduate / post-graduate course in engineering / chemistry / biotechnology / sciences.

Documentary Evidence

Applicants are expected to show documentary evidence that they have tied up the following critical resources needed to execute the project:

At the time of application and prior to shortlisting for presentation to the HPCL Committee:

  • Letter of commitment from scientific advisors to serve as honorary advisors, if any.

  • Letter of intent of key members of the team.

  • Letter of interest / intent from the incubator, if any.

  • Evidence of access to key facilities needed to execute a project.

At the time of due diligence and / or proposal shortlisting:

  • Letter of acceptance or MoU with incubator, if any.

  • Formal agreements / MoUs with other key facilities / suppliers.

  • Any other due diligence documents required by HPCL (on a case to case basis).

Eligibility Criteria


  • The Individual should be an Indian citizen including NRIs who are willing to work in India and undertake projects promising innovative technologies/solutions.

  • Group of Individuals meeting above condition can also apply. The primary applicant must be the project leader

  • If the applicant is formally employed (or registered as a student) with a non-profit academic or research organization, then

  • the applicant has to produce a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the head of the organization clearly indicating that the organization has policies in place to allow the applicant to accept funding support (if successful) as an individual and undertake HPCL projects or alternatively, has policies in place to allow its employees to create entrepreneurial ventures while in service or while in sabbatical leave or while in EOL (extra-ordinary leave).

  • Alternatively, the applicant needs to provide an undertaking that he / she plans to terminate his association with the current employer and take up the project full time in the event of a HP startup fund approval. A resignation / relieving / retirement letter will be needed as supporting document before final approval and release of the fund.

  • If the applicant is formally employed with a for- profit company,

  • the applicant needs to provide an undertaking that he / she plans to terminate his association with the current employer and take up the project full time in the event of a HP startup fund approval. A resignation / relieving / retirement letter will be needed as supporting document before final approval and release of the fund.


  • The Company should be registered under the Indian Companies Act, 1956/2013.

  • A company is considered as 'Owned' by resident Indian citizen if minimum 51% of the capital in it is beneficially owned by resident Indian citizens and / or Indian companies, which are ultimately owned and controlled by resident Indian citizens.

  • A Project Leader who meets eligibility requirements mentioned below must represent the Company's application.

  • The Company shall have its own in-house R&D facilities that are functional and adequate to execute the project. If the Company does not have a functional and adequate laboratory of its own, then it should have plans for incubation with institutions / centres / organizations with adequate laboratory facilities.

  • The Company controlled by an ineligible entity (Company or individual) is ineligible.

  • The Company that has already received HPCL support once is not eligible for receiving HPCL funding support once again.

Application Process

  • The applicant needs to submit the application online by registering and logging-on to the Udgam - HPCL Startup Initiative website The applications shall only be accepted online.

  • Applicants are advised to provide sufficient details in their applications to allow for an informed and fair evaluation / review. Applicants are advised to provide self-contained proposals with essential supporting materials provided as uploads.

Selection Process

  • Applications that are received only through the HPCL Startup portal will be considered for screening, evaluation and selection.

  • The applications will be scrutinised for eligibility and appropriateness of the proposal under the HPCL Startup scheme framework / guidelines.

  • The proposal will then be reviewed based on relevance, business potential, deliverables and scalability for shortlisting.

  • Due-diligence of the shortlisted proposals will be carried out along with finalisation of milestones, schedules and agreements.

  • The final selected proposals shall be intimated to applicant for further Startup modality procedure compliance including signing of agreement with HPCL.

Evaluation Criteria

The applicants will make presentation of the proposal / idea for review by HPCL. The proposals will be evaluated along the following criteria

  • Feasibility of the idea

  • Novelty / Innovation

  • Importance and potential impact

  • Strategy for commercialization

  • Barriers / Risks and strategies to address them

  • Team profile and capabilities

  • Project plan

Due Diligence

Due diligence shall be carried out before selecting the proposals under HPCL Startup scheme. Following due diligence, HPCL will take the final decision on funding of Startup.

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