IITB Central Library 2.0 Service

Innovation takes centre stage at IITB

Posted on: September 30, 2010

Mumbai,INDIA : Innovation at its best. Young and old, from 18 to 81, students and professionals, working and retired – all are participating in this unique nationwide competition designed by India Innovation Initiative – i3, which aims to provide opportunity to harness innovations for wealth generation and societal benefits.

i3 is a joint initiative of the Department of Science & Technology (DST) – Government of India, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Agilent Technologies. It is making strong efforts in the direction of creating an innovation ecosystem in India by sensitizing, encouraging and promoting innovators and facilitating commercialization of the innovations.

During this year’s competition, about 890 innovative projects across India, including various subjects such as life sciences and agriculture, energy, telecom and IT, electronics, engineering and technology are competing against each other to reach the top slot.

Some of the displayed projects included automated drug store, innovative food processing technology for rural economy, wireless transfer of electricity using magnetic resonance (witricity), apparatus and systems for in-situ composting of kitchen waste, light emitting tiles, photo clipping machines, anti GPS surveyor, large scale multi touchscreen, personal mover – Mitra, bio-composting magic bin, Sanjeevani rescue kit, non-toxic mosquito killing spray, central locking system in trains and several others.

Along with individuals and groups, many project entries came from Tata Research Development and Design Center, Pune.

Among all these entries, only the top five innovations will get selected and awarded with cash prizes along with mentoring from Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A)’s experts, funding and commercialization support from IIM-A and Young Indians (Yi) as well as intellectual property (IP) facilitation or licensing.

The selected entries across four regions will then compete at the national i3 fair slated to be hosted in Delhi next month. Also, some of the innovations were submitted for patents, which were thoroughly checked and verified.

“Most of the participating innovations have moved from the initial idea stage and reached tangible physical products or software,” Dr. A S Rao, IIM-A’s director – Innovations, who was one of the judge, commented on the participating people and their innovations.

Though Dr. Rao was very happy and positive with the number of entries for this competition, he pointed out that they often fail in transforming the innovation on its commercial aspect and creating impact in the market.

“Conversion of idea into execution such as any tangible physical product shouldn’t take more than 6 months to reach the market. It is not the problem of just these participants but it is the problem of India,” Dr. Rao said.

Even Sushanto Mitra, CEO of Society for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (SINE)-IITB said, “We are good at developing software and mobile application and IT services but very poor at innovating tangible physical products. We have heroes like Azim Premji in the software field but lack any idol in the field of innovative product to which people can relate themselves.”

Dr. Rao explained, “Physical products give boost to the nation’s image, as did iPad or iPod to the U.S. Unfortunately we don’t have any such innovative products; however, Nano car has created some image in the automobile world but we need many more innovations.”

Another judge representing CII and former chairman of Yi, Kamaljit Rastogi, who isFINO’s head – Strategy & International Business, viewed that among various aspects of innovations, it should have mass appeal, affordable and beneficial to masses as India is not a rich country.

“Many innovations were related to agriculture field and rural areas and maybe the reason is about 80 percent of India’s population is still engaged in agriculture. So innovations in agriculture field is very good as it can improve productivity and benefit farmers,” Rastogi said.

Like Dr. Rao, Rastogi also praised the passion of participants towards innovation but pointed to the lack of attitude in making those innovations into commercial products.
©CyberMedia News

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