11 Feb 2019 17:50 IST

IIT Madras students win UK-India Social Innovation Challenge

This competition aims to find, fund and support innovative solutions to waste management problem

Indian Institute of Technology-Madras students bagged the first and third positions in UK-India Social Innovation Challenge. This competition aims to find, fund and support innovative and sustainable solutions to the global problem of waste management.

The project titled, ‘Recycling of demolished waste concrete using solar energy’ bagged the first place, while the project, ‘Catalytic degradation of kraft lignin by ultraviolet light and ultrasound’ got placed third.

The second position was awarded to a team from Kongu Engineering College, Erode, in Tamil Nadu, which presented a project titled, Catalytic Degradation of kraft lignin by Ultraviolet Light and Ultrasound.

The top three winners will receive cash prizes of £1,400, £1,000 and £500 for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places respectively.

This is the 2nd edition of the competition launched by the UK-India Social Entrepreneurship Education Network (UKISEEN). It is a collaboration between the Social Impact Lab, University of Southampton and the Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, IIT Madras, along with the open innovation platform ‘Babele’ and British Council.

Prof R Nagarajan, Head, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Madras, and Faculty Coordinator, CSIE (Centre for Social innovation & Entrepreneurship), said, “Waste management is a more practical solution than waste elimination, given that every process generates waste as a by-product. This competition tests not only the innovative abilities of students, but also their business acumen. The latter is an aspect that many technologists tend to ignore until too late.”

The evaluation was done by a jury of faculty and industry practitioners based on the criteria of understandingthe problem area, the innovativeness of the solution, and the sustainability of the business model.