24 Jul 2019 19:24 IST

SRM wins innovation contest for engineering students

IIM-B, DST, AICTE and TI India promoted initiative aims to strengthen grassroots innovation

Texas Instruments India (TI India), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIM-B) have joined hands to strengthen the innovation ecosystem, enhance skills and drive a start-up culture amongst engineering students by ensuring that India Innovation Challenge Design Contest (IICDC) is accessible to students even in remote corners of the country. IICDC is a national design contest for engineering students.

The announcement was made at the finals of IICDC 2018, coinciding with the announcement of this year’s top 10 winning teams. The ten finalists will get an opportunity to take their start-up idea from the lab to the market, supported by a fund from DST of ₹4.94 crore, incubation at NSRCEL — the innovation and entrepreneurship hub at IIM Bangalore, and technical mentorship from TI engineers, along with access to TI tools and technology. To-date, IICDC has incubated 20 start-ups.

SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, won the Chairman Award for Technical Innovation on ‘Inkless Printing Technology’. AP Shah Institute of Technology, Thane, was the first runners-up for their innovation ‘solar energy harvesting for wireless sensor node’ and Sri Manakula Vinayagar Engineering College, Puducherry, was adjudged second runners-up award for their innovation ‘mustard seed processor machine’.

Importance of innovation

Sanjay Srivastava, Director, TI India University Program, said, “IICDC’s vision is to give students an opportunity to be innovators and entrepreneurs, launching path-breaking technology products and solving tough, real-world challenges. In 2018, IICDC reached more than 26,000 students from 1,760 colleges and we received over 10,000 ideas! The diversity of students fuelled the diversity of ideas. For instance, several ideas focus on agriculture — a segment widely deprived of technology advances. Interestingly, more than 90 per cent of participation comes from Tier II and Tier III towns. That’s the kind of grass-roots innovation we want to drive through IICDC.”

Prof Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE, said, “AICTE’s mission to develop robust technical institutions and promote a scientific mind-set is perfectly aligned with IICDC’s mission to strengthen technical innovation in India. We see students as India’s change-makers with the responsibility to drive cutting edge technological innovation. We understand that the next big idea can come from any corner of the country. Our message to the students is simple — no matter which college you study in or which pin code you reside in, if you have a powerful idea and a drive to make a difference, IICDC will give you an opportunity to achieve your goal.”

Creative solutions

The last three editions of IICDC saw students file over 150 patents, and the numbers are increasing every year. Dr Anita Gupta, Associate Head, DST, said, “We continue to partner with IICDC because it is a unique, powerful platform to drive student-led, tech-focused innovation. DST’s goal is to transform India to a global hub for innovation in science and technology. We also want to support innovation that can make an impact on the ground, tackling social, economic and environmental challenges. IICDC helps strengthen the innovation ecosystem by providing an opportunity to students to develop creative solutions for real world problems. Our seed funding to the winning teams aims to bring the best of these ideas to life.”

Prof Venkatesh Panchapagesan, Chair, NSRCEL, IIM-B, “Though IIM-B is not a technical institution, we believe strongly that we can aid in the creation of sustainable technical ventures through our expertise in developing businesses. Our collaboration with TI-DST for the last four years’ IICDC is a testimony to that. At NSRCEL, IIM-B’s innovation and entrepreneurial centre, we have successfully incubated around 50 students to help shape their entrepreneurial ideas into start-ups.”

TI India announced that the registration for the upcoming edition starts from from July 23, 2019 to August 30, 2019. Students can participate through this link.