Texas Instruments India, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the statutory body and a national-level council for technical education in India, Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) 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 10 finalists will get an opportunity to take their start-up idea from the lab to the market, supported by a fund from DST of INR 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 from Tamil Nadu won the Chairman Award for Technical Innovation on ‘Inkless Printing Technology’. A. P. Shah Institute of Technology from Maharashtra was the first runners up for their innovation ‘Solar Energy Harvesting for Wireless Sensor Node’ and Sri Manakula Vinayagar Engineering College from Puducherry was adjudged second runners up award on their innovation ‘Mustard Seed Processor Machine’.
Congratulating the IICDC 2018 winners, 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 1760 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% of participation comes from Tier II and Tier III towns. That’s the kind of grassroots innovation we want to drive through IICDC.”
Elaborating on the partnership with 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 student community 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.”
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.”
Professor Venkatesh Panchapagesan, Chair, NSRCEL at IIMB, said, “Though IIMB 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 in the last 4 years’ IICDC is a testimony to that. At NSRCEL, IIMB’s innovation and entrepreneurial centre, we have successfully incubated around 50 students to help shape their entrepreneurial ideas into start-ups.”
By forging partnerships with multiple stakeholders with far reaching influence in technical education, expertise in business and management, industry knowhow, IICDC aims to foster an innovation and entrepreneurial culture amongst engineering students in India, and to empower them to launch successful companies with a clear purpose to make the world a better place.