India Innovation Growth Programme 2.0

University Challenge

Registrations Closed

Focus Areas

Topic 1

Agriculture: Reduce post-harvest losses through technologies that improve shelf life of produce at farm gate

Background: India’s agricultural losses in harvest and post-harvest are almost INR 92,000 crores (~ USD 13 billion). Post-harvest losses are estimated to be 10-25% in durables, semi-perishables and perishables. In case of fruits and vegetables, post-harvest losses are higher at around 30-40% per cent.

The Requirement: Technological solutions that increase incomes of small and marginal farmers by reducing losses at farm-gate, or during handling and storage. These solutions should be affordable, easy-to-use, environmentally-sustainable, and ultimately scalable.

Topic 2

Autonomy, artificial intelligence-based cyber-physical systems

Background: AI refers to the ability of machines to mimic human intelligence and perform cognitive tasks like thinking, perceiving, learning, problem solving and decision making.With incredible advances made in data collection, processing and computation power, intelligent systems can now be deployed to take over a variety of tasks, enable connectivity and enhance productivity. From country's perspective,  the full potential of AI could be leveraged  for economic growth, in solving societal needs:a)Healthcare: increased access and affordability of quality healthcare,b)Agriculture: enhanced farmers’ income, increased farm productivity and reduction of wastage,c)Education: improved access and quality of education,d)Smart Cities and Infrastructure: efficient and connectivity for the burgeoning urban population,and e)Smart Mobility and Transportation: smarter and safer modes of transportation and better traffic and congestion problems etc. 

The Requirement:  

Topic 3

Energy Tech: Sustainable and Affordable Energy for All, Energy Grid Security

Background: Specific focus on Solar energy. Please refer to National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenge on making solar energy economical Link . In addition to efficient production, storage and distribution, securing the grid is a key area of focus.

The Requirement: Propose novel techniques for any of the following areas. Proposed solution(s) should include prototype development and demonstration. Areas of focus:
(I) Improving state of the art in efficiency of converting sun light into electricity
(ii) Affordable, Distributed storage solutions
(iii) Energy grid security

Topic 4

Energy: Promoting productive use of energy for livelihoods in underserved areas through super-efficient appliances

Background: Lack of or limited access to energy services has been known to impair economic growth and development of individuals, communities as well as economies. Poor access to energy services creates a vicious cycle of poverty, which makes accessing energy services at their current costs even more difficult. This downward spiral not only creates inequities but also causes irreparable damages to communities and smaller local economies, severely impacting their resilience to even small stresses.

The Requirement: Super-efficient and innovative energy solutions catering to productive uses of energy for micro-enterprises that can break the vicious energy-poverty cycle and pull-back households as well as local village economies from the margins. These solutions need to be designed with a focus on demands and requirements from the rural entrepreneurs and need to be affordable and easily accessible. Some examples of these solutions include productive loads/mechanization of small shops (refrigeration, electrical appliances for printing, copying etc.), enterprises (such as flour mills, mill chillers, computer centres etc.) and workshops (such as flour mills, carpentry and blacksmith workshops etc.), home-based productive appliances (such as mechanization of tailoring, embroidery, handicraft making) etc.

Topic 5

Environment Tech: Industrial Waste Utilisation/Recycle Technologies

Background: Rapid industrialization has resulted in the generation of huge quantity of wastes, both solid and liquid, in industrial sectors. Toxic and hazardous industrial waste, if released untreated negatively affect open spaces and nearby water sources, contributing to environmental pollution and health hazard.

The Requirement: Propose novel techniques to treat/recycle hazardous industrial waste at source. Need to develop and demonstrate solutions that can be integrated into Small/Medium Industrial production line.

Topic 6

Environment-friendly Housing

Background: It is possible to reduce the carbon footprint of a home by reducing energy consumption, water conservation and water recycling. It is possible to design an environmentally sustainable building and operate it to minimize the environmental impacts.

The Requirement: Design, develop and demonstrate novel environmental friendly housing approach in the following areas:
(I) Green tech construction materials
(ii) Building construction practices
(iii) Energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, appliances, and electronics.

Topic 7

Healthcare: Rapid point-of-care (POC) solutions for mass screening and monitoring

Background: Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) representing health focus on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being at all ages. It includes ambitious goals to end preventable deaths of new-borns and children under 5 years of age, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, ensure universal access to reproductive health care services, and achieve universal health coverage and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable healthcare for all.

The Requirement: Self-administered/point-of-care solutions for rapid detection and diagnosis of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and infectious diseases with intelligent data capture and ease-of-use which can allow them to be deployed for massive screenings in low-resource settings. These solutions should be accurate, affordable and rapidly scalable.

Topic 8

Low-cost Unmanned Aerial/Underwater Vehicles

Background: Leverage advances in SWAP constrained COTS processing and Artificial Intelligence technologies to develop unmanned autonomous solutions. We encourage teams to leverage variety of sensors and image processing techniques to accomplish their missions.

The Requirement: Design, develop and demonstrate an affordable submersible UAV prototype that can be launched from an underwater platform and fly in air to perform certain mission before returning back to underwater platform. Must be able to withstand corrosive underwater environment.

Topic 9

Robust, high bandwidth data transmission to and from Internet of Things sensors/processors embedded in a rotating element

Background: Two key use cases have been identified for robust, high bandwidth data transmission:

  1. Helicopter rotor blades, wind turbine blades, maritime propellers, jet turbine components and many other rotating elements are critical to the operation of modern vehicles. Sensors mounted on these components generate valuable real-time data pertaining to safety and reliability. But transmission of this data in real time is currently bandwidth and reliability limited.
  2. High data rate, “underwater Wi-Fi” communication needs are developing in multiple areas. Current technologies either have limited data rates or short working distances. Methods to improve the ability to transfer data faster and farther while underwater are needed.

The Requirement: Design, develop and demonstrate key technologies/solutions that create and manage robust, reliable transmission of real-time data from either: a rotating element to a fixed frame or from one underwater point to another.

Topic 10

Space Debris Management

Background: Space debris is a big problem that will only get worse with time. Space junk is beginning to litter space and satellites can potentially fail from collision with debris.

The Requirement: Propose innovative solutions to capture space debris. Develop simulations/models to demonstrate effectively of proposed solution. Consider cubesat based prototypes that can demonstrate proof of concept operations.

Topic 11

Transparent or On-Glass Visualization Technology

Background: Multiple sources of data are now available to support:

  1. Pilots who need to maintain visual awareness while obtaining new information or;
  2. Passengers that want information overlaid on the scenery outside Robust, reliable systems to deliver that data are needed.

The Requirement: Design, develop and demonstrate hardware and/or software solutions that can transform any hard, transparent surface into an on-demand, interactive center with sunlight readable quality. Solution would enable the overlay of multi-media data, including augmented reality applications, on the real time visual environment.

Topic 12

Virtual / Augmented Reality

Background: Please refer to National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenge on engineering advances required to simulate reality effectively Link.

The Requirement: Design, develop and demonstrate novel applications of Virtual Reality in the following areas:
(I) Improving human cognition
(ii) Improving human-machine (robot) interface
(iii) Improving human endurance in tactical applications and/or productivity in manufacturing applications.

Topic 13

Waste Management: Adoption of municipal solid waste (MSW) segregation at source

Background: India generates more than 1 lakh tonnes of waste per day. A large part of this is un-segregated and gets dumped into landfills. Municipal solid waste (MSW) is typically more than 50% composed of food waste which in turn has high moisture content in India. The lack of segregation and moisture content of the mixed waste are often cited as one of the bigger bottlenecks to successful waste management and processing in the Indian context.

The Requirement:

  1. Compact, user-friendly and affordable solution for MSW segregation at source.
  2. Next-gen technology for the scientific and efficient processing of low-calorific value Indian mixed waste to energy.

Topic 14

Water: A membrane-less, maintenance-free filter for potable water

Background: All the methods of treatment of water have one or more of these problems: the necessity for periodic replacement of membranes, unclear disposal of leftover sludge, inability to filter for bacteria (if designed for inorganic solvents and vice versa), all of which make them ineffective to an extent.

The Requirement: An inexpensive, scalable filter where periodic maintenance is either not needed or is very simple to implement. Disposal of collected sludge has to be considered. Focus is on the ease of distribution of the technology.

The University Challenge caters to the ideation and incubation of concepts (both industrial and social) sourced from universities across India. Out of the applications received, up to 30 top teams are down-selected as Phase A finalists (15 – Social, 15 – Industrial) through a highly competitive evaluation process.

Phase A: Ideation

Up to 30 top teams are mentored by IIT Bombay; on presenting their ideas to a panel at an Innovators Down-select Event with each team getting an opportunity to pitch to a jury panel. Upto 10 selected teams receive research grants up to INR 10 Lacs each for developing a concept/prototype, opportunities to participate in a Design Thinking Workshop, mentorship and periodic feedback through monthly/quarterly reviews.

At the end of the year, these teams are expected to be on par with the start-ups applying for IIGP 2.0 Phase B through the Open Innovation Challenge.

Phase B: Innovation

Up to 10 University Challenge teams get an opportunity to participate at a bootcamp at IIM Ahmedabad and receive further mentorship by IIGP 2.0 partners. Of the 10 teams, up to 4 teams compete with Top 50 OIC teams of the following year to possibly win seed grants of up to INR 25 Lacs each and enable advancement to the next stage.

Timeline: 2019

*Timeline is subject to change.

Registrations Closed