India Innovation Growth Programme 2.0

University Challenge

Focus Areas

Industrial Sector

Topic 1

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: A solution that creates and manages robust, reliable transmission of real-time data from either: a rotating element to a fixed frame or from one underwater point to another.

Topic 2

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: 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 3

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 4

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: Develop an affordable submersible UAV 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 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 solutions that can be integrated into Small/Medium Industrial production line.

Topic 6

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

Social Sector

Topic 1

Access to safe and affordable drinking water for rural households

Background: It is estimated that around 37.7 million Indians are affected by waterborne diseases annually, 1.5 million children are estimated to die of diarrhea alone and 73 million working days are lost due to waterborne disease each year. While various technologies have been experimented, access to clean drinking water for the rural areas is still a much-desired dream.

The Requirement: Solutions for providing access to safe drinking water as per the standards laid down by World Health Organization (WHO).

Target market: Rural India

Innovation Thrust Areas:

  1. Environment sustainability
  2. Cost of purification, storage, distribution and maintenance.

Topic 2

Low cost, point of use and accurate diagnostic kits for early diagnosis of infectious diseases and early screening of NCDs (Non-communicable Diseases)

Background: India loses millions of lives each year, especially infants, due to improper, inaccurate and late diagnosis of fatal diseases such as malaria, sickle cell disease etc. as well as adults due to late identification of ailments like breast cancer and cervical cancer. This can be easily avoided if early diagnosis followed by medication is provided. However, detection and screening tests currently only happen in laboratories or hospitals and hence not easily accessible and affordable for the underserved segment.

The Requirement: Point of use, non-invasive diagnostic kits/devices that can provide early detection/indication of diseases.

Target User: Primary Health Worker.

Innovation Thrust Areas:

  1. Detection accuracy
  2. Usability/User Experience

Topic 3

New methods to produce fertilizers to replace current processes, which are extremely capital intensive and have significant environmental footprints

Background: Production of synthetic fertilizers—a mainstay of agricultural yields for many decades—depends on capital-intensive processes (manufacturing plants and mines costing hundreds of millions to billions of dollars), and in the case of nitrogen, extremely dependent on natural gas (nitrogen fixation factories must be located close to natural gas sources).

The Requirement: An affordable organic/synthetic fertilizer production with better nutritional composition for areas with arid land and low irrigation facilities.

Target User: Indian/Sub-Saharan small and marginal farmer

Innovation Thrust Areas:

  1. Nutritional quality
  2. Low capex
  3. Low ecological footprint

Topic 4

A robust, affordable and durable prosthetic device with decentralized customer engagement

Background: Approximately 6 million people in India suffer from some form of movement-related disability and it tends to affect the BoP significantly more than other parts of income strata. The existing models are either extremely high-cost and tailor-made for developed countries or ultra-cheap but low quality prosthetic solutions.

The Requirement: A high-quality, affordable and durable prosthetic device with decentralized customer engagement

Target User: Locomotor Disabled

Innovation Thrust Areas:

  1. Robust and high-quality
  2. Affordability

The University Challenge will cater to ideation and incubation of concepts (both industrial and social) sourced from universities across India. Out of 250 expected submissions, 30 will be down-selected as Phase-A finalists (15-Social and 15-Industrial).

Phase A: Ideation

Through a highly competitive process, 30 university teams will be shortlisted from the total number of applications received. These 30 university teams will be mentored by IIT Bombay on presenting their ideas to a panel at a IIGP Innovators Tank event with each team getting 30 minutes to pitch their ideas. As a result 10 teams will be selected to go further in the Programme. These 10 teams will then be provided research grants of INR 10 Lacs each for developing a concept/prototype and opportunities to participate in a Design Thinking workshop, mentoring and periodic feedback through monthly/quarterly reviews.

At the end of the year, these 10 teams are expected to be on par with start-ups applying for IIGP 2.0 Phase B through the Open Innovation Challenge.

Phase B: Innovation

The top 10 teams undergo IIM-A boot camp and receive further mentoring by IIGP 2.0 partners. Finally, four university teams will be down selected from Phase B winners and each will be awarded research grant of INR 25 Lacs enabling them to advance to Phase C, where they will work in parallel with the teams in the Open Innovation Challenge.


*Timeline is subject to change.


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