The National Innovation Foundation (NIF), which spearheaded innovations at grassroots level across various sectors, is now getting sound support from India Inc. Companies are now approaching NIF for commercial and social tie-ups.
While the likes of Future Group and Britannia intend to brand and market grassroots innovations in NIF's food products, power equipment company Alstom is joining hands with NIF for pilot projects in low-cost windmills.
Retail giant Future Group recently unveiled Nutraceutical Cookies, developed by three tribal women innovators from Panchmahal in Gujarat. The products have been unveiled by the Future Group and NIF under the aegis of their ‘Khoj lab-India ka Idea’ initiative. With a memorandum of understanding signed between them in December 2010, the tie-up would result in more such launches in the coming months, said Future Group.
About 25 years ago, I was attending a workshop with carpenters and blacksmiths in rural Karnataka, south India to discuss ways in which local innovators could solve their problems.
The wood used in the plough shear has to be very strong, dense and durable because of the obvious friction it has to bear while ploughing the land. Traditionally, farmers had used slow growing species like acacia sps, which had dense wood for the purpose. Over a period of time, the front edge of the shear got blunted.
Farmers never throw away the rest of the shear. And, thus began the material science research. The farmer went to the junkyard and started looking for different kinds of scrap of which he could make a shoe to be fitted on the shear. The metallic shoe will increase the life of the plough manifold. The rear portion of the shear has many years left. Finally, the metal used for suspension in the automobile was found to have the right combination of strength, weight, torque and durability. The point is that intuitively the local artisans and farmers have been doing some kind of material science research but, their choices are limited, their repertoire restricted and therefore the outcomes may be sub-optimal.
New Delhi: The President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil inaugurated the Exhibition of Innovations at the ongoing Udyanotsav at Rashtrapati Bhavan today. Visitors coming for a tour of the Mughal Gardens during the Udyanotsav can also visit the exhibition on March 15th and 16th, the last two days of the public viewing of the gardens.
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India's rural innovators have proved that ordinary people are indeed capable of extraordinary inventions. Despite many constraints -- lack of education and severe cash crunch -- most of them have succeeded in using technology cost-effectively to build ingenious products.
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Publish in Financial Times, DEUTSCHLAND on 14 March, 2011
FTD Herr Gupta, auf welche bahnbrechende Erfindung aus einem abgelegenen indischen Dorf hat die Welt bislang nur gewartet?
Anil Gupta Wenn Sie mich fragen, auf eine ganze Menge. Ein indisches MÃ¤dchen hat ein StoÃŸdÃ¤mpfersystem fÃ¼r KrÃ¼cken erfunden, das beim Laufen die Gelenke schont. Eine Frau hat aus einem Tondeckel und einem Gummiring ein System entwickelt, mit dem man fast jedes BehÃ¤ltnis zu einem Schnellkochtopf umfunktionieren kann. Ein Mann hat aus einem leeren Fass, einer Kette und dem Antrieb seines Mofas eine Waschmaschine konzipiert.
Mansukhbhai Prajapati, a potter living in rural Gujarat, is completely untaught in English. But the lack of formal education has not hindered this grassroots entrepreneur from building a thriving business using just clay.
Prajapati, who belongs to Nichimandal, a village in Rajkot, Gujarat, is the founder of Mitticool Clay Creation, a company that makes refrigerators, water filters, cookers, hot plates and other such items of daily use from clay.
It all began when Prajapati first built a clay refrigerator that naturally cools the food inside, and does not depend on conventional sources of energy. This cooling process can keep water, fruits and vegetables fresh for a week, while milk can be preserved for three days. The product now is priced at just `2,000 — almost one-tenth of the basic refrigerator models from LG, or Whirlpool.
Publish in Ahmedabad Mirror on 14 Jan, 2011
In search for creativity and innovation, NGO Sristi (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies Institutions) organised a trek through the hilly state of Meghalaya.
Held from January 3 to 9, the 26th Shodh Yatra saw IIMA professor Anil Gupta along with 125 participants from India, Germany, US and UK explored 145 kms of thick forests, hilly terrains in the chilly temperature of Meghalaya.
The yatra organised in association with Hoeny Bee Network, National Innovation Foundation and GIAN included 60 participants from Gujarat.
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Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, Republic of (Free-Press-Release.com) January 12, 2011.
Sristi, Ahmedabad is delighted to announce the launch of its website http://www.sristiinnovation.com/ that will be of tremendous value to our customers. The company, is one of the most reputed manufacturers and suppliers of Herbal Products, has stepped forward to unveil its ultimate goal to make business as simple as a click through its comprehensive website. The new site offers detail product information, contact information, user-friendly product navigation with comprehensive information regarding the company's profile.
For the last seventeen years the Honeybee Network and Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI) have been scouting innovations by farmers, artisans, women, etc. at the grassroots level.Gujarat Grassroots Innovations Augmentation Network (GIAN) scales up innovations, from the Honey Bee database of innovations, through value additions in innovations to sustain creativity and ethics of experimentation. GIAN was conceived at the International Conference on Creativity and Innovation at Grassroots (ICCIG), jointly organized by IIM Ahmedabad and SRISTI.
When it comes to developing the technical infrastructure of the 21st century, economists tend to look to upscale R&D labs, high-tech universities, and big-buck venture capitalists. Business professor Anil Gupta has a radically different vision, one he calls G2G, or “grassroots to global.”
When it comes to developing the technical infrastructure of the 21st century, economists tend to look to upscale R&D labs, high-tech universities, and big-buck venture capitalists.
Business professor Anil Gupta has a radically different vision, one he calls G2G, or “grassroots to global.” Its central premise, as he put it at a TED talk in November 2009, is that “people may be economically poor, but they’re not poor in the mind.” If necessity is the mother of invention, Gupta believes the world’s poorest workers ought to be premier innovators. Turns out, that’s the case.
Gupta founded the Honey Bee Network two decades ago to facilitate the spread of groundbreaking practices and technologies among the world’s poorest people. Gupta and his field workers travel the villages and countryside of his native India and other nations gathering ideas that are openly shared on a central database.
The organization has gathered tens of thousands of brainstorms, including wind-powered irrigation systems, a pedal-powered washing machine, an amphibious bicycle, and attachments to turn a motorbike into a grain grinder, washing machine, or plow. Anyone is free to build a personal version; commercial producers must credit and compensate the inventor.
This open-source structure mimics the behavior of the honey bee that gives the organization its name, offering cross-pollination that benefits all parties in the pact. More than 75 countries are now involved in the project, and several organizations have joined in support of the mission, all proving that when globalization is harnessed in service of the people, it can be a tool for the good.
Visit the Honey Bee Network website to see a full list of the projects in its database, including shared ideas on crop management and herbal pesticides, and read a profile of Gupta at Worldwatch Institute.