NecessityMeets Creativity Award Finalists Include Some WhoMade Old Things New Again
FORGET, FOR A moment, the idea that an innovation has to be something new, either in terms of the problem it solves or when it was invented. Just ask Mohammad Saidullah, an Indian honey seller in his 60s, who has been peddling his amphibious bicycle around the flood-prone plains of Biharâ€” and once or twice across the Gangesâ€”for the past 30 years. Itâ€™s not much to look atâ€”a sky-blue tangle of spokes, paddles and wooden floatsâ€”but it has finally gotten some recognition. Discovered by an Indian organization called the Honey Bee network, which collects data on such initiatives via a web of students, nongovernment groups and volunteers, his contraption earned Mr. Saidullah a life-time achievement award in January from Indiaâ€™s National Innovation Foundation. And now heâ€™s one of 12 finalists for this yearâ€™s Asian Innovation Awards, presented by The Asian Wall Street Journal in association with Global Entrepolis@Singapore.
A unique academic network nurtures innovation among India's poor
Mansukhbhai Patel, a hard-working farmer with a 10th-grade education, has revolutionized the cotton industry here in the western Indian state of Gujarat. Had it not been for a chance meeting with a college student, the cotton-stripping machine Mr. Patel invented might never have been a success.
Knowledge can be produced by individuals or groups and can be governed by private (proprietary), community and public domain. Likewise, the resources around which knowledge is developed can also be governed by private, community or public property rights.
Intellectual property rights provide only one set of incentives, among many, that are possible and necessary for encouraging creativity and innovation at grassroots, besides conservation of biodiversity. Material and non-material incentives for individuals and groups have to be combined in a proper portfolio, matching the specific knowledge and resource context. The incentives for individual experts cannot be at par with that of the communities. However, if communities donâ€™t conserve the resources, individuals will not be able to access, experiment, innovate, develop solutions and specialise. Therefore, there has to be a proper recognition of the rights of communities as well as individuals.
No degrees please, theyâ€™re Indians. In the heartland, they write new chapters in R&D simply by thinking out of the box. Sonu Jain plays guide on a rural innovation roadtrip
Professor Anil Gupta is taking a break from classes at IIM Ahmedabad. For the last 10 days, he has been scouring villages in Himachal with a bunch of students, teachers and scientists. He calls it shodhyatra, journey of exploration.
Twice a year, in winter and summer, the team he leads covers nearly 200 km on foot. The aim is two-fold: Sharing their scientific knowledge with villagers and sniffing out that hidden innovation in a place that may not have a road, electricity or school, but has a thinking mind. A grassroots innovator, a person who overcomes a technical challenge on his own, without any assistance from the formal scientific system in the country.
Wednesday, 31 August 2005
Small innovations are as important as big ones, and Indiaâ€™s National Innovation Foundation (NIF) is pioneering an effort to bring these innovations to market.
Indrasan Singh had developed a variety of paddy whose yield was nearly 50 per cent more than the one used 30 years ago.
A Collective walk through the rainforests to learn from the creative communities and individuals. Read More...
This 14th Shodh Yatra was earlier planned to be organized in Kerala. Meanwhile Tsunami hit the costal area of Tamil Nadu state and we decided to attend the relief work by postponing our planned shodhyatra in Kerala. Therefore we could devote our energy for the rehabilitation of Tsunami calamity affected people. We are proposing to work for the affected people during January 2005. We are also collecting local donations for the relief work. SEVA local honeybee network member will coordinate this relief work. Read More...
Third International Competition for Scouting Grassroots Technological and Community level Institutional Innovations and Traditional Knowledge for Sustainable Development. Read More...
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