Intel champions innovation through its challenge, encourages ‘Make in India’ initiatives

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This article is sponsored by Innovate for Digital India Challenge

Innovation is not easy, especially consistent breakthrough innovation. According to research by Boston Consulting group, companies in fast growing economies, like the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) nations, generate more than 20% of their sales from new products and services created in the past three years.

Companies that are strong innovators make sure to incorporate innovation as an integral part of corporate culture. There are parameters in place to identify and reward innovation. These companies also consciously avoid bottlenecks in their processes that can bury the new product or idea before it is given a chance.

Intel has been fostering innovation since its inception. Driven by Moore’s Law, it has been initiating various programs that create economic value resulting in social advancement for over two decades in India. Innovation has to be an ongoing process for companies to survive and perform well in rapidly changing markets. It is no wonder that Intel is a world leader in the microprocessor and semi-conductor chip manufacturing industry, while consistently featuring in top 50 Innovative Companies lists. The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), for example, is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. It provides an annual forum for more than seven million high school students from about 70 countries to showcase their independent research as they compete for prizes worth $5 million annually.

As participants in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2014, Daksh Dua and Abhishek Verma, two young science enthusiasts from Delhi, found a new, effective solution for giardiasis, an acute form of diarrhoea. The chemical drug used to treat the same has severe side effects, such as nausea and headaches. But doctors continue to prescribe the same drugs as there is no better option. The plant-based solution with no side-effects, won them the Best of Category Award, and a chance to participate in an Intel International Science Fair in China.

Another initiative taken up by Intel recently is contributing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India campaign. In 2014, the Government of India unveiled a visionary blueprint of a Digital India, which aims to provide Digital Infrastructure as a utility to every citizen. This could see governance and services on demand in the near future. India faces tremendous challenges that stem from, among other things, a lack of pervasiveness of knowledge and technology across the geographical expanse of the country.

Intel, in association with the Department of Science & Technology (DST), wants India to innovate more in order to make the dreams of a Digital India a reality through the Innovate for Digital India Challenge.

Challenge themes

The challenge aims to encourage the creation of intuitive, easy to use products and solutions.

  •  Innovation to create citizen’s device platform with features that are relevant and drive mass adoption of technology such as biometric sensing capabilities, peripherals using other sensors, intuitive user interface, gesture recognition, and multi-lingual and voice support.
  •  Innovation to create apps that accelerate delivery of e-governance services through eKranti/MyGov apps on mobile platform.

Phases

Participants have to go through multiple phases to bring their ideas to life and make them commercially viable.

  • Application Submission – The entry submission phase ends on 22nd June, 2015, on or before 6pm IST.
  • Accelerator Program (July to September 2015) – 20 shortlisted teams will be mentored in Bengaluru and Pune for a period of up to 12 weeks.
  • Go to market Preparation and Prototype Day (September to November 2015) – 10 chosen teams will have access to development grant of up to INR 5,00,00 per team.
  • Early adopter interaction & Pilot Phase (November 2015 to January 2016) – Participating teams will receive additional mentoring and top three teams will be identified.
  • Demo Day & Showcase (January 2016) – Top 10 teams will showcase their products to key market players via demo day.

More about the accelerator program

Each of the 20 identified teams will have access to grants of INR 500,000 per team to be used towards further development of the product. The remaining teams will be given the opportunity to continue in the program.

Participants will receive:

  • Six-month incubation that includes a three-month accelerator program in Bengaluru and Pune
  • Go to market preparation through participation in the Prototype Day to showcase functional prototypes to experts from varied backgrounds
  • Technical mentorship by Intel and mentoring by industry experts and advisors
  • Support towards industry linkages for field immersion and pilot testing
  • Access to grants / seed fund / equity investments of a total amount of up to INR 1.5 crores
  •  Introduction to key market players for potential commercialization through Demo Day participation
  • Opportunity to showcase products at a large scale event at the end of the program

Eligibility

This challenge is open to innovators, aspiring entrepreneurs, product designers, students and startups alike.

Prizes

  • 20 prototyping grants of up to INR 2 lakh each
  • 10 product development grants of up to INR 5 lakhs each
  •  Three seed funding/ equity investment of up to INR 20 lakh each

To participate, candidates must log on to http://www.innovatefordigitalindia.intel.in and register their projects at the earliest. There is less than three days left as registration closes on June 22nd, 2015.

Send in your entries for the ‘Innovate for Digital India' challenge. Apply today!

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