Qualcomm just gave out Rs 1 Cr to students for ‘innovative’ ideas

The Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship (QIF) programme, which is in its fourth year in India, invests in University PhD students and their innovative ideas.

11th Jul 2019
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Last week, Qualcomm India gave out Rs 10 lakh each to the 11 student-teams that won the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship (QIF) programme 2019, including one from the winners of QIF 2018 that saw its funding renewed for another year. The winners were felicitated by the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India, Prof. K VijayRaghavan at New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan.


The students shared their winning ideas with Prof. VijayRaghavan, who encouraged their efforts and gave his valuable inputs during a freewheeling interaction.


The winners for the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship programme 2019 share their ideas with the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India, Prof. K VijayRaghavan

The winners for the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship programme 2019 share their ideas with the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India, Prof. K VijayRaghavan



QIF is a global programme that was started by the company in 2009 for recognising, rewarding, and mentoring graduate students with innovative ideas across a broad range of technical research areas. In India, the programme started in 2016. Now in its fourth year, it has already expanded to the country’s 11 premier institutes such as the IITs, IIIT, and IISc. The programme invests in students from India’s premier engineering institutes and their innovative ideas. 


“Invention has always been a top priority at Qualcomm. Students from the invited institutes can submit a proposal on any innovative idea within the scope of the predefined areas,” said Dr. Dhananjay Gore, Vice President and Head of R&D, Qualcomm India.


The programme received 136 proposals this year, from teams comprised of up to two students along with one or two faculty members. Of these, 28 were shortlisted and invited to present their ideas at a two-day event held in Qualcomm’s Bengaluru campus from where the 10 winners were selected. The ideas presented were across several subjects such as wireless communications, security, Machine Learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI), semiconductor technology, Computer Vision (CV) and multimedia.


After a year, the 10 winners will be invited back to the Qualcomm campus to share how their ideas have progressed and shaped up, and to compete for possible selection as a ‘super winner’ and the opportunity to receive an additional funding amount of Rs 10 lakh for a year.


Winners for the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship programme 2019

Winners for the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship programme 2019


The funding goes to the institute and its use is left to the recommending faculty’s discretion.


“We also assign mentors from our research and development (R&D) team to all winning teams, who will keep in touch for the entire year and help as needed,” Dhananjay added.


The 10 winners of QIF 2019 and 1 super winner from QIF 2018 (along with their recommeding faculty) are as follows:


  1. Sathya Veera Reddy Dendi, Parimala Kancharla and Dr. Sumohana Channappayya - IIT Hyderabad
  2. Divija Swetha Gadiraju and Dr. Lalitha Vadlamani - IIIT Hyderabad
  3. Helen Thomas, Rito Brata Nath and Dr. Tarun Rambha - IISc Bangalore
  4. Siddarth Asokan and Dr. Chandra Sekhar Seelamantula - IISc Bangalore
  5. Ashish Verma, Debanjan Sengupta and Dr Debashis Sen - IIT Kharagpur
  6. Rishabh Dabral, Dr. Arjun Jain and Dr. Ganesh Ramakrishnan - IIT Bombay
  7. Romil Sonigram, Shishir G. Dr. David Koilpillai and Dr. Nambi Seshadri - IIT Madras
  8. Arijit Bhattacharjee, Dr. Sanjay Kumar Bose and Dr. Ratnajit Bhattacharjee - IIT Guwahati
  9. Chirag Ramesh and Dr. Chandra R. Murthy - IISc Bangalore
  10. Myna Vajha, Nikhil Krishnan Muralee Krishnan and Dr. P Vijay Kumar - IISc Bangalore


Aadirupa Saha and Dr. Aditya Gopalan – IISc Bangalore (Superwinner 2018)

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