In an attempt to boost domestic technology product creation, Intel and Department of Science and Technology has announced ‘Innovate for Digital India’ challenge. “With the challenge of transforming India into a knowledge economy, we expect to see breakthrough ideas and ingenious innovations that will solve some of India’s key challenges,” said Ram Sewak Sharma, Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India.
The initiative is supported by DeitY and MyGov.in and will be anchored by IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship. “A partnership with corporate is always desirable for promoting entrepreneurship. We basically deal with academic institutions. Most of our incubators are institution based. The academicians don’t know how to do business. Government also cannot help much and yet we are trying to promote entrepreneurship. So, a partner like Intel will help in providing necessary guidance,” said H K Mittal, Member Secretary, National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB).
“India has dropped 10 points from last year in Global Innovation Index and is now ranked at 76. To increase technology adoption in the country, it is important to focus on creation of products and boost entrepreneurship,” said Debjani Ghosh, vice president, Sales and Marketing Group and managing director, Intel South Asia.
The contest will be running from April 2015 to January 2016 and is open to academia, aspiring entrepreneurs and startups. The initiative will offer total grants worth Rs 1.5 crores which includes 20 prototyping grants of up to Rs 2 lakh each, a maximum of 10 product development grants of up to Rs 5 lakh each and three seed funding or equity investment of up to Rs 20 lakh each.
“Over the past nine months, more than 9 lakh citizens have participated on development discussions on MyGov.in. The problem areas discussed on the citizen platform now has 33 categories like health, education, NRI and tribal issues. While innovative ideas are plenty, we now need local technological solutions,” said Gaurav Dwivedi, CEO, MyGov.in.
The challenge aims to encourage the creation of intuitive, easy to use products catering to financial services, healthcare, education, and e-governance. More details can be found at http://www.innovatefordigitalindia.intel.in.