From a mask-vending machine to a software that detects COVID-19, youngsters demonstrated an array of innovations on Saturday at an event to promote technological inventions vis–vis the pandemic. The ‘Innovations Unlocked Kerala Student Innovators Meet’ by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) proved the quality of talent in countering the pandemic since the start of the nation-wide lockdown four months ago. Also, the virtual event selected innovators to groom them as entrepreneurs.
More than 150 models were displayed at the interactive forum which featured 300 participants in the virtual expo held by KSUM in association with Wadhwani Foundation. The foundation creates jobs for new-age enterprisers and TCS DISQ, an initiative of Tata Consultancy Service Foundation, to groom change-makers, a press release from KSUM said.
Among others, the students displayed cutting-edge equipment for emergency medical care, crowd control, artificial intelligence-based devices that function by maintaining social distancing, technology to sanitise large spaces against the coronavirus, novel check-up methodology and improvised PPE kits, the release said. Of the 150-plus items demonstrated, 21 were selected by the KSUM following an appraisal.
They include products by student-groups of various engineering colleges in the state, besides by higher secondary schools in Madappally and Meenangadi of north Malabar.
The selected groups become eligible for a three-month pre-incubation programme with support from leading technological and industrial establishments, the release said.
Earlier, State Higher Education Principal Secretary Dr Usha Titus, in her inaugural address, highlighted the need for a revamp of technological education so as to notice up-and-coming talents and groom them.
New crises give rise to inventions, she said, adding that the government, with KSUMs cooperation, was ready to help civil engineering students planning to launch startups that are into landscaping. KSUM is the state governments nodal agency for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities.