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Bengaluru, NFAPost: 3M India, today revealed the winners of the seventh edition of the prestigious 3M-CII Young Innovators Challenge Awards at the 16th CII Innovation Summit 2020, in Bengaluru. The impressive theme for this year’s challenge read: “Resilience and Resurgence: Innovating for Society 5.0”.

The judges accepted a variety of entries that included tech solutions for the elderly, people with disabilities, healthcare, and agriculture. The competition focused on the issues of three main aspects: Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Sustainable Living, and looked for young innovators who brought forward ideas that can revolutionize the status quo for the betterment of society as a whole. The response to the competition was overwhelming, with more than 2500 entries being received from across the country.

3M is a brand defined by its innovative culture.  To encourage and spread the culture of innovation,  3M India collaborated with Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in 2014, to create an inclusive platform for innovators from across the country

The Challenge encourages the submission of ideas and projects, in the areas of health, education, livelihood, environment, governance, and/or inclusive development. A glowing testimony to this success is the fact that the competition has seen continued steady growth in the number of applications during its lifetime, with a massive increase from 800+ entries in 2019 to 2500+ entries in 2020. Even more encouragingly, the ‘Rural Innovations’ category has been gaining momentum and in its third year, it consisted of a significant portion of the entries. 

The selection and engagement processes were developed upon from last year, with 3M leaving no stone unturned to conduct a great competition. The evaluation process too was modified from previous years, with a team of external evaluators and assessors being introduced to coach the applicants during preliminary stages. Meanwhile, the finals saw an expansion of the Judging panel, from a 3-4-member jury for the whole event, to an exclusive 4-member panel for each category. These panels included experts, from the social sector, corporates as well as international experts. The entire challenge was conducted virtually with Ask Me Q&A sessions organized to increase engagement.

This year saw six winners, with two winners each for the categories of Service Innovation, Product Innovation, and Rural & Inclusive Innovation. Each category has two prizes – the ‘Idea Prize’ for strong proof of concept prototyped with concrete execution plans, and the ‘Impact Prize’ to acknowledge innovations at work, either institutionalized or underway, with the ability to create a positive and socially responsible impact. Also, this year the judges unanimously decided to provide a special mention to a team whose idea deserved a special mention. The winners get a total prize purse of Rs.3,00,000 and the special mention will receive Rs.1,50,000.

Congratulating the winners, Mr. Ramesh Ramadurai, Managing Director, 3M India stressed about the increased importance of innovation in the current day ecosystem, said, “In 3M, it is our understanding that innovation, must never come at the expense of inclusiveness, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability. To that end, we believe that among the best ways to create an environment to foster talent is to creatively promote STEM education and to make it more accessible. This award that we have instituted in collaboration with CII is aimed at this, – to recognize and motivate young innovators across India.”    


WINNING PROJECTS

Category: RURAL & INCLUSIVE INNOVATION

IMPACT PRIZE

Project Title: Bastar Se Bazaar Tak

Participant: Sandip Sahu

Idea Summary: This organization is working to reduce post-harvest losses, build the natural forest products, and create flexible & supportive local employment through collective action in North Bastar, Chhattisgarh.

IDEA PRIZE

Project Title: Sabjikothi/Preservator

Participant: Nikky Kumar Jha

Idea Summary: A unique preservator, this innovation is a wheel mountable storage for the transportation of fresh fruits and vegetables. It is a cost-effective, IOT Enabled, microclimate based, portable storage that extends the shelf-life and preserves the freshness of fruits and vegetables anywhere between 5 to 30 days.

Category: PRODUCT INNOVATION

IMPACT PRIZE

Project Title: nLite 360

Participant: Akitha Kolloju

Idea Summary: This is an intelligent phototherapy device for neonatal jaundice conditions that is AI-powered and can detect the condition of the baby on its own. The device provides the right amount of treatment to all the jaundice neonate under any conditions.

IDEA PRIZE

Project Title: Ankle Rehabilitation

Participant(s): Karthik M, Dhamo Tharan K, Aravind R M

Idea Summary: This device is used to address the problem faced by the people who are suffering from foot drop, which is caused due to stroke.

Category: SERVICE INNOVATION

IMPACT PRIZE

Project Title: Samatva

Participant: Nihal Umesh Konan

Idea Summary: This is a unique innovation for the Differently Abled people that enables smart, feasible, and easy diversity recruitment processes for multinational companies.

IDEA PRIZE

Project Title: eSaathi – An Assistive UI Platform

Participant: Kshitiz Khandelwal, Mann Goel

Idea Summary: A B2B SaaS SDK innovation that provides assistive handholding of using apps like Paytm or Uber through an interactive user interface and audio-visual assistance in multiple local languages.

SPECIAL RECOGNITION- IMPACT

Project Title: Tod Phod Aur Jod

Participant(s): Vaishali Sharma; Anil Pradhan

Idea Summary: – This initiative is working on improving the learning experience for rural students by implementing the experimental approach. In order to empower the rural youth, their education should be leveraged. They aim to encourage rural entrepreneurs who will take on grassroots problems

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