nicku-1ICTI Research Scholar, Nicku Abraham Mathew, has been awarded the Commonwealth Scholarship, considered among the most prestigious awards in the world for international study and professional development. He is amoung the only four awardees from across the globe who received the Commonwealth Queen’s Scholarship 2016-17. He will be studying MSc Leadership for Sustainable Rural Development at the Queen’s University Belfast in the United Kingdom

Nicku received the United Kingdom Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan Scholarship, which will cover all fees, to-and-fro travel, visa expenses and also provide monthly stipend, worth over Rs 3 million, during the 12 month Masters programme and research to be undertaken at Belfast from September 2016.

Nicku graduated with BTech in Mechanical Engineering in 2015. As a Research Scholar at International Centre for Technological Innovations he gained opportunity to coordinate the Centre’s joint project with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Agriculture to implement ‘Producer Organization Promoting Institution’ – a start-up incubator for farmer producer companies. He has been rewarded on the basis of his leadership skills while handling the project and commitment for rural development by promoting farmer producer companies. “Farmers lack knowledge and business techniques that would help them maximise their incomes. Hence, supporting smallholder farming through Producer Companies is an effective way of stimulating economic development and reducing poverty.” says Nicku. Collectivization of producers, especially small and marginal farmers, into producer companies has emerged as one of the most effective ways to address the many challenges of agriculture but most importantly, improved access to investments, technology, input supply services and markets. Nicku also coordinates ICTI’s Indovator initiative providing matching grants and awards to engineering students working on research projects for India’s sustainable development.

In fact Nicku was selected for the Commonwealth Scholarship by 6 Universities. Besides Queen’s he was also offered scholarship by Durham University, University of Sheffield, University of Kent, University of Chester and Swansea University. He however choose to join Masters Programme at the Queen’s University Belfast, as he believes it would help him make a real difference in the lives of rural communities and India’s sustinable development.

ICTI’s Research Scholars Programme is a post-bachelor programme designed to provide research training opportunities for highly talented candidates. The research experience increases their competitiveness and helps them gain admissions and scholarships for Masters and PhD programmes in world’s best universities. The programme is designed for candidates with background in engineering or science. This programme aims to develop the next generation of research leaders and innovators.

International Center for Technological Innovations (ICTI) is a not-for-profit Open Innovation Centre promoting consortium research, technology development and dissemination in emerging countries. ICTI works in partnership with stakeholders from the public, private and civil society sectors in the emerging economies to make technological innovations commercially successful for the benefit of nation building, through capacity enhancement, technology transfer initiatives, new product development and enterprise building to create opportunities for inclusive growth, generate jobs and poverty reduction.

The Commonwealth Scholarships in the United Kingdom program is funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, enabling students from Commonwealth countries to pursue advanced academic study in the UK.