Today at the International Centre for Technological Innovations we are excited to release the winners of the Indovation Award 2016. The award recognises young innovators working on projects to solve India’s sustainable development challenges. “The Indovator Awards is a unique people’s choice awards program launched by the International Centre for Technological Innovations” says Rishikesh S Hari, Research Scholar at ICTI. “Indovator is a first-of-its-kind online initiative where people support innovators with crowdfunding. It empowers people to donate for innovations that can create impact in their lives, and to review innovators solving India’s challenges for sustainable development.”

Arundhati Bhide of Cummins College of Engineering for Women, Pune received the Indovator Award for nurturing her project – Handheld Incision Tool. The Incision Tool is a handheld surgical instrument that allows a surgeon to manually control the depth and length of an incision. “This tool is ideal for application as a training tool for medical students and doctors in rural areas. The tool can be used in laparoscopy, to remove tumours in the vocal chords, reversal of vasectomy and tubectomy, and eye surgery, to name a few”, says Arundhati.

Arjun Sethunath, Bharath Prasad, Ben Emmanuel, Akhil Saju and Joyal Kurisinkal of Rajagiri School of Engineering & Technology, Ernakulam won the Indovator Award for their project – M.A.H.E.S.H: A Multi Functionality Helmet. MAHESH is the acronym for Multi Assistance Helmet Ensuring Safety for the Head. The team leader Arjun says, “Safety of our loved ones is what needs to be given top priority. If MAHESH goes into production, we believe that one will never read accident reports saying victim would have survived if he had a helmet on”.

Another team from the Rajagiri School of Engineering & Technology, Ernakulam received Indovator Award for the project – Low Cost Automatic Irrigation System using Raspberry Pi. The team includes Siddharth Mahesh, Jairam Sankar, Amogh Jayaraj, Aljin John and Ashok R Mohan. The project can help farmers implement low cost irrigation technique and improve plant health monitoring, and “thereby can improve agricultural productivity and income of farmers” says the team leader Siddharth Mahesh.

A total grant assistance of over Rs 100,000 has been sanctioned by ICTI for the three projects. The awardees would be utilising the money and contributions for scaling-up and commercialising their innovation. ICTI will be nurturing the teams by handholding them in raising further funding from government agencies and companies for research, new product development and technology commercialisation.

“Our founders at ICTI, believe that technological innovations are very important for addressing challenges in India’s sustainable development.” Says Aaron Joseph George, Director – ICTI. “There are a large number of innovations created in Indian universities particularly by youth. Indovator aims to provide them a platform to test public acceptability of their innovation.” Most funding agencies support only commercially viable innovations that has been tested and proven. Getting funding for basic research in early stages in very difficult, especially for young researchers who lack knowledge and experience in preparing strong research proposals that may be funded by government agencies. Such early stage research projects can be funded through philanthropic donations. Indovator offers innovators a crowdfunding platform to raise funds through generous donations from family, relatives, friends, colleagues, general public and organisations. Indovator motivates donors to support projects by offering tax deductions for donation u/s 80G, and doubles the impact of their donations by awarding additional matching funds through our sponsors.