i5 Talks is a quarterly technology talk show organized by Tech Mahindra and Mahindra Satyam that showcases innovative ideas which incite, ignite and inspire people to create a better society by using technology. The idea is to create something similar to TED, but specific to India and Technology. And this is not restricted just to Mahindra – the audience as well as the speakers are drawn from across the industry.
The next edition of i5 Talks is tomorrow (31 January, 2pm-5pm). The theme of this edition is social networking and collaboration. This event is free for anyone to attend. Please contact i5TalksHelpdesk@techmahindra.com to register. The event is at Tech Mahindra’s Hinjewadi corporate office: Plot no 1, Phase III, Hinjewadi.
Here is the description of the event from the website:
i5 Talks is a platform for the innovators and organizations dealing with technology to participate and share ideas. The Talks will draw in the best speakers and demonstrations from customers, partners, employees, scholars and other industry leaders. Theme will revolve around different topics each quarter and will be conducted at various centers of Mahindra Satyam and Tech Mahindra, across the country. Each talk, of around 15 minutes, will also be recorded and made available on the i5 Talks website.
We have 8 speakers from diverse backgrounds who shall each talk to us about their experiences in this area and of that one compelling idea or inspiration that motivated them in this field.
Update: The contest is over. Winners and Judges comments are:
Satish Tilokchandani: “Good News Reporter”. Comments: A simple idea that could really catch on if done well. And can spread beyond Pune too.
Hemanshu Narsana: “Transportation Options Calculator”. Comments: Would be really useful if it included estimated rickshaw fares, and 6-seater routes.
Dhanashree Srivastava: “RFID tags for kids”. Utility is limited to only certain contexts, but an interesting project for students/techies to work on.
On Saturday, 8th January, Pune will again play host to a number of innovative inventors from across the country, as part of Innovations 2011, an event organized by the IIT-Bombay Alumni Association, Pune Chapter. This event showcases the best science and technology innovations in India (whether they are from startups, large companies, or elsewhere) that have been implemented in practice. The innovations are from varied fields such as medicine, agriculture, mechanical/electronic/chemical technology, IT products, etc. Here are some example innovations from previous years:
a simple mechanical device that prevents toilets in Indian trains from discharging waste products at a station (i.e. when a train is stationary), but opens up when the train is moving over 40mph
a health alert emergency system for senior citizens, to be worn on the body, and which can automatically detect if they’ve fallen, and can alert emergence response systems
a solar powered pivot irrigation by a lone inventor
an integrated system for ethanol production from sorghum, by Pune’s Praj Industries,
wi-fi security by AirTight networks,
stem cell therapy for pre-eclampsia
This year, again the event promises to be great. The keynote address is being given by Chetan Maini, CTO of Reva Electric Vehicles (which is now a Mahindra & Mahindra company). For more details of the event schedule see here.
Register here if you wish to attend. There is an entry price – Rs. 750 (with dinner), or Rs. 500 (without dinner).
Every year, Innovations holds a contest where PuneTech readers have a chance to win free passes for Innovations.
The contest this year is this:
Briefly describe a product or service that the tech community can design, develop and deploy for the benefit of the citizens of Pune.
The basic idea is this: there are lots of enthusiastic techies in the tech community in Pune, and we could easily harness their energies to build some great products that can benefit Pune. It could be some simple Question and Answer website like ForPune.com, or something more complicated. It need not necessarily be a InfoTech idea; could be anything else.
The entries will be judged on the basis of these factors:
Usefulness: How much does it benefit the citizens of Pune? How much does it benefit society?
Ease of implementation: How much effort will it take to implement. The easier it is to implement, the more the chances of winning. For example, any idea that requires the “co-operation” of PMC, or some other government body, has a low chance of being implemented successful, and hence a low chance of winning. (On the other hand, an idea that requires the co-operation of Pune Traffic Police will get higher marks because PTP has been pretty fabulous last year at implementing innovative IT based ideas)
Uniqueness: The more “innovation” your idea has, the more different/unique it is from anything else we’ve seen before, the higher marks it gets.
Please describe your idea in brief in the comments section below. The last date for submitting ideas is Thursday, 6th January, 12 noon. Winners will be announced by Friday, 7th Jan. If you’ve already bought a ticket for Innovations, and you win the contest, your ticket price will be refunded. If you don’t actually want the ticket, or if you’re happy to pay the price (which is rather reasonable), you can still enter the contest – simply indicate at the end of your entry that you’re not interested in the ticket. Please ensure that you give correct email address with your comment – so we can contact you if you’ve won.
Last Saturday, Pune played host to a number of science and technology innovators from around the country, as a part of the Innovations 2010 conference.
Overall it was an interesting conference, a little hat ke. There was much less software/IT/web-2.0 kind of stuff, and much more basic science and technology. Also, it was not all targeted towards startups; which means that they also highligh individual innovators’ ideas that are not necessarily going to become a big business (for example, a method for cleanliness at a railway station), and also some interesting ideas from larger companies (e.g. the rapid DFM review and collaboration solution for injection molding from Geometric). Such innovations are not normally included in places like proto or headstart.
The event was kickstarted with a keynote by Sanjay Nayak, CEO of Tejas Networks, which is a Bangalore based optical networking startup. Tejas, which has been around for the last 5 years or so, is profitable and has revenues close to $150m. That is quite an impressive feat from an Indian high-tech startup, selling products from India worldwide. It is also a shining example to the naysayers who keep on saying that Indian product companies cannot sell products in the US. I hope that more people follow Tejasâ lead and venture into the space. Sanjay mentioned that India itself is a great market for petrochemical and telecom markets, and if you design products that satisfy the needs of these markets, you will have the advantage of selling close to home in the markets you know; something that your gadzillion dollar competitor does not. That said, it is imperative that the products you build are international class; in other words, you must implement internationally standard processes and techniques to make this happen. One thing that is lacking in India is government support â by making a policy that Indian Govt agencies/companies must buy from Indian product companies if the product quality is on par, the government will give a significant boost to innovation in the high-tech space. Instead of innovating for MNCs, people will start innovating for their own companies.
The Main Course – The Innovations
Here is a list of the innovations that were presented. These are mainly short, one or two line descriptions of the main innovation. You’ll notice that there are a bunch of Pune companies in this list.
Electronically driven supercharger
Rajeev Ranadive, Automotive Robotics, Pune Company
Customers like powerful dynamic cars, but don’t want to pay for it. More accurately, they want extra power during acceleration or climbing. Not really required all the time. And turbochargers run all the time, which is a waste. Instead, they have a electrically driven supercharger which provides the extra power only when needed, and at low engine speeds, it charges the battery. Hence it require lower electrical input, and higher mechanical output.
This company was also at proto.in Pune, but here they presented a different innovation. Which is pretty cool.
HyCator Cavitating Reactor Engine
Anjan Mukherjee, HyCa Technologies
HyCa was pretty much a repeat of their proto.in, Pune, presentation, so not repeating it here.
Generating electricity from ocean waves.
S.G. Kanitkar, Enviro Abrasion Resistent Engineers Pvt. Ltd., Pune Company
Their system is called ANEESH (Adaptive Near-shore Energy Extraction and Supply Hydrokinator. This mechanism has lower initial set-up expenses (“capital costs”) than solar or biomass energy, and cost and capacity utilization factor is comparable to other renewable energy sources. They have a prototype that is 1.5m x 4m x 6.5m which generates 2 kW of power. They need collaborators for electrical systems and electronic controls to complete the full system. In addition, they want people who can liaise with government bodies to ensure that they get past the appropriate regulatory hurdles.
Avoiding crap at the railway station.
Rajendra Ladkat, individual inventor, Pune inventor
The current method is just a hole in the train compartment and the crap ends up on the tracks everywhere and anywhere, including the railway stations. Ravindra has invented a simple mechanism which ensures that the waste matter is discharged only when the train is going at high speeds, which is a much better place to discharge it than when the train is stationary. It is a simple vertical HDPE pipe, with sloping sides and two flexible flaps. The flaps open when the train speed goes about 40kmph. Trial was conducted in Pragati express in Jan 2009, and the trial was found to be satisfactory by all stakeholders. Economics: 9000 passenger trains with 40000 comparments (which means 1,60,000 potential installations). This totally costs 48cr (contrast with Rs. 4000 cr. allocated by government for green toilets.) He is looking for business collaborators.
Design for Manufacturability tool for CAD/CAM software
Bhaskar Sinha, Geometric Software, Pune Company (mostly)
DFM = Design for Manufacturability. Designers can check for manufacturability in their CAD tool itself. When the designer is creating a design in CAD, the tool will check and validation the design from a manufacturability point of view. It points out problem areas and indicates what constraint was violated by the design. Contextual help at this point gives the user information about best practices (and this can include knowledge from the customer company itself.) (@aparanjape thinks that this kind of functionality should be there in major CAD/CAM products, so it’s not really clear what the innovation here is.)
Non-duplicatable material for security (ID cards, etc)
Raman Nanda, Bilcare, Pune Company
NonClonable security technology, from Bilcare. Consider ID cards, driving licenses, ration cards, health cards, NREGA cards. Any of them can be duplicated. Bilcare has used nanomaterials and micromaterials to develop a material that has a unique “material fingerprint”. This is invisible to the naked eye, but machine readable. And since it is at the micro/nano scale, it is not duplicatable. It cannot be reproduced, even by the original manufacturer (or Bilcare). This technology can be integrated with any security technology, like barcodes, RFID, or magstrips. They claim this requires significantly lower total cost of ownership, since this technology does not require any electronic parts in the card. It requires the scanner (i.e. the device that is used to check the identity) to be connected to a central server.
Tree Climbing Device
Mushtaq Ahmed from Kashmir, and Sham Antoorkar from Ahmedabad
They have invented a simple mechanical (non-electronic) device that can be used by unskilled people to climb trees/poles/etc easily and safely and allows resting while climbing. Mushtaq invented the device and Sham make some changes to make it commercially viable. The plan is to launch it by March 2010.
Rotory variable compression ratio engine
Das Ajee Kamath, Gyatk
You can’t put petrol in a diesel car, or diesel in a petrol car. VCR = Variable Compression Engine, would allow you to put any fuel in any engine. And this is an idea that companies all over the world have been working on for 20+ years – but it has significant limitations. Gyatk has invented a rotory VCR, which overcomes the limitations. They have a working prototype, and patents in 40+ countries, and engagement with two major auto companies in the country.
Health emergency alert system for Seniors
Umang Salgia, Wellcore Corp. Pune Company?
A device that seniors can wear on their body and it can automatically detect emergency situations, or the person can manually activate it, and it sends an alert to the appropriate person/organization. It monitors vital signs, motion, blood pressure etc. And the alert also gives the location of where the emergency happened.
I think Wellcore has a development center in Pune. (Given that both founders are Pune folks, I’d guess that it is mainly a Pune company, but I cannot find any information on their website, or anywhere else on the web. Can somebody confirm?). It is interesting to note that Wellcore also presented at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show, at Las Vegas, the biggest electronics conference in the world) this year, and was chosen as one of the top ten products by this website.
Document sharing with remote control of secure information
Rahul Kopikar, Seclore Systems
A system that allows sharing of documents but where the original document creator retains control of the sensitive information in the document. At a later stage, if the document creator can revoke the permissions and the document will become unreadable.
You, me and Disaster, a card game for increasing disaster management awareness
Peeyush Sekhsaria, Handesign, Bangalore
There is a need to get individuals and communities involved in understanding disaster management. Hence this is a card game that allows people to understand disaster management in a fun settings. Serves like a facilitation tool for teachers, trainers, social workers etc.
Making rain – a low cost way of seeding clouds and causing rain
Shreehari Marathe, individual inventor, Nanded Maharashtra
Seeding clouds to cause rain involves spraying clouds with appropriate minerals. Conventionally done by aircraft. Shreehari invented a way of doing this by burning tyres and putting the salt on it. The smoke carries the salt to the clouds and results in rain. (For reasons I cannot pinpoint, this idea is causing a bad science alert for me. I wonder whether this idea has been proved under scientific, controlled conditions. It is possible that this whole idea suffers from confirmation bias, and other such statistical anomalies.)
On behalf of IITB Alumni Association (Pune Chapter) – organizers of Innovations 2010 – let me thank PuneTech and it’s members for this set of insightful, passionate and well articulated responses. You literally made our day and have given us enough high quality stuff to digest before we plan the next edition of Innovations!
I will share the ‘verdict’ of the organizers with Navin shortly. You would agree that this exercise is not just a ‘competition’. We should/ would figure a way to move forward with these inputs. Thanks again!
After looking at the quality of the answers, the IITBAA(Pune) has decided to increase the number of prizes to 5, so we have 5 winners: Manish, Ruchika, Abhishek Nagaraj, and Vijay Patil. Vipul gets a special prize for the best student answer. Congratulations and thanks, your free passes are in your email.
Now for the next steps – actually implementing some of these ideas…
We are giving away two passes for Innovations 2010, worth Rs. 1000 500 each (Update: after this article appeared, Innovations appears to have dropped the ticket price down to Rs. 500), for the best answer to the problem laid out in this post. Read on for details.
Earlier today, we wrote about the Innovations 2010 event happening in Pune next Saturday, and while it is great that we have interesting innovations to showcase in events like this, it is a cause for worry that a country of a billion people cannot come up with more innovation; especially when you consider that we probably have more high IQ people than the entire population of the United States.
One of the problems, as I see it, is the lack of collaboration between our best students and Industry. We have lots of smart students wasting away in a bureaucrat controlled education system. They have time on their hands, and even motivation to work on interesting stuff (if you manage to catch them at the right stage). What they don’t have, is the experience and guidance necessary to work on the right problems. I’ve seen many bright students working on difficult, but ultimately pointless problems/projects, because nobody pointed them in the right direction.
By contrast, there are enough bright people in industry who are full of brilliant ideas, but who are too busy with their delivery schedules, and they just don’t have to time to implement and try out any of their ideas. Connecting the two sets of people is an obvious solution, that many groups of have tried without much success, for many years. There are lots of initiatives, like Peepaal Campus, projects4students , but I don’t see any of them really achieving critical mass. I’m not sure what the problem is, but I feel that one of the issues is the fact that many of these initiatives are focused on B.E. projects of 4th year engineering students – and that, in most cases, is a waste of time. By that time, most of the students have lost any interest/motivation in doing a good job of the project. Most BE projects, which are supposed to represent a year’s work for 3 to 4 people, are worthless, and could be done by a passionate/motivated student in 2 weeks. For a more detailed discussion of the problems with motivating 4th year students with industry projects, see this interesting discussion on ForPune.com.
But, let us not give up. Cynicism is over-rated. I think we can still do something. At least in Pune, a few people getting together can make a difference.
So, here is the challenge:
Suggest a specific, detailed, implementable initiative that a few of us can start in Pune, to get students and industry to work together on innovative projects. To improve your chances of winning, give a proposal that is:
Specific (as opposed to general handwaving)
Detailed (as opposed to short one or two liners)
Implementable right now (as opposed to a 10-year plan)
Implementable by us – people like you and me (as opposed to something the Government is supposed to do for us)
Leave your proposal as a comment on this article, or you can post it on your own blog or elsewhere and leave a link (or a trackback/pingback) here. Extra credit if you’re willing to be one of the persons who will implement the suggestion! The best two entries get one Innovations pass each. Of course, you’re encouraged to enter even if you’re not interested in the Innovations pass. (In that case, please indicate that in your entry, so we can give the pass to the next best entry.) The deadline for this contest is Tuesday, 5 January, 2010, midnight, IST.
On next Saturday, 9th January, Pune will play host to a number of innovative inventors from across the country, as part of Innovations 2010, the flagship event of the IIT-Bombay Alumni Association, Pune Chapter. This is an event that showcases some of the best science and technology innovations in India (whether they are from startups, large companies, or elsewhere), that have been implemented in practice. The innovations showcased could be in the form of processes, products or applications from varied fields such as medicine, agriculture, mechanical/electronic/chemical technology, IT products, etc. In the past, everything from solar powered pivot irrigation by a lone inventor, to integrated system for ethanol production from sorghum, by Pune’s Praj Industries, to wi-fi security by AirTight networks, to stem cell therapy for pre-eclampsia, has been featured.
In addition, the event also is a great place for “networking”, i.e. meeting a whole bunch of very interesting people in one place. About 200 to 300 people from all over the country, interested in science, technology, innovation and commercialization of the same will be there – and our experience has been that this is a rather different crowd from the usual suspects that end up in the more usual web-2.0 / proto kinds of conferences that are more normal.
Registrations for Innovations 2010 are open, and at Rs. 1000, it falls exactly at the borderline of PuneTech’s policy of only writing about events that are free, or don’t cost too much. What this means is that, in our editorial opinion, this event will be worth it, in spite of the price tag. (But do remember, PHPCamp, which is a free event targeted towards PHP developers, will also be big, and is on the same day. You should check that out too. (Expect a more detailed article about PHPCamp in a few days.))
Innovations is an annual event hosted by the Pune Chapter IIT Bombay Alumni Association in January every year, with the aim of helping innovators and entrepreneurs of India to create and expand the ecosystem around them. The event showcases the select few innovators to an elite gathering of VCs and experts. Innovations 2010 is the fourth event in their series and will feature presentations by 16 selected innovators from around the country.
The focus of Innovations is on novel ideas in practice, primarily originating from Science and Technology. In the past, innovations in the form of processes, products and applications from varied fields such as medicine, agriculture, mechanical/electronic/chemical technology/ Information Technology etc. have been showcased. The innovations to be showcased are selected by a panel of experts drawn from various application areas. They also work with the selected innovators to fine tune their presentation and bring out the unique features.
While the event is arranged by the IITB Alumni Association in Pune, the innovators and participants can be from anywhere. The innovator can benefit from peer recognition, an introduction to the IIT alumni network & mentorship if required. Some of the past innovators were able obtain funding to take their product to the next level. Other interested parties and investors get an opportunity to learn about new ideas and applications and to network.
Note: this is not necessarily a “startup” event. Innovators from all fields, irrespective of their educational qualifications, age group or affiliations to any organizations are welcome to submit their entry. Your entry may be a process, product, design, method, application or even a business model or a model of social entrepreneurship. Innovations from all fields are welcome. Entries are sought from individuals, research/academic institutions, NGOs, or corporate entities (with an annual turnover less than Rs. 50 Crore). Eligibility criteria for submitting an innovation entry are
Innovation must be a truly novel idea
Must be based on the application of science / technology
The idea should have been introduced in practice
Nominations can be submitted at the innovations website. The last date for nominations is October 30th. The actual event will happen on 9th January, 2010, in Pune.
Are you passionate about some idea, but don’t know enough like-minded people to partner with to give life to the idea? Are you an enthusiast of one domain looking for an someone with skills in another domain to implement a pet project? Do you want smart, energetic people to brainstorm with about how best to achieve something that you’ve long dreamt of?
Would you like to help Arun Bhatia (ex Municipal Commissioner of Pune) figure out how to increase voter-turnout and citizen participation in governance? Would you like to figure out ways in which the internet can save lives? Would you like to help develop a campaigning tool?
Would you like to discuss different ways in which we can survive this recession? Does local Pune search interest you? How about a session on user-driven innovation from someone who’s been doing this for over 10 years?
Would you like to join me in creating a blog aggregator for all Pune blogs?
If you want to attend, register at the IdeaCamp page. You need to click on the Edit button at the top of the page. This will ask you to create an account; go ahead and follow instructions like a good soldier. Then you’ll get an activation link in the mail. Activate your account. Now you can go back to that page and click Edit, and this time it will allow you to edit the page. Scroll down to the list of participants and add your details to that table. You might have to right-click and use the “Row > Add Row After” menu to create a new row.
It is free, but you must register, because last time, due to space constraints, the number of participants were limited to 80, and many people who were interested were not allowed to attend. In other words, as we like to say here at PuneTech, Hurry! Offer valid until stocks last!!
And don’t forget to check the PuneTech calendar for all the other interesting events on offer for you.
And you are not subscribed to PuneTech, please do so – you can get updates (free) by email or via RSS. And tell your friends too.
Update: Yogesh Pathak and Ravi are the winners. Congratulations, instructions have been sent to you by email.
Every year, the IIT-Bombay Alumni Association of Pune holds their flagship event, Innovations, which showcases 16 of the most interesting innovations from across India. This year, Innovations 2009, will he held on January 10 and 11 from 9am to 6:30pm at the Dewang Mehta auditorium, Persistent Systems.
PuneTech has teamed up with IITBAA to give two of our readers a chance to win free delegate passes, which would otherwise cost you Rs. 1000 each. To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post as to why you would like to attend Innovations, and how you expect to benefit from attending. (If you are a blogger, and would like to send some google juice our way, blog about this, and link to this post. Your trackback/pingback appearing in the comments sections will be considered an entry into this contest.) The two most interesting responses, as determined by the IITBAA executive committee in consultation with PuneTech editors will get one free entry pass each. Contest ends on Monday, 5th January, midnight (Indian time).
What to expect at Innovations 2009
Innovations 2009 will be a two day event
Day 1 will start with keynote speech, followed by 16 fast-paced presentations by the innovators, a visit to the exhibits, and Q&A with all the innovators. In the evening, there will be a networking dinner for innovators with special invitees.
Day 2 will be an i2i (Innovation to IPO) Workshop. i2i is a concentrated learning capsule of 4-5 hours on the vital aspects of starting a new enterprise. The innovators and would be entrepreneurs are exposed to ‘how to’ – create a business plan, explore funding options, create a go to market strategy, deal with legal/regulatory aspects and more. Renowned experts from diverse fields share their experiences & expertise in 45 min sessions (3-4 of such sessions are planned) and help innovators create their own roadmap to success.
Why we think you should attend
Amit Paranjape, primary advisor to PuneTech, has attended the last two Innovations events, is a fan of this event and the reason why we talked the IITBAA into running this contest for our readers. Both of us (i.e. Amit and Navin) are attending Innovations (with our own money). We this this will be a great place to meet a whole lot of very interesting people from the startup ecosystem in India (although, technically, Innovations is not limited just to startups – even innovations in big companies are eligible.)
The innovations website gives these reasons for why you should attend.
Approximately 350 invitees consisting of VC’s, bankers, corporate executives, academicians, scientists, media, and other professionals are expected to attend this event. The organizers believe that there are a number of reasons why an invitee will be compelled to attend such an event. They are:
Meet multiple innovators to learn about what it took to put the innovation in practice. The attendees will acquire an interdisciplinary perspective on the process of innovation and on how to pitch an innovation.
Listen to an industry leader’s perspective on the process of innovation.
Have one-on-one sessions at the exhibits and set up subsequent dialogs. The exhibition booths will highlight the key aspects of each innovation. The organizers expect that individuals closest to the innovations presented are available to interact with the attendees.
So try to come up with different reasons as to why you want to attend – maybe something specific to what you want to get out of this event. If you’ve attended this event in the past and have interesting stories to share, you would have an unfair advantage. So be it – life is unfair.
And let your friends know. PuneTech is a free, non-commercial, for the community and by the community site which depends only upon word-of-mouth advertising.