Techpedia ( http://www.techpedia.in)
Techpedia.in, an initiative of SRISTI aims at putting the problems of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), informal sector, grassroots innovators and other social sectors on the agenda of the young technology students across the country. For over last sixty years, India has not utilized much the technological outputs of millions of students. But this apathy will continue no more. Can a knowledge society really afford to ignore the huge talent distributed in thousands of polytechnics, diploma and degree colleges of engineering, pharmacy, medical science, agriculture etc.? SRISTI is providing a platform for the industry and academic institutions to collaborate, co-create and foster distributed and horizontal frugal innovations.
Key Goals of Techpedia.in are:
1) Promotion of originality among technology students by making it impossible for them to do what has been done before. This will be possible only when they can find out what has been done before. Techpedia.in already has 1.8 lac technology projects done by about six lac students from more than 600 colleges in India.
2) Connecting the technical students with the problems of informal unorganized sector and grassroots innovators.
3) Putting the technical problems of MSMEs on the agenda of students so that affordable solutions can be generated in a real time.
4) To harness collaborative potential of students across disciplines and colleges to solve persistent problems of our country in formal and informal sector .
5) Explore kho kho model (relay) of product development. Idea here is that if one student group has brought the solution of a particular problem to a specific stage, then next group within that department or somewhere else should be able to build upon it to take it forward.
6) To pose challenges to students to address unsolved problems of our society. Gandhiji had announced an award of 7700 pounds, (approx Rs one lac) to redesign charkha-spinning wheel. Today the value of this prize will be more than Rs 10 crores. Industry association, government and others can offer attractive prizes for solving those problems which have remained unsolved so long.
7) Developing high tech capabilities through network platforms so that India becomes a hub for high tech outsourcing for the world in future and does not serve only the low tech needs.
8) Promoting both IPR protected and open source technologies and eventually develop techpedia.in into an online virtual sanctuary of innovations and not just an incubator.
9) Creating real-time online NMN (National Mentoring Network) to harness skills, insights and experience of senior tech experts for mentoring young students. Also promote reverse mentoring by young start-ups and students.
10) Encourage some of the innovations through SRISTI Social Innovation Fund set up recently to promote frugal and extremely affordable socially useful ideas.
11) Leverage policy and institutional changes to make innovation eco-system more responsive to societal needs and aspirations of young talent.
12) Organise summer schools on address specific social challenges so that young students can try to overcome institutional inertia by coming out with new prototypes for removing child labour, enhance women safety, or supporting autonomy of physically challenged people etc.
13) Build global linkages so that collaborative open innovation model pioneered by Honey Bee Network is further diffused among student communities worldwide.