|Type||Not for Profit Company|
|Founder(s)||Prof. Anil Gupta
|Key people||Akshat Brahmbhatt|
|Area served||World wide|
|Method(s)||Research, Consultancy, Open Innovation|
Techpedia is a portal of technology projects by students to link the needs of industry and grassroot innovators with young minds and to promote collaborative research.
SRISTI has taken this initiative for promoting originality among young tech minds. The goal also is to link industry and informal sector with academia through the help of students volunteers from different parts of the country but mainly at SVNIT, Surat led by Hiranmay Mahantha (see names and comments of other student team members at www.sristi.org/anilg). There are about six lacs technology students who spend at least six months in their final year doing a project yet nobody knows the fate of these projects. There is no requirement from UGC or AICTE that every student put at least summary of their project on a national portal (some day it will become obligatory for every student). Neither the problems of small and tiny industries are posed to the students nor are the good projects of the students used by the industries. The grassroots green innovations (www.nifindia.org www.sristi.org) already developed in the informal sector also do not get an opportunity for being valorized by these students.
What will such a portal do: promote originality, and eliminate incentives to purchase the projects from third party vendors. The problem is that once a technical mind cuts corners and gets projects done by outsiders, he/she may not have compunction to cut any corner in future. At the same time, every time a person solves a real life problem, he/she becomes a better human being. How to get more and more students take up real life problems from MSME. If even one per cent projects become new products, industry would get at least 6000 ideas to invest in and stimulate demand for new products and services.
Different kinds of monetary and non-monetary Incentives can be given to the students who work in teams within the institutions or across the institutions to address the problems of micro and small enterprises. Retired scientists, professionals and technopreneurs can be engaged to in
National Mentors Network to mentor the country wide half a million small enterprises through such students. Similarly, incentives and awards can be given to the students who find outstanding low cost process and products options for the industry or add value to grassroots innovations or develop business plans to become entrepreneur based on technologies developed by them or other students. Climate change related innovations can be given special importance, just as problems of economically backward regions many of which are conflict prone and women can be prioritised.
We could in due course post *technology challenges* from large companies in private and public also at such a portal so that simultaneous attempt is made by many students at cracking their problems. Their advantage will be that (i) they will learn about multiple heuristics aimed at solving same problem, (ii) identify bright young students who they could hire for their in house R and D projects, and (iii) strengthen departments in which promising mentoring and guidance is being provided. We have to develop distributed capacity for nurturing talent in hundreds of small towns and villages through a network of large number of second and third tier of Institutions. Many of these institutions may have top quality departments of specific subjects, which will be uncovered through Techpedia.sristi.org or techpedia.in. Synergy between all kinds of technology institutions will emerge in due course.