Chitkara University students bag Rs 5 lakh in Innovation Challenge; among top 30 in the country for finals
Preparing a perfect breeding ground for research & innovation, promoting out-of-the-box ideas, while continuing to work on social problems, Chitkara University students continue their winning spree with many national and international awards, in their kitty. The recent one being ‘Bhu-Goal – predicting moods of India’.
A team of researchers cum innovators students – Rubal Gupta, Kartik Vij, Debarshi Ghosh and Rahul Kinra; under the mentorship of Dr. Nitin Saluja, Associate Director (Research), Chitkara University; went on to win the semi-finals of IICDC 2018, to be included among the ‘Top 30’ in the country. IICDC is the DST and Texas Instruments Inc India – Innovation Challenge Design Contest; open to all Indian Engineering students – seeking student innovators, thinkers and makers of the country to join the revolution, create something new, aspire to make a difference, and contribute to India’s success towards becoming an Innovation Hub. There were 10,000 entries received for the contest and ‘Bhu-Goal’ became one of the 30 semi-finalists, bagging a stipend of Rs 30,000 per month for student team members for one year, plus a Grant of Rs. 5 lakh; for their project ‘Bhu-Goal– predicting moods of India’. Chitkara University student team will now be competing for the IICDC Finals to win Rs. 20 lakh prize money.
‘Bhu-Goal’ is one of the several Agritech Products that Chitkara University is developing to help the farmers of the country. The product helps farmers and grain warehouse owners save thousands of dollars by making ‘very’ accurate weather predictions of a ‘defined’ location. Bhu-Goal nodes, which can be installed at different locations, can provide multispectral and spatial information of the position of clouds, and hence predict weather efficiently.
Chitkara University is one of the pioneers in India to have its own Innovation Incubation Centre in operation for more than five years now. Chitkara University Research and Innovation Network (CURIN), helps turn students’ business ideas into reality. Student ventures with scalable, commercial potential are given access to high-tech, collaborative office space, paired with industry mentors, subject matter experts, and community corporate partners to develop scalable business plans, and market-testable products and services.
The key success factor of our ecosystem is strong industry-mentor connect, which helps in guiding the startups one-on-one, and a robust ecosystem to support research-backed innovations. Chitkara University’s NewGen IEDC Centre (funded by DST) has extensive prototyping facility to prepare prototypes for all such new impactful and scalable innovations. The university’s annual hackathons – NOVATE (for innovative ideas) and NOVATE+ (for Proof of Concepts) help in identifying innovative young minds and their ideas. They win support from the Centre, where a dedicated team of designers and engineers help them to design, think their products and help their ideas become live in the form of Minimum Viable Products (MVPs). So far the Office of Patent facilitation has helped such innovators file over 180 patents and the Tech Enabling Centre (TEC), supported by DST, has helped commercialize these technologies into game-changing products.
The hot trending areas of applied research and productization are Ed-Tech, Agri-Tech and Health-Tech. Chitkara University has won several prizes in prestigious competitions such as IIGP (India Innovation Growth Program), Millenium Alliance (An initiative by FICCI, USAID and DST), Global Entrepreneurship Congress, Ingenuity, China and Smart India Hackathons – to name a few. The differentiating point is the new products are taking birth in its research labs and Centre of Excellence supported by the Industry. The recent additions in the league of state-of-art labs are the ‘Centre for Life Sciences’; ‘Centre for Water Sciences’, ‘Centre of Excellence in Artificial intelligence’, ‘Liquid Crystal Lab’ and ‘COE in Augmented and Virtual Reality’, where a team of researchers from various disciplines come together to do ‘product-oriented and impactful research’ making a positive difference to people’s lives.
Hon’ble Dr. Madhu Chitkara, Vice-Chancellor, Chitkara University, explains, “Chitkara University believes that every student has the potential to do exceptionally well if given the right guidance and mentoring. Keeping this in mind, we provide an environment conducive to learning to develop a mindset of being an entrepreneur, right at the student level. We handhold our young innovators to foray into the commercial world with their new technologies, design and great ideas by giving them access to industry mentors, subject matter experts, community corporate partners – through our strong collaborative arrangements with industry; and state-of-the-art technology with shared office space, to develop scalable business plans, and market-testable products & services.”