4 young innovators win India Innovation Pioneers Challenge

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New Delhi, Sep 24 (UNI) G Rajmohan and C K Anish of National Institute of Immunology (NII), New Delhi, and Kranthi Kiran Vistakula and Prasenjit Kundu of Dhama Apparel Innovations, Ahmedabad, have jointly bagged the first prize of Rs three lakh in two different categories of the India Innovation Pioneers Challenge (IIPC).

In addition, both teams will get an opportunity to participate at the Intel-University of California Berkeley Technology Enterprenuership Challenge 2008, it was announced here today.

The NII team has invented Polyskin, an artificial skin substitute for burn wound treatment and plan to develop biomaterial based innovative products catering to the health care segment, especially in the area of wound healing and regenerative medicine.

Dhama Apparel Innovations, which aims to be a leader in the development of wearable technology, has produced ClimaGear jacket or vest, ClimaNeck, a neck accessory, and ClimaMet helmet products that allow the wearer to maintain their body at a specified temperature by actively either adding or removing heat, regardless of the external environment.

The winners are part of the the Department of Science and Technology's (DST) efforts to locate budding 'technopreneurs' with innovative ideas at a nascent stage, reward them suitably and nurture their initiative.

The IIPC is a technology business plan competition which provides an unparalleled avenue of opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs to explore and share ideas and gain insight for commercialising their venture through the mentoring and networking support. It was conducted by DST in partnership with the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) and Intel.

The Challenge is a part of the Rs 2.1 crore-worth Technology Entrepreneurship Program, a public-private partnership between National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and Intel Technology India Pvt Ltd and Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) to boost the entrepreneurial spirit in India.

Entries were invited for two categories, Scholar Sparks for students from the engineering, science and medical institutions and business schools across the country having an innovative technology business plan.

The second category, Champion of Champions was open to teams having secured top three positions at prominent business plan competition held in India over the past two years and incubatees attached with prominent technology business incubators.

Mr Kapil Sibal, Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, gave away the prizes to the winners at a ceremony held here last week in the presence of Dr T Ramasami, Secretary Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and Dr Praveen Vishakantaiah, President, Intel Technology.

The top three teams under each category received cash award of Rs three lakh (first prize), Rs one lakh (second prize) and Rs 50,000 (third prize) respectively.

The IIPC was launched in July 2007 with the aim of providing a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to showcase their technology, guidance and smart commercialisation strategies to experts and mentors to help the young innovators realise their dreams of commercialisation.

The competition, which invited entries from students with new technology business plans from engineering colleges, polytechnics, universities, science colleges and B-Schools in the areas of manufacturing of electronic systems and hardware among others received an overwhelming response of more than 276 proposals.

Of these, 23 teams were shortlisted and given an opportunity to work with the industry and academia experts who mentored the teams to help them finetune their business ideas and come out with a final business plan.

Eight teams were selected as winners by the judging panel comprising of experts from industry and academia.

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