Ministry of Education, Govt. of India has established an ‘Innovation Cell’ with a purpose of systematically fostering the culture of Innovation in all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the country. MIC will focus on creating complete ecosystem which will foster the culture of Innovation across all educational institutions from ideas generation to pre-incubation, incubation and graduating from the incubator as successful start-ups. MIC will also work on designing ranking system to identify institutions in the forefront of innovation.
Ministry of Education has established ‘MoE’s Innovation Cell’ (MIC) with the mandate to work closely with our Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to encourage the creative energy of our student population to work on new ideas and innovation and promote them to create start-ups and entrepreneurial ventures.
MIC -AICTE has been working through Institution’s innovation Council initiative and other programs to promote the budding student innovators & entrepreneurs. In this quest MIC has identified brilliant women entrepreneurs and innovators through its National Innovation Contest Program, an annual contest for MIC approved Institution’s Innovation Councils through its portal.
The select few women entrepreneurs given here has also been designated as Innovation Ambassadors of MIC and has been sent for two-week Canada India Acceleration Program (CIAP) by AICTE. CIAP is a 2-week extensive Global Business Acceleration. These women entrepreneurs have been trained and their Innovations has been seed funded by MIC- AICTE so that they can establish the startups out of their Innovation and could become self-reliant.
Ms. Vandana Thakur is an Innovator cum Entrepreneur and honored recipient of MoE’s Innovation Cell (MIC), Innovation Ambassador. She has a startup named AnV-stat -a Novel hemostatic formulation and Women Entreprenuer Nurturing and Networking (WENN), which empowers women in social and economic terms.
Being from a science background, Vandana was always curious about exploring new things. At the graduate level, her knowledge perceiving thought highlighted the need for innovative medicines to combat diseases to decrease society’s health burden. This encouragement led her to admit to pharmacology at the postgraduate level to research and expand thoughts on advanced drug discovery approaches. For this, she passed the national level entrance examination to be a student of the oldest pharmacy college of India, L. M. College of Pharmacy, Ahmedabad. Here, she learned a lot about experimental modelling approaches for drug discovery. She has worked on various projects, including new target therapy & biomarker identification, and animal model development.
With the passing years and her expertise in the subject motivated her to step ahead. Vandana always had a keen interest in converting her innovative ideas into business products. But being from the research background taking innovation to the commercial stage was challenging for her. The barrier was that she had an idea but had no business exposure, which every student or researcher generally faces.
With an interest in overcoming the barrier, she decided to learn about business. She started a Post Graduate Diploma course in Pharmaceutical Management at B.K. School of Professional and Management Studies, Ahmedabad. But that was not sufficient for her because the opportunity to practice was less. To explore more, she started participating in various Innovation Contests. Her in-depth knowledge of the subject and her ability to identify the problem has helped her think about innovative healthcare solutions. She has received recognition for her three different innovative healthcare solutions. Among them, the biggest recognition was for “AnV-stat, A Novel Herbal Hemostatic Solution.”
“AnV-Stat is a herbal technology-driven formulation in the form of Medicated Gauze, which arrests bleeding in less time. Additional, the anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties of the product eventually enhance wound healing without any further risk of infection. AnV-Stat is the pioneering technology to be positioned in First-Aid-Kit to benefit the population at the target site. It thereby enhances the quality of care in the emergency condition until medical care is opted to prevent a fatality.”
As well all know, bleeding is a common phenomenon occurring after any injury, and injury can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone without prior alarm. Compared to the probability of injury, the protective measures are less. If we talk about a life-saving kit – First Aid Kit, it has many medicaments to treat several ailments. However, it’s surprising that there is no approach to control bleeding in First Aid Kit to date. There is no doubt that cotton and bandages are included, but they are for cleaning and covering purposes, but they are less assured in the cessation of blood. To address this limitation, there was a need to develop hemostic formulation and place it in the first aid kit to benefit the population at the target site.
The idea for this innovation has originated from one small laboratory, and the journey of innovation has started from one competition – “Exploring Traditional Remedies in Healthcare under Student Startup Innovation Policy (SSIP) and AIC-LMCP Foundation (ALF).”
Vandana feels grateful to MoE’s Innovation Cell (MIC) and AICTE, New Delhi, for their initiative, National Innovation Contest, which is implemented to identify and encourage the budding student innovators to become an entrepreneur. Participating in the National Innovation Contest 2019 has proven to be a turning point in her career. The National Innovation Contest has accelerated her dream of learning about the startup from basics through this program. The program created a launching pad for her dream of becoming an entrepreneur. She received appropriate training at each level of contest, including idea validation, prototyping, and business model canvas development, Market Research, Pitching and more.
Her innovative idea was nominated and got selected from the Regional Mentoring Session to participate in the Boot camp and Exhibition stage of this contest. She got an opportunity to present her innovative idea in front of experts. Her innovation was placed among the top 5 best Innovations in National Innovation Contest and received recognition from Hon’ble Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” on the occasion of the National Innovation Festival Celebration of MoE’s Innovation Cell. This added wings to fly, and she was ready to fly.
She got an opportunity for International Market Exposure. Vandana was selected to be a member of the 2nd Student Startup cohort for the Canada India Acceleration Program (CIAP), for a 2-week extensive Global Business Acceleration Program by Canada India Centre for Excellence (CICE) and Sprott School of Management of Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. The program imparted Advance Training in business start-up and Exposure to Canadian Market Opportunities for her innovation. This was a wonderful experience for her where she learned about how to start a business from scratch. With this program, she understood local and global startup ecosystem, market opportunities, and challenges related to her product.
After completing the training program, the opportunity has extended more. She received funding support from MIC-AICTE to refine her innovation. According to her, the entire journey was amazing and still on, with lots of new learning, motivation.
Being inspired by the support provided to her by MIC-AICTE, She is further encouraged to spread awareness about innovation among students of schools and colleges. She is continuously engaged in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship awareness and highlighting benefits of being a student entrepreneur, among students of schools and colleges. Her thought of empowering women socially and economically has motivated her to Co-found Women Entrepreneur Nurturing and Networking (WENN), which provides a “comfortable space” to the rising women entrepreneurs of all age groups from rural, semi-urban, and urban locality to create next-generation women entrepreneurs. Vandana believes, “Women Empowerment is a key to Prosperous Nation.”
I Miss. Pooja A. Todke a PhD Research Scholar from Department of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai.
The journey that I am trying to depict here was not that easy, it has been the baby steps from being an average student to being an innovator. As it is well said “none can destroy the mindset until the wish to achieve the goal is as strong as a rock”, in the similar manner every step for me was full of challenges, but fulfilled with all the hope to being a researcher.In my bachelor degree, I was aspirated to discover solutions for grassroot healthcare problems. This eagerness in research propelled me towards higher education. For my master’s degree I was awarded with AICTE-GPAT scholarship to complete my education and research. But my desire about innovation was not satisfied in my master’s as well.
In 2018 to fulfil my dream, I joined PhD. Amidst the period of PhD, I was awarded AICTE National Doctoral fellowship to complete my research work. This support for my groundwork always reminds me to pay back to my nation. To mould me as an innovator my guide Prof. Padma V. Devarajan played a very pivotal role to make my dream come true. My institute and my guide provided me fruitful guidance to convert my research project into an innovation followed by product.
The Innovation was “Point of Care Blood Group Detection Kit”. As we know, blood transfusions are more often required in emergencies to save lives. Rapid and accurate blood group detection is a crucial requirement before blood transfusion to prevent fatalities. Based on evaluation of unsuccessful blood transfusions it is now realised that apart from interpretation of the major blood groups A, B, AB and O along with Rh factor, it is essential to profile clinically significant blood group of the patients like Kell, Kidd, Duffy, etc. This nano-enabled Point of Care detection system can give quick results at the patient site. This novel blood group detection method is rapid, cost effective and point of care with the promise of outreach, across the socioeconomic strata.
My institute’s IIC (Institute Innovation Council of ICT-Mumbai) provided me platform where I have showcased this innovation titled “Nano-Gr-Det” A Point of Care Blood Group Detection Kit, which was selected amongst Top 10 best proof of concept from all over India and I got nominated as Innovation Ambassador for MIC & AICTE. With this achievement, I got a chance for International start-up exposure and a visit to 2 weeks Canada-India Acceleration program in Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada held between 19th to 31st January 2020, funded by Ministry of Education’s Innovation Cell (MIC) and AICTE under their National Innovation Contest, driven through Institution’s Innovation Council, a network established by MIC in more than 2400 Higher Educational Institutions, and still growing .
What I learned through this process extended well beyond how to be an aspiring and enthusiastic researcher to being an innovator. I learned to be open to new challenges. By giving me the space to express my own interpretation and to argue for my own values, this journey taught me the importance of being focused. That realization continues to pay dividends every day.
Journey from rejecting Job to rejuvenating environment and empowering farmers
I Neelam Bhayre belonging to a small beautiful town called Harda, Madhya Pradesh grew up with significant ambitions in my life. I always aspired of having a decent job and becoming self-reliant in my life. I have completed my higher education from my hometown and came to Pune in 2017 to pursue masters in Microbiology from Sinhgad College of Science. While I was studying in final semester I fetched a job from campus placement and I was extremely happy at that moment. At the same time, life gave me another fantastic opportunity i.e., BioMANS where along with me I could get employment for others as well. Now there were two options in front of me and I had to choose either.
Having business family background, I choose to work on BioMANS for getting new experiences in my life. I am a person who always try to keep awareness among people for environment cleanliness and keep maintaining its purity.
“I want to create a world with nature friendly thoughts & people to empower others”
With my other two partners, we have established our company i.e. WeWake IndiGreen Pvt. Ltd which provide technological solutions for environmental challenges.
“It is not possible for earth to replenish at a pace that it may be relieved of all the pollution we impose upon it”- It is our responsibility to take care. With this vision in our mind, Neelam Bhayre- award winning innovator cum entrepreneur built BioMANS with my partner Aniruddha Deshpande and Samruddhi Khire.
In India, approx. 26000 mT of plastic waste generates every day. India being an agricultural country, 350MT of agricultural waste generates every year. This two major problem of plastic pollution and agriculture waste disposal can be resolve by one solution i.e. BioMANS
BioMANS is Biobased Biodegradable Advance Material which can be used to produce some of the single use plastic products like Cotton earbud sticks, lanyards, disposable cutlery, carry bags, dental bibs etc.
- 100% Bio-based: Material is made up of agricultural waste after harvesting of crop.
- 100% Biodegradable: Material is biodegradable in 21-30 days.
- 100% Cold Compostable: For composting of the material, you did not require any conditions to compost it. It is simply degraded under natural environmental conditions.
- 100% Recyclable: It can be reused if collected in a proper condition.
- Zero Carbon Foot Print: If you through it in the environment, it will not leach any chemicals and have zero carbon foot print.
BioMANS will help farmers by saving their expenditure on agro-waste disposal and also provide secondary source of income as we are using their agro-waste for production of BioMANS.
We have received many awards from different platforms where we have showcased our product BioMANS like Abhikalp competition (2019), Assocham Launchpad (2019), Top 10 PoC’s in National Level bootcamp & Exhibition of IIC Innovation Cell (2019).
I am very proud to share with you that I am honoured as one of the five MIC Innovation Ambassadors from Ministry of Education (MoE’s) Innovation Cell, AICTE. I got selected to visit Canada as part of MOE’s Innovation Cell for Canada India Acceleration Program along with four other participants who were selected for it from all over India. As female entrepreneurs from India, we stayed for 12 days at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada and experienced unforgettable journey.
At last, I want to conclude that being responsible citizens we should always try and take care of mother earth with innovative technologies. Let’s change the world together and make it a blissful place to live in.
With this “Be part of the Solution and not the Problem, Let’s use BioMANS to replace the Single Use Plastic pollution”.