New Delhi: Have an innovative idea that can help India fight the coronavirus pandemic? The National Innovation Foundation (NIF) will now fund citizens who have developed Covid-19 related solutions, and scale up their innovations.
The NIF, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology, has invited citizens to participate in its Challenge Covid-19 Competition and share ideas that can supplement the efforts of the Narendra Modi government in slowing the outbreak, an official statement said Saturday.
“Total incubation support will be given to the technologies which are able to address the problem,” NIF director Vipin Kumar told ThePrint. “Funding is not an issue. We are committed to convert all the good ideas into workable products.”
“Everybody has some idea or innovation in their minds, but people don’t know whom they should be sharing it with. People share on social media that they have innovative ideas, but as long as it is just a message — it does not help the cause,” said Tushar Garg, a scientist at NIF.
“NIF is one organisation which is open to the common man for sharing ideas and connecting them to the right people,” Garg told ThePrint.
Professor Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, Department of Science & Technology said in a statement, “The initiative being launched will not only create awareness, but will intimately engage a wide cross-section of society with diverse backgrounds in providing and implementing solutions.”
What the NIF is looking at
The NIF has identified eight focus areas to guide people. The prime among them is contact-less devices.
“Post coronavirus, there is going to be a huge demand for contact-less devices. For example, in China they are keeping toothpicks in elevators so that people don’t have to press buttons with fingers. This is not a permanent solution, but the intention is honest and scientific in nature,” Garg said.
“Once the lockdown is over, we will need to think about how we would interact with devices that many people touch regularly – elevators are just one example,” he added.
Other focus areas include reduction of coronavirus transmission; sanitisation of bodies, homes and public places; supply and distribution of essential items, especially to the elderly living alone; healthy food for nutrition and boosting immunity; gainful engagement at home; varying needs of different population segments; and personal protection equipment and rapid diagnostic testing facilities for healthcare capacity building.
“People have come up with frugal innovations in the area of PPEs – like low cost masks or easily available sanistisers. People have local solutions for such things, but for making them a national reality they have to be scientifically validated,” Garg added.
The details of ideas and innovations may be sent to email@example.com and http://nif.org.in/challenge-covid-19-competition. Entries will be accepted on a rolling basis until further notification.