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IGNITE 2012: The inverted model of innovation

Sunday, 21 October 2012 - 12:00pm IST | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA
The unprecedented response to IGNITE Competition for children’s innovations by National Innovation Foundation (NIF) has created new benchmarks of curiosity and creativity among children.

The unprecedented response to IGNITE Competition for children’s innovations by National Innovation Foundation (NIF) has created new benchmarks of curiosity and creativity among children.

Compared to about 4,000 entries last year, about 14,889 children responded from 282 districts of 30 states and union territories this year. Selecting 32 children was not an easy task. Children have once again proved that they are far less patient with the unsolved problems of our society than many of us.

The inverted model of innovation implies that children invent, engineers and designers fabricate, and companies commercialise. The awards will be given by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam at IIMA campus – 3pm on November 10. Those who want to be inspired to overcome their inertia would not miss this date. The rest can enjoy their comfort with inertia, inefficiency and inadequacy in dealing with the social problem.

For their innovations, each child will get a copy of the patent application filed in their names, apart from seeing the prototype wherever feasible. The children are always advised not to make feasibility the enemy of desirability. In addition to award winners, we intend to invite some children whose ideas were found very interesting even if not worthy of an award. There were other children who had the courage to send absurd ideas. We intend to invite some of those kids to attend the programme. Who knows what seems absurd today, may become reality tomorrow.
Let me share this week the ideas of the youngest children. The ideas of the children upto Std X and XII will be shared in the coming weeks. Mohammed Usman Hanif Patel (Std II) from Jalgaon, Maharashtra thought of a fan inside the house, which will be powered by the windmill on the rooftop. He also thought about a sorting machine for different sizes of oranges.

Rajshree Choudhary (Std V) of Jamshedpur was perturbed with people using cellphone while driving and has developed an interesting concept to prevent it. While children are concerned about this bad habit, adults simply ignore this basic etiquette of driving. How many lives lost by negligent driving will be saved by this innovation.

An innovation by Shiv Shankar Kumar (Std VI) and Ravi Ranjan (Std VIII) from Patna can prevent people from driving without licences. The system will doesn’t allow the car to start till the driver’s licence has been acknowledged.

Aditya Joshi (Std VIII) from Pune has conceived a spray which can make gloves and socks waterproof when needed. The layer can be peeled off when not needed.

Traffic woes can be a thing of the past if this innovation by Charishma from Hyderabad sees light of day. Different times of the day have traffic moving in one particular direction. If dividers in between can be moved left or right according to the direction of the traffic, then utilisation and optimisation of space can be heightened to a great extent.

Kripesh Swain and Kumar Biswajeet from Bhubaneshwar have thought of a solution to a very serious problem of our society. In flood-prone regions, there are times when all the wells and handpumps are inundated and there is severe water shortage. Efforts have been made to raise platform of the handpump by a few feet to address this problem.

The idea suggested by the young duo is a handpump that automatically increases its height at the onset of flood. Even if such handpumps had to be raised to a higher level manually with some kind of retractable system, it still would be a great relief.

Be ready to read about many more creative ideas in the coming weeks. We welcome entrepreneurs, designers, fabricators and entrepreneurs to join hands with HoneyBee Network and NIF so that the inverted model can be implemented fast. Look forward to make our children believe that their job is to imagine and invent. The rest of the steps in the value chain will be taken care of by the country.

Impatient children are the greatest asset of our country.

The author is a professor at IIMA


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