The 2002 batch of the Indian Institute of Bombay (IITB) has set up IITB Innovate, an alumni-funded project to aid innovative research projects of students submitted at the IITB Incubation Centre.
The batch of 2002 first time came up with the idea at its alumni meet in 2012. Of 500 students in the batch, 100 attended the meet. It was here that they decided to encourage student initiatives that failed to take off due to lack of funds.
Anyone who wish to, can donate to 'IITB Innovate' to help those who approach the incubation centre with innovative research projects.
'IITB Innovate' signed an MOU with IITB two months back to start this project. All current students and IIT Bombay alumni are eligible to submit project proposals to IITB.
A project committee will review the proposals and select the grant awardees. The award consists of a grant of up to Rs 2-5 lakh. Initially, 8-12 awards are expected to be granted. That would, however, depend on the fund raised. The funding could go up depending on the availability of additional funds.
Abhishek Jain, a 2002 alumnus and member of 'IITB Innovate', said: "The alumni-funded project aims to stimulate innovation at IITB. There are many students who have great ideas, but lack funds when it comes to building a prototype. An Innovation Fund is being set up to support best innovations in research, technology and product development that would create a lasting impact on the quality of life in India. IITB will use this fund to provide capital to innovative projects and assist in the successful transition of innovative ideas from the early stage to prototyping."
Poyni Bhatt, chief operations officer, SINE (Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship) IITB, said: "The project will definitely help those students who have difficulties in prototyping their innovative ideas. The MOU was signed by 'IITB Innovate' two months back, and the project committee recently selected one innovative research for funding."
SINE incubates start-ups by the IIT Bombay community. A necessary requirement is a linkage with IITB. It encourages technology-based ventures with social and strategic bearings. The applicants must have business proposals for technology-based products and solutions.