The two-day Rural Innovation and Startup Conclave (RISC2017), which aims to provide a platform to rural innovators and start-ups, today got underway at the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD & PR) here.
“Rural Innovators Startup Conclave is a good beginning to connect all dots to take science and technology, to take innovative minds to the rural areas to harness the creativity available in rural areas for solving the problems in rural areas,” NIRD & PR Director General W R Reddy said at the inauguration ceremony.
For promotion of rural entrepreneurship, NIRD & PR wants to become platform for creative minds, innovators, startup enthusiasts and to connect them with rural India to resolve some of the rural issues and rural challenges, Reddy said.
“The focus of the event is to build capacities and promote fresh talent by giving them a platform to display their innovations, encourage greater learning, and strengthen the cadre of young rural innovators and start-ups,” he said.
As a first step towards providing facilitation to the innovators, NIRD & PR today entered into an MoU with design solutions major Autodesk for the establishment of a design centre, which will facilitate training in designing the products to suit to the present market trends.
Efforts are being made through this approach to convert the Rural Technology park of NIRD&PR as an incubation centre and develop the same as Centre of Rural Technologies.
“At the design lab, high-end software and system tools can be used to design product/solution in the virtual environment for a problem before actually going for fabrication. That will help the innovators and creative minds to come up with quick solutions for problems at low costs,” he explained.
71 innovators have applied for the conclave and 69 start ups are exhibiting their ideas, which have been screened out of 250 entries.
“Out of the selected start ups we will shortlist about a dozen which have high potential and they will be facilitated to pitch in before the investors (angel funding agencies) tomorrow to take forward the ideas and prototypes into a scaleable busienss model,” Reddy said.
Union Minister of State for Science, Technology and Earth Sciences, YS Chowdary said this kind of initiative which focuses on rural urbanisation requires synchronisation modern day development concepts. “Since our country is agrarian-based we have to take a quantum leap to help farmers improve their income level and reduce cost of living.”
“We need volunteers for farmers who can help them in creating awareness on different aspects. I believe NIRD&PR can play a major role in capacity building ? help farmers get educated in fundamental financial literacy and cost accountancy,” Chowdary added.