New Delhi: The Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel, Dharmendra Debendra Pradhan launched Atal Community Innovation Centre (ACIC) in New Delhi to encourage the spirit of innovation at the community level Wednesday. The initiative aims to encourage the spirit of innovation through solution-driven design thinking to serve society.
Speaking on the occasion, Pradhan said, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) had a key role to perform in order to India achieving the target of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025. He urged NITI Aayog to open innovation centres in all gram panchayats of the country. He said that as innovation was an everyday need, it must be adequately promoted. He also opined that traditional and conventional knowledge available in the country needs to be supported and brought into the mainstream through innovative mechanisms.
Lauding the efforts of NITI Aayog in coming up with the idea of ACICs, the minister said that they will help make available cutting-edge innovation platforms to all corners of the country, with a focus on Aspirational Districts, Tier-2 and 3 cities and to North East and Jammu & Kashmir, which will provide a fillip to skill development and employment opportunities in those areas. ACIC’s grassroot-level approach will focus on a community-oriented problem solving through small ideas with a big impact. They will become a conduit for CSR funding by private and public sector firms in addition to direct funding through AIM.
Pradhan said reducing the lab to land distance is one of the key objectives of AIM and ACIC will help in further strengthening the government’s objective to strengthen India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The minister also said that India produced nearly 600 MMT of non-fossilised biomass through farm waste, which if converted to energy could help usher prosperity in rural economy, promote a sustainable energy future and make our farmers into energy producers, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of “Waste to Wealth” creation. Expressing his full support for the culture of innovation in the country, he assured that the public sector undertakings from steel and petroleum sectors would extend all necessary support and hand-holding in this mission.
“I have asked public sector undertakings (PSU)s to support this initiative, I also request NITI Aayog and AIM to innovate ACICs to help in finding innovative solutions to extract consumable energy from Biomass available in the country,” he said. He added that unique and incentivised solutions offered by ACICs will encourage students, researchers and other individuals or group of individuals to ideate and design novel solutions. ACICs will also connect innovative thinkers to the market and mainstream economy.
Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog, Rajiv Kumar and CEO, Amitabh Kant also spoke on the occasion.
The programme is directed to encourage the spirit of innovation through solution driven design thinking to serve the society. It will focus on both underserved and unserved regions of the country that at present lack a vibrant start-up and innovation ecosystem. ACIC will be established either in PPP mode or with support of PSUs and other agencies. The maximum grant-in-aid support form AIM will be up to Rs 25 million. A new ACIC website and application portal were also launched at the event.