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Friday, February 28, 2014

By Kamal Swami

Mahindra challenges India to drive Disruptive Innovation

The Mahindra Group today launched India’s biggest innovation prize- the ‘Rise Prize’ which offersUSD1 million to drive globally relevant, disruptive innovations while helping build a culture of innovation in India. It will start with two primary challenges, the Mobility Challenge, which invites solutions for driverless cars in India, while the second Solar Challenge aims to make solar energy products more accessible to the population at large.
According to Mr. Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group, “With the Rise Prize, the Mahindra Group wants to provoke big disruptive ideas that can dramatically change lives. We are offering a big incentive for fresh thinking among the new generation of innovators in our country. Our ambition is to propel India into the next orbit of Innovation and develop the nascent innovation ecosystem in India. Essentially we want to catalyze the rise of world-class, world-beating innovations and technology from India.”
According to Mr.S P Shukla, President- Group Strategy and Chief Brand Officer, Mahindra Group, “We are launching the Rise Prize on National Science Day to commemorate the country’s achievements in the field of science and technology. We are a nation of a billion possibilities, with the potential to create innovations which are truly disruptive. Rise Prize, from Mahindra Group aims to inspire and enable the individuals & teams out of India to innovate and push boundaries, which would make the world sit up and take notice.”
With the Mobility Challenge the Mahindra Group is encouraging innovation in the area of Driverless Cars for Indian Roads. This would redefine the Future of Mobility and carries the promise of transforming our lives while addressing a range of challenges. The benefits of an effective solution include decreased road mortality rates, lower driver fatigue, increased environmental friendliness and making transportation more inclusive for people that are differently-abled.The Solar Challenge looks for innovative ideas in the area of ‘Affordable DIY Rooftop Solar Kits’. As cities continue to grow at an unprecedented rate, there is anincreasingly urgent need for power and sustainable ways to generate it. With its abundant sunshine, India is believed to have the energy equivalent to the vast Middle Eastern oil fields when it comes to solar power. This presents an unparalleled opportunity for the country to lead the global energy revolution through solar energy.
The rationale behind this challenge is to make solar energy generation more affordable and accessible with a DIY Rooftop Solar Kit. From providing energy access to rural India and making solar a large-scale reality in urban India, to disrupting the way India powers itself--the possibilities are endless.
For more information on the Rise Prize please go to 
Spark The Rise
The Mahindra Group has been fostering innovation and entrepreneurship across India with its Spark the Rise (STR) initiative that was launched in 2011. STR is a platform that seeks to catalyze world-class innovation and entrepreneurship through a collaborative approach- bringing together an ecosystem of partners to run programs, challenges, and competitions that inspire and enable the Rise of a world-class India.
It connects entrepreneurs to resources, features innovators on television, and connects passionate individuals with the country’s most influential and powerful figures through the Amazing Indians program. To date, STR has over 300,000 users, has raised funding worth US$ 1 million, awarded 100 grants, built over 20 partnerships, generated over 1.3 million votes and currently hasnearly 2,000 live projects in operation.
The ‘Spark the Rise’ website’s new ‘Challenge’ section will highlightcritical global issues which if solved could prove to be game changing.These would range from transportation and renewable energy, to technology and healthcare among others. 
STR’s collaborative approach seeks to achieve scale by connecting people, partners, and resources. From development agencies and investors, incubators and accelerators, to research centers and individuals who have the passion and drive to see India innovate, STR helps them to make the connections that inspire and enable the rise of disruptive innovations in India. Essentially, it believes that collaboration is the path to scale.
Source: Press Release of Mahindra Group 

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