IIT-Madras CZeroC attracts participants across country

IIT-Madras CZeroC attracts participants across country

The second edition of Carbon Zero Challenge CZeroC, a pioneering initiative aimed at encouraging environmental entrepreneurs, has attracted participants from all over the country

Hyderabad: The second edition of Carbon Zero Challenge (CZeroC), a pioneering initiative aimed at encouraging environmental entrepreneurs, has attracted participants from all over the country.

More than 850 registrations from students, start-ups and entrepreneurs besides educational institutions have been received so far for CZeroC 2019, a Green Business Idea Contest pioneered by Indian Institute of Technology Madras in collaboration with Virtusa and Shaastra 2019. The Industrial Waste Management Association (IWMA) is organising partner and Younoodle is technology partner. The last date to apply for this contest is July 22nd, 2018.

Speaking about the importance of this National Contest, Carbon Zero Challenge Principal Coordinator Prof Indumathi M Nambi, Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Division, Civil Engineering Department, IIT Madras, said, “We have traditionally imported technology for Environmental protection that have not been India-centric, which often results in failure or not being cost effective. There is a need to develop affordable, indigenous technology which requires less energy and chemicals and produces less waste and more recoverable material.”

What sets CZeroC 2019 from other initiatives is that it not only seeks innovative ideas but additionally supports the best performing teams to build working prototypes by providing them ‘Financial and Mentor Support’ and helps them to take their technology to the market by helping them set up start-ups. Winning teams will get connected to IIT Madras Incubation Cell or equivalent and Start-up support fund. Prof Ashok Jhunjhunwala, IIT Madras, and Advisor to Carbon Zero Challenge 2018, emphasised that the innovation must not stop just in the ideation phase but must be materialized for all practical purposes.

He said, “If and when the products out of carbon zero challenge emerge to become something that can be manufactured and commercialized, there is enough help available in the country to support the teams with entrepreneurship, either with IIT Madras Incubation Cell or other incubators in country. Over the last few years, many teams have moved from early prototype stage to commercialization. I am sure that the carbon zero challenge products can be taken towards successful commercialization.”

The CZeroC 2019 envisions promoting green innovations in India via multistage support at each stage of their Innovations-to-Prototype-to-Ecobusiness journey. Currently enrolled students and recent graduates (undergraduate, postgraduate, doctorate, post-doctorate in science, engineering, management, and others) and aspiring entrepreneurs, early stage start-ups are eligible to apply.

To apply for Carbon Zero Challenge 2019:

Step 1: Go to http://czeroc.com/apply
Step 2: Login using a Facebook account, or LinkedIn account. Alternatively, you can create a YouNoodle account and login to start your application.
Step 3: Click on ‘Create a New Application’ and start your application as team.
Step 4: Fill the details of your idea and information about your team members.
Step 5: Submit the application. You will hear from carbon zero challenge soon.

Contact CZeroC 2019 team at infoczeroc@iitm.ac.in or call at +91-9498070046.

Applicants are suggested to spend 2-3 hours for providing details about your submission through Younoodle. Teams that are still developing their idea may need to plan for more time to address the questions in the application.

Shortlisted teams (up to 25 teams) will have an opportunity to win:

1. A funding assistance of up to Rs 5 Lakhs per team to help them build a working prototype and hence convert their innovative idea into scalable product/solution for the market
2. Entrepreneurship training and certification – which could help them immensely in their Start-up journey
3. Start-up support fund of upto 10 Lakhs for the winning team and further incubation opportunities
4. Mentorship support by Technical and Business Experts from both academia and industry – to assist the teams in building a successful prototype
5. Assistance in liaising with the industry.

The competition timeline aligns with the academic calendar to encourage student teams to carry out CZeroC Project as part of their curriculum requirement. CZeroC 2019 is the second edition of Carbon Zero Challenge Contest. CZeroC2018, was an incredibly successful first edition. As many as 52 start-ups and 479 college students from South India participated in CZeroC 2018. Shortlisted 25 teams in the first edition got to build prototypes of their innovation with funding support of up to Rs. 5 Lakhs provided by CZeroC. The CZeroC 2018 committed Rs. 10 lakh each to top threewinning teams, to pilot their innovation.

Dr Michael R Hoffman, Professor, California Institute of Technology, and a mentor to Carbon Zero Challenge 2018 teams, said “It is a fantastic idea to get students and others involved in thinking of alternative strategy for improving energy budget of India with respect to greenhouse gas emissions, climate change and other factors that are affected by energy usage including environment control technologies, waste water engineering.

They all require innovative ideas to turn us into a zero carbon society. I applaud the program instituted by ProfNambi at IIT Madras. Good luck to everyone who wants to participate.” M Subramanian, Chief Executive Officer, Development Office, IIT Madras Alumni Charitable Trust, said, “Engineering institutions are grounds for creative excellence among students and faculty. Carbon Zero Challenge has been an innovative student’s competition to address serious problems facing the country.”

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