Innovation at the grassroots level is an outcome of traditional knowledge (TK) of people acquired in their domain of activities. As India has no dearth of talented people in every sphere of business activities, lot of innovations do happen every now and then. However, such innovations require feasibility studies and financial support to make them valuable enough for commercial applications. NIF has incorporated a dedicated division- Business Development for working on every aspect of making green grassroots innovations a feasible proposition.
- To assist India in becoming a creative and inventive society and a global leader in sustainable technologies by spawning, scouting and sustaining grassroots innovations.
- To assure that no economic and social handicaps affect the diffusion and evolution of community-led solutions for sustainable development.
Our ObjectivesNational Innovation Foundation - India was established in the year 2000 by Department of Science and Technology at Ahmedabad in February, 2000 to attain its objectives essentially through a non-government body and by relying upon all the collaborating partners of HoneyBee network. The common objectives of NIF are as follows:
- To deliver institutional support in scouting, sustaining, spawning and scaling up green grassroots innovations along with outstanding conventional knowledge and assisting their transition to self assisting activities.
- To find out self reliance by the way of the competitive advantage that enterprises based on innovation and/or through application of "community generated sustainable technologies" at the base level.
- To build associations between proficiency in informal knowledge systems and formal scientific systems to develop a knowledge network which would link different stakeholders through information technology application and allied means.
- To empower broader social awareness, and feasible applications, of the knowledge generated as a result of such sustainable development initiatives in social or commercial spheres and encourage its incorporation in developmental policies, educational curriculum and other related programs.
Pursuing the activities require a design or a working methodology to meet the set objectives. A methodological framework has been developed to build the value chain around various innovations and traditional knowledge. It encompasses appointment of mentoring teams around each product for which business development has to be done. We are also setting up Students' Club for Augmenting Innovations (SCAI) at grassroots level in large numbers in many Business Schools across the country. The network is assisting grassroots innovators in market feasibility reports, financial calculations, streamlining supply chains, etc. NIF along with students from various Institutes such as IIM Indore, is organizing a countrywide Business Plan contest 'DISHA' for developing business plans for grassroots innovations and traditional knowledge practices.
Key Features of Green Grassroots Innovations
One of the most remarkable aspects of green grassroots innovations is that they address the key needs of grassroots consumers, which have not been met or satisfied by the conventional approach whereby the technological innovations gradually trickle down to the grassroots level. During the last one decade, NIF has successfully turned a number of green grassroots innovations into feasible technological support systems that are serving to the needs of various cross sections of the society. Some of the areas in which NIF has taken grassroots innovations to the next level are Agriculture Machinery and Farm Implement, Agro Based Food Processing Machinery, A/c Ventilation Machinery & Equipment, Auto Components, Accessories & Garage Equipment, Construction & Building Equipment, Consumer Durables, Dairy Machinery, Earth Moving and Excavator Machine, General Purpose Machinery & Equipment, Electronic Gadgets, Energy Conservation And Generation Technology, and Environment Management Technology,Energy Conservation,Solar Energy Conservation .