Novel Blood Test Wins Open Innovation Challenge in India
A home blood test that doesn’t require blood to be taken wins an open innovation competition in India.
GE India Technology Center, India
The GE Edison Challenge
is an open innovation contest for university students in India, organized by the GE India Technology Center (GEITC). Students are invited to use their creativity, ingenuity, technical and analytical skills to solve challenges that could ultimately make a huge difference to people's lives.
The first challenge was launched in 2008 and previous winning ideas have included an integrated small scale biodiesel production unit and a wireless EEG solution.
Open Innovation in India
In 2016, the challenge set by the open innovation contest was to find a digital industrial solution for India in either the healthcare, energy, transportation or water sectors. In so doing, the organizers wanted participants to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the Internet of Things (IoT) that is machine to machine communication that's built on cloud computing and big data sensors.
IoT harnesses the power of both the physical and digital to solve pressing challenges. It is a world where machines communicate with each other in ways that make them more productive, smarter, efficient and predictive.
"With the convergence of the physical and digital worlds and the ability to connect like never before, the need for open innovation and collaboration has never been greater," Mr. Munesh Makhija, VP, GE India Technology Center & CTO, GE South Asia.
To focus students mind, the contest organizers presented a number of areas where this physical-digital convergence could help:
• Is there a predictive technology that could prevent victims of infant mortality?
• Could a digital technology predict and prevent diseases in India caused by unsafe drinking
• Is there a digital-physical solution that increases fuel efficiency in Indian rail, road and flight
Bright Young Minds Compete
More than 300 teams from 75 institutes across the country answered the call and battled it out for a place in the grand finale.
This was held over a two-day period and involved 25 teams. During the first day, participants created prototypes and models in a make-a-thon session.
From this, five top teams were invited to present their ideas to the jury. The panel of judges based their evaluation on a number of different criteria, including innovation and novelty, feasibility, potential impact of idea, customer value and commercialization of the idea.
The overall winner was Team Flame from Zakir Hussain College, AMU for their idea on domestic health check-ups. Their concept is a user-friendly method of testing blood in the home without a person having to prick their finger or have blood taken. It involves blood cell count using only the electrical properties of cells.
The Next Step
The winners received a check for INR 10 lakh (approximately USD $15,000) which included an incubation grant to help them continue with the development of their idea.
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