Overwhelming interest in ‘Manufacturing Innovation Challenge’ brings to fore innovative capabilities of start-up ecosystem: Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM

MIC 2020 is part of FUSION 4.0 introduced by NASSCOM CoEto create an innovation platform for building smart factories to solve manufacturing challenges

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The second edition of Fusion 4.0’s Manufacturing Innovation Challenge 2020 (MIC2020) culminated with the announcement of the winners chosen after a month longevaluation process that tested their real life problem solving innovations.


Organized by the NASSCOM Centre of Excellence IoT& AI, an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), and the Gujarat government, the aim of the programme was ‘Redefining Enterprises and Entrepreneurs Engagement’. Plutomen Technologies Private Limited, Saven India Energy Management Private Limited, Radome Technologies And Services Private Limited, Cocoslabs Innovative Solutions Private limited (Pixuate), Vashishtha Research (OPC) Private Limited, and Orca Smart Lockswere announced the winners of the challenge.

The winners will work on real-time solutions for large manufacturing companies through paid POC, and get a one year membership to NASSCOM CoE Startup Accelerator Program. More than 100 startups applied for the challenge and the six winners were chosen from the top 20 startups that presented to Jury comprising senior leaders from industry, academia and government. Start-ups received mentoring support throughout their journey in the challenge to better prepare them for building the technology proposal.

“Digitalization is redefining the manufacturing industry and the NASSCOM CoE is strongly focused on driving thought leadership and co-innovation with startups to help manufacturing companies innovate in the new normal. The overwhelming interest in the `Manufacturing Innovation Challenge’ brings to the fore the innovative capabilities of the start-up ecosystem and the opportunity for the country to build a vibrant and digitally led manufacturing industry. NASSCOM CoE is committed to accelerate these opportunities through showcasing industry specific use cases and coupling them with start-up capabilities,” said MsDebjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM.


NASSCOM CoE in conjunction with RPG Group, JK Lakshmi Cement, Thermax Limited, Mother Dairy, Grasim Industries, and Minda Industriesnominatedsix use cases in three broad categories of Resource Optimization, Improved Throughput and Supply Chain for which startups were encouraged to submittechnology proposals. The challenges thrown at the door of startups through use cases included AI based Yarn Grading, Cost Efficient and Robust eLock for Perishable Goods Carrying Carts, Smart Energy Management, Automated Surface Area and Volume Prediction of Raw Materials, High speed Machine Vision inspection in Tyre manufacturing, and Real time quality inspection with AR.

Speaking on the occasion, MrHareet Shukla, IAS – Secretary, Department of Science & Technology, Gujarat, said, “Gujarat's manufacturing enterprises have grown tremendously over the last few decades, thanks to their ability to dream big and accept changes. Enterprises and MSMEs are on the lookout to leverage technology for business excellence. This initiative by NASSCOM CoE provides the perfect opportunity to our manufacturers, while also nurturing the deep-tech startups. I would call it a win-win for all.”

Added MrSaurabh Gaur – Joint Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, “Startups have the necessary knowledge and intelligent minds to create innovative solutions for a number of challenges, we face today. But without testing their knowledge in the real world, working on real needs - especially from the manufacturing sector, it cannot be validated.  So we, through NASSCOM CoE, want to keep the focus on providing them opportunities to work on real-world use cases with the manufacturing firms.”

“The entire thing has created a win-win situation for the startups as they get horizontal representation across the industry. For any startup to have a chance to get horizontal representation is good. When multiple industry people are sitting, then it becomes a chain which is beneficial for the startups, and also for the industry as they get insight from others too. We work extensively with NASSCOM CoE, at the innovation cell we are in constant touch with startups and keep holding hackathons etc. We believe innovation got to be a part of your life,” says Jayant Dua, CEO, Grasim Industries Limited.