in the ‘Open innovation challenge – Smart Cities’, in which Andhra University and Garwood Centre for Corporate Innovation, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, are collaborating the projects offered included transport management, preservation of food and conservation of water, energy and solid waste management.
Three first year MBA students of IIT-Madras have come up with a business plan for setting up a cold storage and supply chain for vegetables and fruits. It focused on improving the lot of farmers by ensuring remunerative prices for their produce by eliminating the role of intermediaries.
“At present, 5 per cent of the 450 tonnes of vegetable and fruits is going waste owing to a lack of transport and an equal quantity is also perishing,” they estimate. The reason is the absence of cold storage facilities.
A solar technology-driven cold storage with 5 tonnes of capacity has been taken up as a project at IIT-Madras and the operating cost comes to Rs. 9 to Rs. 10 a kg.
Another set of students of M.Tech. (Electrical Engineering) of IIT-Madras, and five others have designed a project on reducing energy use by industrial and commercial establishments, lowering pollution by better monitoring, and a better system of solid waste management.
Another group of students from the University of California, Berkeley, designed a web platform that would help students hone their skills by doing projects obtaining company validated skills.
Another group is working on telecom and traffic management after studying the traffic scenario at Satyam Junction and Maddilapalem for seven days. A student said traffic is mismanaged and the way out of this mess is automation.
As many as 33 students carried out studies and came out with projects on energy, education, food and water, safety and security, housing and transportation and telecommunications, Executive Director of Garwood Centre for Corporate Innovation of the University, Solomon Darwin, said.
More than 200 Indian students forming 38 teams from various institutes, including IIT-Madras and Roorkee, IIIT-Bangalore, NIT-Jaipur, GITAM and Andhra University participated in the ‘Open Innovation Challenge-Smart cities’ organised by the Garwood Centre and Andhra University.
“The collaboration will focus on developing business models,” Andhra University Vice-Chancellor G.S.N. Raju said.