The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a Rs 3-crore ‘Reinvent the Toilet Challenge’ grant to Eram Scientific Solutions based here.

Eram Scientific is the manufacturer of what is purported to be the country’s first and only ‘eToilet’ (electronic public toilet).

It is the only company from not only from India but also Asia and one among the four institutions worldwide to win the grant this year.

Eram Scientific will use the grant money to pursue research on maintaining cleaner public toilets while conserving precious resources of water and energy.

The research and development work will span across a period of 17 months, a spokesman for the company said here.

The phase I of the project will be on track by September this year, he added.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates himself announced the four new grantees while giving away the wards at Seattle, US.

CRITICAL CHALLENGE

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation hosted the ‘Reinvent the Toilet Fair’ there Tuesday and Wednesday.

Vinod M. S., Executive Director, and Bincy Baby, Project Manager, Eram Scientific, attended the programme.

Other recipients of the grants were Cranfield university, UK; Research Triangle Institute, US; and the University of Colorado-Boulder, US.

Eram Scientific is focused on addressing the critical challenge of maintaining clean and hygienic toilets using appropriate technology while conserving natural resources.

The research results being taken up would largely benefit the urban sanitation facilities in India and across developing nations.

Eram Scientific is also working on a project to ensure global access to sanitation solutions, the spokesman said.

vinson.kurian@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 19, 2012)
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