Tata Trusts invite startups to create new tech solutions in energy

Mumbai | Updated on February 09, 2018

Social Alpha Energy Challenge aims to discover next-gen technology innovations for energy needs

A nationwide hunt is on for innovators and entrepreneurs to participate in an energy challenge organised by Tata Trusts, a philanthropy organisation. With a focus on cleantech, sustainability and energy efficiency, the Social Alpha Energy Challenge, as it is called, aims to discover next-gen technology innovations that promise to unlock new solutions to India’s energy challenges.

Announcing its overarching theme for entrepreneurs, in terms of affordability, accessibility and user experience, the Challenge is inviting entries from innovators across various stages of the energy lifecycle, such as generation, transmission and distribution, storage, and consumption, in multiple sectors such as households, farm, industry, infrastructure, building, utility and transport.

The last date to submit applications is April 7, 2018. The Challenge is being held under the aegis of the Tata Trusts’ Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (FISE), which hand-holds technology based solutions for social impact through their lab-to-market journey.

Startups with high impact innovations in the field of energy will be able to access the resources they need to create deep and irreversible social impact.

Manoj Kumar, Head of Innovation, Tata Trusts, and CEO of Social Alpha said, "Two years back we created FISE as a key component of our Social Alpha architecture with a charter to catalyse innovation and entrepreneurship for impact."

Speaking about the architecture of the Social Alpha ecosystem, Kumar pointed out that Social Alpha Stack is a 3-tier architecture designed to nurture start-up teams through their lab to market journey. "We search for entrepreneurs and innovators who are on a mission to deliver social impact and remain engaged with them throughout their product lifecycle stages, as they create compelling solutions to various challenges," he said.

By partnering with a network of incubators, accelerators, enterprises and research and development institutions, Social Alpha leverages their strengths and infrastructure to allocate and utilise resources.

Social Alpha intends to eventually emerge as an efficient and transparent market place for allocating resources, and expects to transform itself into an aggregator of social capital (supply side) and a consolidator and curator of social innovations (demand side).

In this particular first-of-its-kind energy challenge, maximum of 10 winners will be selected and will receive 6-18 months of access to the upcoming Tata Smart Energy Incubation Centre in New Delhi, as well as access to state-of-the-art lab facilities and infrastructure.

Winners will be able to access test beds on the ground for trials and field testing as well as find support for their strategy and go-to-market.

Mentorship by experts, specialists, and sector leaders is also on the cards, as is an investor ecosystem.

Kumar added that Tata Trusts’ continued commitment to sustainability and climate challenges helped sharpen the focus "on creating a pipeline of high impact cleantech solutions that address the challenges of affordable energy in complete convergence with our livelihoods and sustainability initiatives at the grassroots level."

The winners are to be assessed on select parameters such as the breakthrough nature of the innovation, business viability, environmental sustainability, social impact, and scalability potential.

The winners of the Energy Challenge will form the first cohort of enterprises for Tata Smart Energy Incubation Centre (TSEIC)- an incubator and start up accelerator being built in partnership between Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited and Tata Trusts.

The dedicated incubation centre TSEIC has a charter to solve various riddles of energy challenges using state of the art technology infrastructure and domain expertise. Praveer Sinha, CEO and Managing Director, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited, said in a statement, the Tata Smart Energy Incubation Centre aims to bring innovation, domain and business expertise across the entire energy value chain to support scalable and sustainable solutions.

Published on February 09, 2018

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