MIF offers grant to winners of ‘Innovate2Beat Covid Challenge’

L N Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on May 22, 2020 Published on May 22, 2020

Marico Innovation Foundation (MIF) has identified CREA Worldwide, Log 9 Materials Scientific Pvt Ltd and Saral Design Solutions as winners of “Innovate2Beat Covid’ nationwide grand challenge.

The foundation floated the grand challenge idea to combat the short supply of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and ventilators in the wake of the global pandemic due to Covid 19.

“The pragmatic call to help the frontline workers of this nation spurred action among innovators. We received over 1,500 interests from across the country between March 29 and April 18. After detailed evaluation and due diligence of entries by a panel of experts, the jury picked 3 cost-effective, sustainable and ‘built-for-India’ innovations,” said Harsh Mariwala, Founder, MIF and Chairman, Marico Ltd.

The Foundation along with A.T.E. Chandra Foundation and Mariwala in his personal capacity have come together to offer total grants of ₹2.5 crore of which ₹1.57 crore has been offered to selected PPE solutions.

MIF will now take on the next turn in this challenge journey by enabling the selected innovations with deeper engagement, help winners in the PPE category manufacture, distribute and market their products in the next 2-3 months, said Amit Chandra, Vice-Chairperson, MIF and Chairman, Bain Capital India.

By innovating within their business areas and modifying their existing devices to deliver PPE equipment at a fraction of the cost, these innovators have not only proved their mettle but come up with India specific, affordable yet high quality solutions, he said and added that the foundation would work closely with the winners to help convert their ideas into lasting impact.

“Speed of scale is even more crucial,” said Mariwala.

Sharing a brief about the winners, the MIF founder said: “CREA Worldwide is among the few players in the market offering breathable yet hydrophobic PPE kit that are approved by DRDO. The company uses non-laminated fabrics to make the coveralls more breathable; these can be used up to 12 hours, is priced similar to non-breathable kits, with twice the life. The company has been offered a grant of ₹41 lakh.”

Log 9 Materials Scientific Pvt Ltd has developed a multi-focal UV disinfection chamber (called Corona Oven) that can sanitise any surface of all pathogens in 10 minutes, thus permitting hospitals re-use masks, gloves and other PPE. The company has in the last four weeks sold 300+ ovens.

Apart from hospitals disinfecting PPE, general shops, households and users across the value chain of most small-sized products such as milk packets, food packets, watches, spectacles, bags, etc. can disinfect a plethora of items. The chamber is also finding innovative, customised use cases in airports to disinfect high-contact surfaces such as trolleys, escalator handles, baggage belts, etc. We have offered the company a grant of ₹76 lakh.

“Saral Design Solutions has with its patented sanitary pads producing machine manufactured 3-ply surgical masks (as opposed to commonly available 2-ply mask). The company can manufacture 80 masks per minute. It has made close to 10 lakh masks since end-March; is looking to ramp up production and decentralise its manufacturing capabilities in 20 locations across tier II and III cities. The grant offered is ₹40 lakh.”

MIF team, meanwhile, is conducting thorough evaluation of applications under Ventilator category, said its Vice- Chairman.

Published on May 22, 2020

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