Rajan Nanda Innovation Lab (RNIL), the incubation platform of automotive engineering company Escorts, has chosen five startups in the agritech, railtech and infratech segments for the first cohort of its Inter-College Innovation Challenge (IC2).
While the five winners will receive seed funding and mentorship opportunities, the entity will also offer partial financial assistance to nine other startups to build and test prototypes, a statement said.
RNIL declined to respond to TechCircle queries seeking details on the winning startups.
The programme, launched in February 2020, chose the winners from 31 finalists, the statement said. The challenge witnessed participation from Indian and international institutions, as well as students and alumni of engineering and management institutions.
The jury, comprising a team from Escorts, focused on ideas that used artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT)-based applications in agriculture for farm productivity; telematics and sensors technologies for smart construction and infrastructure practices; as well as AI-based rail transport safety technology.
The challenge focussed on finding solutions in the agritech domain to boost power in tractor accessories and technology, reduce fuel consumption, create low cost Li-ion or other battery options to reduce input cost, enable telematics and predictive forecasting technology. It sought to make farm and crop intelligence and advisory accessible to each farmer using a combination of mobile apps, AI, precision agri services, crop planning and budgeting, the statement said.
Additionally, the infratech ideas focused on smart construction technology, automotive design and ergonomics. The railtech space, on the other hand, listed ideas for smart railway innovation to offer better communication, comfort and safety.
RNIL works on spotting the new emerging technologies in the country and around the world by collaborating with technology centres, academia and research institutions, Sharad Gupta, CIO of RNIL, said.
“Through crowdsourcing, we plan to identify technology innovations and then incubate them with the desired funding support. In the inception year, the innovation challenge received an overwhelming response from students and budding startups,” he said.