Marico Innovation Foundation responded to the growing seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic with ‘Innovate2Beat COVID’ a nationwide grand challenge to unearth innovations that can combat the short-supply of Personal Protective Gear (PPE) and Ventilators. The pragmatic call to help the front line workers of this nation spurred action among innovators and the challenge jury received over 1500 interests from across the country during the 20 days period from 29th March to 18th April 2020. Detailed evaluation and due diligence of entries by Advisors Praxis Global Alliance, technical scrutiny by a Technical Panel, followed by intense deliberations by a Jury Panel led to 3 innovations that emerged as frontrunners with their ingenious PPE solutions. The Foundation along with A.T.E. Chandra Foundation and Mr. Harsh Mariwala in his personal capacity have come together to offer total grants of INR 2.5 crores of which INR 1.57 crores has been offered to selected PPE solutions.
The winning organisations created sustainable, cost effective and ‘built-for-India’ innovations. They began working on their solutions to support the COVID-19 crisis using quick thinking and agility to deliver solutions for emerging problems. By innovating within their business areas and modifying their existing devices to deliver PPE equipment at a fraction of the cost, they show potential to create large scale positive impact.
Additionally, Marico Innovation Foundation will now take on the next turn in this challenging journey by enabling the selected innovations by a deeper engagement model. Through this, they offer support and hand-on guidance to ascertain the innovation’s success as they march ahead to solve challenges thrown by the global pandemic.
The Foundation has always played a catalytic role for innovations in order to help them achieve scale. They are geared to help the winners in the PPE category ensuring they build on manufacturing, distribution and sales capabilities to disburse upwards of 3.5L masks, 50K complete PPE kits and 4.5K sterilization units within the next 2-3 months.
In the post-COVID world, innovations such as these will be the biggest driving factor for building the new-world ‘normal’, helping India survive and thrive. Marico Innovation Foundation aims to lay the foundation of a strong support system that will continue to mitigate the challenges we stand to face as a nation now and in the future.
Padma Vibhushan Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar, Hon’ Chairperson of Governing Council of Marico Innovation Foundation and Jury chair said, “Marico Innovation Foundation has been fuelling innovation for close to two decades by celebrating, showcasing and scaling the very best. Amit Chandra prompted us to use this wealth of experience to bring the best & most innovative minds together as this pandemic challenge rose before us.”
He adds, “I was privileged to chair a truly outstanding jury comprising great eminent experts who had the opportunity of unearthing truly ingenious innovators. These innovators proved their mettle by pivoting their existing businesses and reapplying its tenets to arrive at breakthrough, India specific, affordable yet high quality solutions. To ensure that these solutions finally help our society in these trying times, we will work closely with the winners now to help them convert their great ideas into lasting impact”