Innovation fest gets enthusiastic response even as participants rues fund constrain

[ Marli Kamki ]
ITANAGAR, Jan 25: Aiming to provide a platform for innovation and creativity, the two day ‘Innovation Festival 2020’began here at the Arunachal Pradesh Science Centre on Saturday with large participation of innovators from various schools and colleges, including local entrepreneurs.
Addressing the innovators, Secretary (S&T) Ameya A Abhyankar announced provision for a separate State Innovation Fund (SIF) in this year’s budget for the innovators of the state.
Emphasizing the need for convergence of innovation with entrepreneurship, he informed that the government is coming up with a start-up policy to encourage entrepreneurship which will also incorporate a separate provision for ‘Student Start-Ups’ meant exclusively for the students, from this year onwards.
Acknowledging the fund constraints faced by many of the innovators who had showcased their project prototypes, Abhyankar informed that “the Department of Science & Technology will provide seed money to selected innovators for scaling up their projects from table-top to real-time under a concept called ‘My Campus, My Lab'”.
“We are planning to make it a calendar event,” said APSCST Director CD Mungyak, while adding that a biotechnology resource centre was coming up in Kimin.
Speaking to this daily, Avang Wangsu, one of the participants from NIT Yupia whose model- Waste to Electricity (WTE) intends to generate power from plastic and other non-biodegradable wastes, rued that in addition to fund constraints and lack of support from various quarters, many of the student innovators miss out on the opportunities to participate in such festivals due to lack of information and awareness.
Claiming to have been working on it since he was in the 10th standard, Avang added that his WTE project was conceived keeping in mind the hardships faced by women in disposing toiletry and sanitary wastes.
While seven-year-old Rakli B Bagra (the youngest participant in the festival) demonstrated his prototype propeller fan, 64-year-old Rinchin Norbu, who had come all the way from Morshing Village under West Kameng district, demonstrated indigenous boots, crockery items, and weight &scales used for centuries by the locals of his area.
Later in the day, a workshop on Intellectual Property Right was also organized with Dr Sanjeev Majumdar from the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR) as the resource person, followed by a popular science lecture on ‘Opportunities in bio-technology’ by Guwahati Science Park Senior Scientist Dr Bula Chadhuri.
The first day of the Innovation Festival 2020 saw participation of innovators from government secondary schools of P-Sector and Police Colony, Itanagar; VKV Chimpu; VKV Tafragam; JNV Goju NERIST; NIT Yupia; VKV Ziro; Holy Cross Higher Secondary School Itanagar; NIOS; VKV Tezu; VKV Yazali; Government Higher Secondary School, Dari; VKV Vivek Vihar; Biotech Park Guwahati and various other agencies, including local entrepreneurs from West Kameng, Lower Subansiri and Lohit districts.