Innovate, ideate on ways to address Bengaluru water, traffic woes

Grand Challenge Call 5 to focus on technological innovations dealing with transport while Call 6 seeks crowdfunded solutions to water conservation issues.

Published: 06th September 2017 09:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th September 2017 09:01 AM   |  A+A-

Nearly five lakh vehicles are added on Bengaluru’s roads every year, compounding the city’s traffic problems

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The state government has launched Grand Challenge Call 5 and Call 6, under the Grand Challenges–Karnataka initiative to find a solution to the city’s water woes and traffic problems.
Grand Challenge Call 5 will focus on technological innovation with regard to last-mile connectivity, real-time information on public transport, innovative parking solution and the like. Pointing out that more than three-quarters of Bengalureans commute to work by themselves and nearly five lakh vehicles are being added every year, thus increasing traffic problems, IT/BT Minister Priyank Kharge said that these factors are leading to loss of billions of dollars.

There is a need for revolutionary and innovative changes to address the issue, he added. “The future of commuting will come out of new innovations which can be used alongside existing technologies. They will work within the context of increasingly smart transport networks that are able to respond quickly and efficiently to our ever-changing needs. Grand Challenge Call 5 is an attempt to create a big picture from small solutions,” he said.Terming water as the new oil, Kharge said that Call 6 seeks crowd-sourced solutions for data generation and development of sustainable, feasible, scalable and low maintenance kits, mobile apps, sensors, technology to monitor water quality and quantity for reducing water consumption at an individual level. “This creates opportunity for startups, which can contribute to creating a sustainable water supply and participate in investments likely to experience long-term growth,”  he said.

The selected ideas will be funded by the State government. ‘Grand Challenge Call 6’ is a rallying cry to unearth innovative solutions to aid water conservation in Karnataka. The state government launched Call 6 to generate and utilise real-time data on quality and quantity of water being used at an individual level including water use in agriculture for predicting a potential water crisis. 

In the first phase, five innovators will be eligible for testing the proposed solution and would get up to `10 lakh for a period of six months.  In phase two, one innovator would be selected for a further funding of up to  50 lakh rupees for a period of 12 months. The idea would be tested for the ability to define and demonstrate the product/solution and evaluated on stability, robustness and scalability of the solution through a sustainable revenue model.

The selection criteria will be based on parameters including alignment with the mandate of the cell, the potential impact, feasibility, sustainability, accessibility and novelty of the idea proposed as well as the execution capacity.Anyone from any discipline in India — from individuals, researchers and faculty in colleges/ universities/government laboratories/ institutions to start-ups, and not-for-profit organisations — can apply for the Grand Challenge by logging 

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