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IIT Madras and CII to collaborate to promote Innovative Green Startups

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This MoU will facilitate a mutual discussion on innovative research ideas and ventures in the Cleantech space and enable start-ups to reach out to industry for business opportunities to help them scale

Indian Institute of Technology Madras and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) are going to collaborate to nurture and promote innovative green start-ups across the country.

This initiative will enable brainstorming sessions between academia and industry to create deep-tech and disruptive research ideas and help start-ups gain industry access for pilot demonstrations of their cleantech ideas.

Towards these objectives, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Gopalakrishnan-Deshpande Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (GDC), IIT Madras and  CII- Sohrabji Green Business Centre (CII-Godrej GBC) to nurture and promote innovative Green Startups on 31st August 2019 at Hyderabad on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the CII – Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre.

This collaboration will facilitate novel research ideas and innovative ventures in the cleantech space that would be trained and mentored by GDC at various academic institutions across India, and enabling the startups so created in reaching out to industry for networking and business opportunities as they seek to scale.

Speaking about the outcomes of this collaboration, Mr. R. Raghuttama Rao, Chief Executive Officer, GDC – IIT Madras, said, “Our experience is that start-ups in the Cleantech and Green businesses form 20-25% of the disruptive ideas emanating the research labs of IITs and other institutions. The MoU with CII will enable the young researchers and entrepreneurs to validate their ideas and assumptions with experienced industry veterans, thereby helping in creating more robust start-ups.”

This collaboration will help provide a platform for startups and founders of GDC-mentored teams at major events such as Green Building Congress, Energy Summit GreenCo Summit and Green Power to network and reach out to industry. Capacity building programmes for Cleantech entrepreneurs being mentored by GDC will also be conducted focussing on industry trends and requirements

Highlighting the need for such initiatives, Mr Jamshyd N. Godrej, Chairman, CII- Godrej GBC, said that with the climate challenges that the world is facing today, there is so much to be done, ahead of us. The need of the hour is to design and develop models, which are ecologically superior and economically viable.. Green entrepreneurs and start-ups have an important role in addressing ecological issues and concerns and this MoU will facilitate the same, highlighted Mr Godrej.

The key objectives/advantages of this collaboration include:

  • Enabling start-up teams in GDC’s programs from all over India to discuss their innovative ideas in the cleantech space with established industry players in their initiatives for Customer discovery and business model design
  • Facilitating the engagement of start-up teams from GDC with leaders in the cleantech industry to validate their Prototypes, Minimal Viable Products, and implement pilot studies as may be required in their quest for scaling up
  • Connecting established players in the Cleantech industry with young and talented entrepreneurs from the best research institutions across India and familiarising themselves with cutting-edge and disruptive technologies of tomorrow.

GDC is an alumni-funded centre for innovation and entrepreneurship at IIT Madras, providing the necessary thought leadership and networking impetus to help in building the systems and processes that enable innovative and entrepreneurial thinking in STEM universities across India. Its mandate is to work with STEM colleges across India to implement a ‘Lab to Market’ mission by helping faculty, researchers, students and entrepreneurs commercialise their research ideas by helping them develop robust start-ups that positively impact India. In order to curate research ideas into sustainable business ventures that impact society at scale, GDC works with stakeholders from academia, industry, finance, and government.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is a leading non-government, not-for-profit, industry/ led and industry managed organization, playing a proactive role in India’s development process. The organization works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the growth of industry in India, partnering industry and government alike through advisory and consultative processes.

CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre was established in the year 2004 as CII’s Developmental Institute on Green Practices and Businesses, aimed at offering world-class advisory services on conservation of natural resources. The Services of CII-Godrej GBC include- green buildings, green companies, energy management, green products, and renewable energy. CII-Godrej GBC works closely with the stakeholders in facilitating India emerge as one of the global leaders in Green Business by the year 2022.


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