Innovation for India Awards 2014 presented to Winners by Vidya Balan

Anti-theft electronic meters that address the issue of highly rampant AT&C losses, an international awards winning newspaper run by women from marginalized communities of Uttar Pradesh & Bihar, SMS based initiative to empower farmers, are few of the great innovations witnessed at the awards ceremony of Innovation for India awards (IIA) 2014; a flagship event of the Marico Innovation Foundation (MIF). Founded in 2006, the awards aim to acknowledge and foster innovation in the business and social sectors.

Vidya Balan, leading actress, known for her unconventional choice of roles graced the occasion as Chief Guest. Innovation for India Awards 2014,which also saw the presence of stalwarts and dignitaries like Padmavibhushan Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, Chairperson, Marico Innovation Foundation, Prof. Sujatha Ramadorai, Canada Research Chair, Mathematics Department, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and Dr.Radhakrishnan, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organization.

Commenting on the occasion, Vidya Balan said that “It is encouraging to see that The Marico Innovation Foundation Innovation for India Awards is recognizing and acknowledging innovations from all over the country that are contributing to the wellbeing of the society and I am sure that this recognition will further help these and other organizations to deepen their commitment to make a difference”.

A special award -Global Game Changer award was also announced, on this evening of learning. It is awarded to ground-breaking innovations, which herald the emergence of a new, bold and ambitious ‘Innovative India’.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) won the `Game Changer Award’ for their impactful innovations, ranging from the frugal innovations with high technology like the launch of `Mangalyaan’ on one hand to denial driven innovations like `cryogenic engines’ on the other.

The other Awards were given across Business and Social categories, and the most deserving innovations stood apart in the criteria of uniqueness, scalability, sustainability and transformational impact.

Business category:

1. Zydex Industries, for developing the world’s first Silanenanotechnology based additive to improve life cycle of roads, which is one of the key infrastructural challenges in India

2. Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited for developing anti-theft electronic meters to address the issue of highly rampant AT&C losses

3. Reuters Market Light, for empowering farmers with SMS-based information to help them get a better yield and realize higher prices

Social category:

1. Nirantar Trust was honoured for conceptualizing Khabar Lahariya, a newspaper run by girls and women from marginalized communities, who publish local news in rural dialects and strive to bring about social change

2. Association of Democratic Reforms, was awarded for pioneering and disseminating background information on politicians and political parties in India, enabling transparency in politics and democracy of India

Commenting on the award winners, Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, Chairperson, Marico Innovation Foundation, encouragingly said,”The award winners this year have brilliantly shown as to how one can have a sustainable business model, while having a positive impact on human lives. I am proud to be associated with this decade long journey of Marico Innovation Foundation, where we have increasingly witnessed the continuously enhancing national prestige of these awards”.

Mr. Harsh Mariwala, Founder of Marico Innovation Foundation.said, “There is a need for tapping India’s great talent pool in various sectors of the country. The Innovation for India Awards are Marico Innovation Foundation’s way to encourage and give formal recognition to a company, organization or government body that helps inspire budding innovators and provide a forum for learning. The foundation aims to be an impetus to acknowledging and encouraging ideas that impact the community at large.”

Speaking about the award winners, he also added, “The winners today have been honoured for the sustainability, impact and the inclusive approach of their project.”

The award winners were felicitated, with trophies and cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh, in the presence of industry stalwarts and some of the best innovators in the country.