Engineers in India, working for Indian and foreign companies, are starting to produce innovative products and technologies that have impact beyond its borders.
One such development is a system that uses thermal sensors and algorithms to calculate the number of people entering a store at a given time and when they are likely to leave. The system, designed at Tesco plc’s Service Center in Bangalore, helps managers keep an efficient number of cash registers open so check-out lines do not get too long.
Another invention, called Multipoint, targeting the classroom, gives multiple students a mouse cursor to use on one computer screen. Previously, the result of one computer in a classroom, even at a rural school, was one student, usually an upper-class male, using the computer more than the rest of the class. Microsoft Research is now considering the system, , for commercial development.
These stories are becoming more and more prevalent; it is an encouraging sign for anyone considering opening or expanding an India R&D center
July 28, 2010 No Comments
Telecom equipment maker ZTE, one of the bigger players in the global 3G space, with $9 billion in global sales, is ready to invest $100 million into its Indian subsidiary, ZTE India.
The funds are expected to come to ZTE’s Value Added Services Software Development Center in Bangalore which houses 140 technical staff and is integrated with ZTE’s global R&D network. ZTE employs 3,500 in India, distributed across Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata.
April 10, 2010 No Comments
In February 2009, The NYC Next Idea competition was announced by the city of New York, as part of a suite of initiatives dedicated to strengthening New York City ’s entrepreneurial community. Fifteen leading business and engineering universities from countries across Asia, Latin America, and Europe signed up to participate in NYC Next Idea 2009-2010, and ten teams submitted final proposals. The three teams of finalists representing business and engineering schools in France , Spain , and India were in New York City this week to present their plans.
The winner is Team Greenext Technology Solutions from the Indian Insitute of Technology Madras, located in Chennai, India. They devised a new system to allow utility companies and energy producers to store and distribute energy through remote sites across the five boroughs safely and efficiently, and were selected by a panel of judges from New York City ’s venture capital community to receive a $20,000 cash prize. The team members are Aashish Dattani, Sriram Kalyanaraman and Vinayshankar Kulkarni.
Greenext Technology Solutions is a clean-technology proposal that is pioneering specialized software and hardware solutions to utility companies, renewable energy producers, energy storage manufacturers, and energy traders. Their product, XEstor, serves as a common interface to store energy from any source across New York City into large battery storage sites. The product communicates with the electric grid and combines real-time consumer demand information with current energy prices to charge or discharge electricity into the grid. This flexible mechanism to produce or store energy based on demand can act as a backup power source to bridge supply gaps and maintain the grid’s reliability through ancillary services such as regulation and emergency response.
January 8, 2010 No Comments
Tata Chemicals is challenging Unilever’s India unit for the world lowest cost home water purifier, based on a rice husk ash filter. With a starting retail price of $16 for the unit, it costs less than half of Hindustan Unilever‘s breakthrough PureIt unit which has been a runaway success in India with $40 million in sales and three million units delivered already. The replacable filter for the Tata unit costs $6.
Tata’s Rallis Kisan Sansar and Tata salt’s distrbution network will distrbute the product.Built around a bulb-like water purifier made of rice husk ash filled with nano-silver particles, the Tata “Swach” can function without electric power or running water. The cartridge bulb has a purification medium that kills bacteria and disease causing organisms. It can purify up to 3,000 litres of water, after which the cartridge stops water flow. Fifteen patents have been filed for the technology and product. The filter was designed in a Tata Consultancy Services lab in Pune, while the silver nanotechnology was added by Tata Chemicals. Titan, Tata’s watch subsidiary, made the precision machine tools to manufacture the filter. Pune based Design Directions Private Limited provided industrial design services.Among the features of Swach which Design Directions added was pattern of the upper chamber which will facilitate manual cleaning,and the stackability’ of the two chambers which reduced the height of the box used for packaging (this makes it possible to fit one inside the other ensures that more packs can be carried in one truck). The current model doesn’t neutralize some contaminants such as arsenic.
Initial production will be one million units a year from a Tata Chemicals plant in Haldia, West Bengal, with a planned ramp-up to three million units annually within five years.
Safe clean water is in dire shortage in India and other developing countries. Without it disease is rampant: typhoid, cholera, jaundice and diarrhoea (which will kill about 380,000 children in India alone this year). Almost 80 per cent of diseases in developing countries are associated with water, causing some 3 million early deaths. Tata expects to sell this unit in Africa and other parts of the world eventually.
January 3, 2010 No Comments
I write for Business Week from time to time and this week, Dr. Atul Goel and I wrote a piece entitled: Innovation from India, the next Big Wave. It took them some time to publish the piece, but in many ways it is even more relevant now than when we first wrote it, given the state of the global economy.
Click here to read about how Innovative companies the world over are discovering the research and development advantages to be found in India.
February 12, 2009 No Comments