Innovations related to agriculture sector at National Innovation Foundation (NIF) will get higher visibility. NIF has signed an MoU with Tata Agrico to collaborate in areas of agricultural implements. NIF founder Prof Anil Gupta says, “This MoU is a great beginning for us. This shows that corporate sector has enough potential to solve social problems at grassroot level.” He adds, “The company will cobrand technologies developed by grassroots innovators registered at NIF. The move has been initiated with the co-branding of a sugarcane bud chipper. Agrico will procure the machine from the innovator who hails from Madhya Pradesh and sell it through TATA outlets.
A fixed margin will be paid to the innovator. Once the pilot is over, other technologies from NIF database will be co-branded in this arrangement. “ There is a big pool of agriculturebased grassroots innovations at NIF. Gupta said, “In a joint meeting, we selected about 40 innovations from various parts of the country. These innovations will be further evaluated for co-branding.” Chief Innovation Officer (NIF) Vipin Kumar, Chief (Agrico Div) T V S Shenoy and Chief (Global Research Program, Agrico) Sumitesh Das were also present during the signing of the MoU along with Roshan lal Vishwakarma, innovator of the sugarcane bud chipper. NIF has filed over 550 patents on behalf of innovators.
Of these, 35 patents have been granted in India and four in USA. NIF has succeeded in commercialising products across countries in six continents apart from being successful in materialising 64 cases of technology licensing to 78 licensees with the help of partner agencies.
FIRST TO BE CO-BRANDED
The device, called sugarcane bud chipper, is used to remove buds from sugarcane sticks. The buds can be used for plantation instead of whole cane. The machine helps in chipping 250 to 400 buds in an hour. It reduces cost of plantation by over 90 per cent. The machine is floor-mounted and equipped with a knife with a semicircular edge to surgically cut out buds in a high-impact operation, with clean finish and practically no damage to the cane. It can also chop the cane into small pieces, is flexible, and can handle various sugarcane sizes and diameters. The device requires no power or fuel to run it and weighs a few kilograms making transport easy. \
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