Feb 19: The India-Australia Circular Economy (I-ACE) Hackathon, 2021 organised by Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, India and The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency came to a successful end here on Friday with eight deserving innovations graduating as winners from India and Australia.
The Hackathon was held between 8th February, 2021 and 11th February, 2021 which saw a participation of 72 teams comprising of students and startup/ MSME from both India and Australia under four broad areas.
A virtual valedictory session was held today (19th February 2021) involving Prime Ministers of both the nations who expressed their views and congratulating all the winners through a pre-recorded video message.
Addressing the audience from both India and Australia, the Prime Minister of India Shri. Narendra Modi expressed his words of appreciation to the young innovators and stated “All participants of this circular economy hackathon are winners and your spirit to innovate in this times of COVID 19 is commendable. We are not the owners of all that mother earth has to offer, but merely its trustees for all the future generations to come. We [India and Australia] must explore ways to scale up innovative ideas and must look at consumption patterns and reduce ecological impact, not only in two countries but for the whole world. Recycling, reusing, eliminating waste and improving resource efficiency should become part of our lifestyle. The Power of youth comes from openness to new ideas, innovation and ability to take risk. The strong India and Australia relationship will play an important role in shaping the post covid world.”
This hackathon witnessed more than 1000 registrations from both India and Australia across four challenge themes (Food waste, metal waste, packaging waste and plastic waste). 72 teams from India and Australia comprising of student and startup/ MSME innovators participated in a three – day long hackathon activity that also involved mentoring support and jury evaluation. Indian winners from this hackathon shall receive cash awards and further incubation and technical support to improvise their innovations and commercialize them.
CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall congratulated all the innovative participants. While addressing the awards ceremony, He said “CSIRO has a long history of collaboration and partnership with India on science and research, and we’re excited to be working together on achieving a zero-waste economy.
“This is a big issue for the sustainability of our two countries, and indeed humanity, but it is a wickedly complex problem, and it will take many minds working together to solve. We believe industry and environment can be partners, instead of competitors, and we believe sustainability can be profitable – delivering economic returns and jobs, while also protecting our environment,” He further added.
Principal Scientific Advisor to the government of India Prof. K Vijayaraghavan; Secretary, East Ministry of External Affairs Her excellency Ms. Riva Ganguly Das were present during the session from the Indian side and congratulated all the participants from both the countries and urged everyone to continue innovating to aid the sustainable development efforts.
Mission Director and Additional Secretary, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog Mr. R. Ramanan thanked all the participants, organizers and others involved in the event and stated “The IACE Circular Economy Hackathon is a splendid example of innovation collaboration between India and Australia resulting from the commitments of Honourable Prime Ministers of Australia and India for responsible production and consumption in the virtual summit last year. Atal Innovation Mission is proud to have partnered with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization of Australia in the launch and execution of the same resulting in some incredibly exciting ideas / innovations from the student and startup community of both the nations. The finalists will be supported by AIM network to enable the realisation of their ideas in the marketplace.”