Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog unveils AIM – ICDK Water Challenge 4.0 and Innovations For You – SDG Entrepreneurs of India

The Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog (AIM), is proud to announce the launch of two groundbreaking initiatives aimed at fostering innovation and sustainability in India. These initiatives are the ‘AIM – ICDK Water Challenge 4.0’ and the fifth edition of the ‘Innovations for You’ handbook, which spotlights SDG entrepreneurs in India. In collaboration with the Innovation Centre Denmark (ICDK) at the Royal Danish Embassy in India, AIM presents the fourth edition of the open innovation water challenge. This initiative aims to address critical water-related challenges through inventive solutions and is a cornerstone of the Indo-Danish bilateral green strategic partnership. Selected teams will form the Indian cohort and participate in the global Next Generation Digital Action program, engaging with young talents from leading universities and innovation hubs in 9 countries: India, Denmark, Ghana, Kenya, Korea, Tanzania, South Africa, Ghana, Colombia, and Mexico. Participants from the selected teams can look forward to an engagement in a hybrid innovation journey that includes group work, boot camp sessions, keynotes, and personalized mentoring. The program encourages the exploration of sustainability, digital solutions, inclusion, and universal design principles. It fosters active participation, encourages collaborative support, and promotes knowledge sharing among peers. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to showcase innovations at the Digital Tech Summit scheduled in Copenhagen from October 30th to 31st, 2024, funded by the Government of Denmark.

The challenge invites entries under two tracks: One for the students and the other for the young entrepreneurs both under the age of 35. Early-stage startups, researchers, and young innovators committed to driving positive environmental change are encouraged to apply. The student journey focuses on Digital Action for Societal Impact, brought forward by external partners through sustainability challenges with a specific focus on digitization. The Young Entrepreneurs track presents an exciting opportunity for Indian technology start-ups in the early stages to accelerate their ideas and form global partnerships

Speaking during the launch of the event, Mission Director AIM, NITI Aayog Dr. Chintan Vaishnav said “We are thrilled to announce the launch of AIM – ICDK Water Challenge 4.0 and the fifth edition of Innovations For You – SDG Entrepreneurs of India. These initiatives epitomize our relentless pursuit of innovation and sustainability, propelling India towards a brighter, more resilient future. Through collaborative efforts with partners like ICDK and the Royal Danish Embassy in India, we aim to address pressing challenges and empower young innovators to drive positive change in both countries. We encourage all passionate students along with startups to seize this opportunity.”

Minister Counsellor, Head of Trade Council in New Delhi & Regional Coordinator South Asia, Royal Danish Embassy Soren Norrelund Kannik-Marquardsen in his speech said, “I am happy to see that the Water Challenge encompasses the 5 S’s in the Green Strategic Partnership (GSP) between India and Denmark – Skills, Scale, Scope, Sustainability, and Speed. This challenge aims to combine the skills of Danish and Indian entrepreneurs to solve global challenges that not only affect India and Denmark but the whole world. We are proud to say that this partnership is in its fourth year running, which not only points to the success of our collaboration but also the dedication of young innovators in solving some of the world’s most critical issues and creating a more sustainable world. We are excited to launch the website today and highly encourage young innovators to take this opportunity to solve some of the biggest problems in the world. We hope for a successful fourth edition of this challenge and to continue this partnership with all our partners.”

The call for applications commences on June 10th, 2024, with the deadline set for June 20th, 2024. Interested applicants can access the application link here

Besides ICDK, AIM also introduced the fifth edition of ‘Innovations For You’, a coffee table book series spotlighting the endeavours of SDG Entrepreneurs of India. This edition features 60 entrepreneurs from diverse corners of India, each contributing to societal betterment through sustainable innovations.

These startups focus on recyclable and renewable materials, green energy, inclusive education, and advocacy for underrepresented communities and local artisans. The book can be accessed here


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