IIT Kanpur is emerging as the hub of innovative ideas designed to facilitate favourable educational outcomes. In a recent development, IIT Kanpur’s technology business incubator, Foundation for Innovation and Research in Science and Technology (also known by the brand name, SIIC IIT Kanpur), partnered with the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India to facilitate the MSME Design Scheme and promote the creation of toy clusters.
Recently, five enterprises from FIRST IIT Kanpur have received PMAC (Project Monitoring and Advisory Committee) approval and a grant from MSME Development Institute for prototype development of sustainable educational toys. These enterprises are expected to deliver a prototype with this grant money. Among those who have received the grant Kanpur Flower Recycling Private Limited (KFPL) (https://phool.co/) – FIRST’s graduated company. Phool has developed a prototype to replace the regular leather (made from animal skin) with leather made of flower waste, named “Fleather”. The prototype is environmentally sustainable, free from chemicals, and does not induce animal cruelty.
Praising the developed prototype Shri V. K. Verma, Join Director, MSME Development Institute, Kanpur, mentioned, “Fleather will positively impact the leather industry through its animal-free and environment-friendly characteristics. Such eco-friendly innovations are the need of the hour.” Further, he has also expressed his willingness to support such enterprises and their innovative ideas in the future through various other schemes by the Ministry.
The Design program is a positive step towards nurturing favourable educational outcomes through engaging interventions and supporting innovative ideas for Toys and Games. Commenting on the initiative, Prof Amitabha Bandyopadhyay, Prof-In-Charge, Incubation & Innovation, IIT Kanpur, shared, “The Design program is a step towards revolutionizing education in India. We look forward to supporting such initiatives that develop a learner’s critical thinking, decision-making, and allied skills and encourages learning.”
In this context, it should be noted that recently IIT Kanpur’s Team Makersclan won the ‘Toycathon 2021’ for their board game ‘CheMystery. The team was led by Prof. Shatarupa T. Roy, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences & Design Programme, and two students from the Design program at IIT Kanpur. Toycathon 2021 was jointly launched by the Ministry of Education, WCD Ministry, MSME Ministry, DPIIT, Textile Ministry, I&B Ministry and AICTE on 5th January 2021, to support innovative toys and games ideas. Prof. Bandyopadhyay emphasized that the collaboration between FIRST IIT Kanpur and the Design Program of IIT Kanpur and financial support from MSME can truly change the modern toy industry of India which is dominated by cheap imported goods that are also highly unsustainable.
The grant has been awarded to five startups – Bio craft Innovation, Center of Digital Excellence, Mindbrics Edutech, Primary Healthtech, and Culttech Wave.