NEW DELHI: KPIT, a global technology company specializing in product engineering and IT consulting, announced today the launch of its global crowdsourcing contest KPIT BetterWorld to develop technologies to counter environmental challenges.
The initiative supports the company’s commitment to creating a cleaner, greener, and intelligent world through technology and recognizing the next-generation innovators.
KPIT BetterWorld invites tech students, start-ups, tech-boutiques, and scientific associations from across the world to present ideas that have the potential to make a wide-reaching and positive impact on the environment in the areas of energy, water, air, among others. Innovators can either propose new ideas or engineer their existing solutions or technologies that meet the needs of developing nations and are cost-effective, economically viable, and scalable.
KPIT will work with its network of social organizations, NGOs, and government entities for implementation of the solutions in different parts of the country.
Ravi Pandit, Co-founder, Chairman & Group CEO, KPIT said “With our credo as a technology company that cares about the environment, through the KPIT BetterWorld initiative we want to seek answers to some of the pertinent ecological challenges in the country from innovators around the world. We are proposing a crowdsourcing model addressing locally-relevant themes that add up to create a significant impact in the environment that we live. We believe that technology enthusiasts and inventors will find it a compelling platform to see their ideas transition into valuable contributions to our communities.”
KPIT BetterWorld will aim to address a new set of challenges in every edition. The theme of the first edition is water, which will focus on finding solutions around extracting water from thin air and measuring groundwater stock and surface water flow.
Why the spotlight on water extraction from thin air and groundwater conservation?
Limited access to fresh and clean drinking water
Today, only 0.007% of the planet’s water is available to fuel and feed its 6.8 billion people, according to National Geographic. The problem further compounds as access to clean water is reduced either due to contamination of the groundwater or scarcity of rains. It calls for immediate solutions to meet the need of pure and safe drinking water that does not depend on rainfall and groundwater. While water exists in our atmosphere, its level is generally too low for conventional methods to pull out.
While people across the globe have experimented with various technologies like fog harvesting, usage of permeable meshes, cloths made up of hydrophilic material, metal-organic framework (MOF), zeolites, etc., to attract water produced from the thin atmospheric air, KPIT BetterWorld competition will seek cost-effective and production-ready solutions using similar or new technologies to generate water from thin air and distribute it for populations affected by draught or pollution across the country.
Shrinking groundwater reserves
In developing countries such as India, about 80% of farm water and 50% of urban water needs are fulfilled by groundwater, resulting in its acute shortage.
There is a need for affordable solutions that can measure the ground and surface water levels efficiently, and in turn, provide the insights for formulating the right policies and practices for managing and sustaining groundwater. Groundwater level measurement not only tells how shallow or deep the water table is, but also helps in understanding groundwater movement, changes in the water level of an aquifer, and long-term changes.
The measurement technology available today is either very basic or expensive. At the same time, there is a dearth of solutions for recharging in the real recharge areas, leading to depletion in the water levels.
To participate in the first edition, applicants will have to submit their nominations by 31st March 2018. A jury consisting of noted academicians, subject matter experts, and leaders from across industries will be evaluating the ideas. The winners will be announced and felicitated in May 2018.