Ericsson has recently announced the launch of the Ericsson Innovation Awards in association with the Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT) to recognise the spirit of innovation among students at Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). With these awards, Ericsson aims to facilitate innovative projects from engineering students and support some deserving ventures through to their incubation phase at IIT-approved technology business incubators. These awards will also insulate the inventor with regard to his/her patent.
Incidentally this is the first time that Ericsson has inked a MoU with seven IITs and the FITT to encourage innovation. Talking about the broad objectives of this MoU, Chris Houghton, head of region India, Ericsson says, “At a macro level, this will give an edge to not just innovation but research in the telecom space. This initiative will encourage students to find innovative technology solutions for masses. It is a step to realise the Digital India Vision. For India to truly become digital, you need technology which can be deployed using the internet. Hence we have invited projects within the telecom domain and on Internet of Things.” The Ericsson Innovation Awards seek innovations in areas such as web design, cloud computing, storage and networking, human-machine interface, embedded and hardware system design, MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output), machine-to-machine/Internet of Things, software-defined networking, open source, graphics and visualisation, as well as research. Ericsson has invited proposals from IIT students across Chennai, Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Mumbai, Roorkee and Banaras Hindu University.
Following the preliminary screening phase, the student proposals will be shortlisted through two jury sessions, comprising senior members from Ericsson R&D, FITT and industry experts. In the first round, the jury will shortlist up to 10 proposals. Each shortlisted proposal will be given an incentive by Ericsson to complete the initial prototype within three months. In the second round, the jury will select two innovation projects. These will be announced in a ceremony in April 2015.