In October, students of the Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research...
In October, students of the Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, Mumbai, visited Sweden to understand innovation systems, under the India-Sweden Innovation Accelerator (ISIA) programme. “Our students have gotten exposed to the latest international developments in the fields of renewable energy and a detailed picture of the green energy space in India,” says Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, Welingkar Institute. In an interaction with FE’s Vikram Chaudhary, he adds that such projects (with Swedish companies) will open new career opportunities for them. Excerpts:
What is the India-Sweden Innovation Accelerator (ISIA) programme?
The ISIA is a part of the intergovernmental cooperation between India and Sweden in the area of new and renewable energy technology. Financed by the Swedish Energy Agency (SEA) and supported by the ministry of new and renewable energy and Bureau of Energy Efficiency, the ISIA focuses on the business of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Swedish companies collaborate with their Indian counterparts, sharing technology, expertise and innovations as per the specifications of Indian ecosystem. This can not only boost bilateral trade and business opportunities in the space but may also mitigate some of the energy challenges and constraints faced by us today.
How did Welingkar institute get involved in the ISIA?
Welingkar with its broad innovation focus has been in collaboration with Malardalen University’s School of Innovation, Design & Engineering, which has been a part of the ISIA. The programme has members from IIT Mumbai, Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai, and Sweden Energy Agency. Early this year while planning a trip to India, along with 11 Swedish companies working in the space of renewables, the ISIA was looking for suitable business partners and research assistance in India. And Welingkar emerged as an appropriate choice. It was a point where they felt the need to streamline cooperation for a long-term relation around innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainable energy systems between India and Sweden.
In which all ways have Welingkar students benefited from the ISIA initiative?
Our students have gotten exposed to the latest international developments in the fields of renewable energy and a detailed picture of the green energy space in India. They have learnt about the technological advances and innovations in clean energy space globally. Some have associated themselves with Swedish energy companies and even created business strategies, which were highly appreciated by the SEA. In fact, ten students were given an opportunity by the SEA and Malardalen University to visit Sweden. Going ahead, successful completion of the projects (with Swedish companies) is likely to open new career opportunities for them. The companies would like to induct them, as they have already expressed.
Will Welingkar remain associated with the ISIA in the future too?
We will be happy to collaborate with Swedish companies in other relevant industry sectors since it leads to a win-win situation for both the countries, and for our students.
What have been the other, recent initiatives undertaken at Welingkar?
Early this year we hosted a Design Innovation Workshop with MIT Media Lab which saw a pan-India participation. Innovative minds teamed up in multi-disciplinary groups giving shape to their ideas under guidance of experts from across the globe. Some of the conjured products have been taken up for prototyping by the industry. Similarly, we had InterDesign 2014, in collaboration with the International Council of Societies for Industrial Designers. We had industrial design experts working under the core theme of Humanising a Metropolis. The teams worked on brainstorming solutions to the challenging infrastructural and social needs of any growing metropolis. Global Peace Initiative was another initiative promoting global peace as we commemorated the lives lost in the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.