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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Iqbal Ahmed-model engineer

A model engineer working in unappreciated isolation in India works his way up to a win in one of the world's foremost miniature machining contests.

Iqbal Ahmed was born in Nagpur, India to a well-to-do family. His grandfather was in the insurance business, and when automobile insurance became mandatory for all drivers, his business expanded in the region. After claims were paid on cars, his grandfather would purchase the less damaged of the wrecks and renovate them for sale. He would hire mechanics to do the repairs, and young Iqbal was able to observe the repairs being made and to ride around in many different types of cars; all of which fueled his interest in engines and how things worked.

In 2001 Iqbal Ahmed entered the Sherline Challenge contest with a small steam engine and boiler that did not place highly. In 2004, his small brass lathe with electric motor took 3rd place. In 2005, his 4-cylinder internal combustion engine took 2nd place. In 2007, he dominated the contest, winning both first and second place with his tiny scale models of a Sherline 5400 milling machine and a Sherline 4000 lathe. These machines were not only a clever choice for popularity with the show-going public who did the voting, they were superbly made and equipped with accessories like chucks, a rotary table, tilting table and mill vise with rotating base. This places Iqbal in the company of some of the best model engineers in the USA and some former winners of the Craftsman of the Year award with his contest win in the Machinist's Challenge. Iqbal's winning entries are shown at the bottom of the photo section below.

Read this interesting story of Iqbal Ahmed.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Proposals invited from technology start-ups

Call for Proposals

Entrepreneurial dynamism and innovations in high technology industries promote economic growth and in the long run are necessary for it. To bridge the gap in the ecosystem that connects technologists with risk taking entrepreneurs and investment managers, DSIR has taken up a new scheme TDDP-START-UPs, during the XI plan. The scheme aims to ‘value incubate’ about 200 IP (Intellectual Property) based start-ups during the plan period with early stage (pre-revenue stage) funding in the form of grant / loan, subject to a maximum of Rs 250 lakh. The support amount is to be utilized to accelerate product development (beta version) in a period of 9 to 12 months for faster market entry.

Proposals are now invited from start-up firms meeting the following requirements:

o The firms are registered in India with majority (51% or more) ownership by Indian citizens.

o Possess protected/licensed intellectual property for a breakthrough technology. The IP can be the one generated by the promoters or licensed in from national/ international research organizations like CSIR/IISc/IIT.

o Significant scale up potential; only projects where investors (Angel investors/registered VC funds/TDB/SIDBI capital etc) issue a non binding Expression of Interest (EOI) for late stage funding would be eligible for support.

For further information contact:



Department of Scientific & Industrial Research

Technology Bhawan

New Delhi 110016

E mail: ;

WEB Blog:

Global Entreprenuship Programme

During the India-UK Entrepreneurs summit, 2008, Prime Minister of UK invited IIT students and others bubbling with new ideas to take advantage of Global Entrepreneurship Program. The Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP), set up in 2003 by UK Trade & Investment, aims is to create high profit sustainable global companies from pioneering start-ups, using the UK as a strategic headquarters and base for international expansion. Funds will be made available thro partnership between Indian Angel Network and their British counterparts.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Technology 2020

A recent report by the Rand Corporation (Silberglitt and others 2006) examines some 56 emerging technologies expected to be commercially available by 2020 and evaluates in detail the 16 judged to be most important on the basis of technical feasibility, marketability, and societal impact.These applications include improvements in health services (targeted drug delivery, improved diagnostic and surgical methods), in access to information (rural wireless
communications, quantum cryptography), and in the environmental sustainability of products and services (improved water purification, green manufacturing, hybrid vehicles).

An interesting part is what India is expected to lag behind industrial countries- gap areas are:
  • Ubiquitous information access
  • Tissue engineering
  • Pervasive sensors
  • Wearable computers
An opportunity for Indian innovators to prove pundits wrong.

source: world Bank report on Technology Diffusion in developing countries.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


The small car developed by Tata Motors is another milestone in evolution of automobile sector in India from imitators to innovators. The number of patents filed by the six top local auto makers in the country jumped 85 per cent in just 18 months since January 2005 against the 10-year period between Januray 1995 and December 2004, according to data from Evalueserve, a firm that tracks patent filings.In contrast, companies like Maruti Suzuki, Hero Honda and Ashok Leyland (which has a tie-up with Iveco) that depend on their global partners for the bulk of their technology account for just 2 per cent of all patents filed.

Among the companies, Chennai-based TVS Motors, is the leader in terms of the sheer volume of patent filings in Indi - the company has filed 131 patents to the Indian Patent Office since January 1995, of which 70 per cent have been filed since January 2005, speeding up after its joint venture with Suzuki ended in 2001.However, when it comes to the success rate, Tata Motors takes the top honours, with the ratio between patents filed and issued at 60 per cent.

NASSCOM IKP Innovation Fund

NASSCOM and ICICI Knowledge Park have announced details of NASSCOM ICICI Innovation Fund (NIIF) to stimulate technology innovation in India through providing seed capital funding for opportunities in emerging technologies. The fund corpus will be Rs. 100 crores in the initial round, with an expansion of another Rs.100 – 150 crores in additional rounds.
The fund seeks to provide seed capital to any company involved in IP creation in specific sectors. The criteria based on which a company can qualify for investments from the fund are:
  1. The company must be based in India
  2. The business activity must have a focus on IP creation
  3. The company must be operating in one of the following sectors:
    * Automotive Infotronics
    * Life Sciences
    * Wireless
    * Medical Devices
    * Intelligent transport systems
    * Energy conservation technologies and devices

While there is no restriction on the age of the company, the fund will encourage companies that have been incorporated in the last couple of years or that have recently ventured into IP creation projects.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Homage to Barefoot Innovator Dr P.K.Sethi

Dr. P. K. Sethi, who invented the affordable prosthesis called the Jaipur foot, which has helped millions of amputees in developing countries to lead normal lives, died Sunday in Jaipur, India. He was 80.The Jaipur foot, which has never been patented, is available in more than 25 countries, most of them poor, many of them with great numbers of land-mine victims. Unlike many high-priced prostheses in developed countries, it can be made by traditional craftsmen, lasts more than five years and costs about $30, making it affordable for mass distribution.Pramod Karan Sethi was born on Nov. 28, 1927, in the ancient northern Indian city of Benares (now Varanasi), on the banks of the Ganges. His father was a professor of physics at Benares Hindu University. On completing his medical education in India and Britain, he became a lecturer in surgery at Sawai Man Singh Medical College and Hospital in Jaipur.Dr. Sethi came up with his invention after years of extensive research. He was helped by Ramachandra Sharma, a semiliterate craftsman who had been teaching lepers to make handicrafts and who became his

Innovation for India Awards 2007-8

Marico Innovation Foundation, invites nomination for Innovations in business and social sector. last date 10th Jaunary. Awards will be given on 19th March.

To be eligible to qualify for an award,

· The applicant must have been directly involved in the breakthrough/ innovation journey/ process (may be the work of one person, a few people or a large team or department). No third party consultants should have been involved in the process.

· Consultants may enter work they have done for clients. (In this case, they should enclose a statement from the client agreeing to be interviewed for the in-context audit and featured in the relevant publications if the entry wins)

· The innovation must be well defined. The description of the innovation must specify clearly why the product, process or business system has had an impact and why it should be considered INNOVATIVE and UNIQUE.

· The innovation must be one that has been implemented or has yielded results within the last 5 years. All innovations that have been implemented and demonstrated results after 2002 are eligible.

Application form:

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Garage Scientists at 95th Indian Science Congress

Indian Science Congress, the biggest annual event for scientists, 95th in the series, is inaugerated by Prime Minister today in Andhra University, Visakhapatnam. An exhibition is being held parallel and highlights of the exhibition are School Children and Garage scientists. Twenty garage scientists are displaying thier creative output, these garage scientists work from their homes and nearby workshops. They do not own any state-of-art equipment. Formal scientists visiting and talking to these garage scientists will discover new means for taking research to field. The participation by garage Scientists is coordinated by Acharya Nagarjuna University and supported unde TePP and NIF.