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Monday, November 05, 2012

Avaz (India Edition) is now available as an app for the iPad on the App Store

AVAZ is an innovative communication aid for children with speech-related disabilities, such as autism, Cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Aspergers, mental retardation, and other developmental delays . Avaz has received prestigious awards from the President of India, MIT USA, Times Now and Sankalp Forum, among others. Avaz is an 'artificial voice', and the most effective tool for communication development in children with special needs.

Avaz (India Edition) is now available as an app for the iPad on the App Store. This app marks the culmination of 4 years of research involving hundreds of persons from the community - including therapists, special educators, schools, parents, children etc. from India, the USA and Denmark. The US version of Avaz was launched recently and has been very well received by therapists and educators there, with an average 5-star rating

What sets Avaz apart from similar apps available on the app store, is that the Indian Edition of Avaz is culturally appropriate for India - in terms of food, festivals, clothes, greetings, currency, etc. It is the only solution of its kind for the Indian community. The price of the app is Rs.7,500, an affordable option compared to therapy and other speech generating devices. As an introductory offer during this festive season, we are making the Avaz App available at Rs.4,900 till November 30th.     
Contact: Anuradha N.Invention Labs,

Friday, November 02, 2012

Venkat Rao: Award winner of RED DOT Design competition

Visakhapatnam is not the place one associates with award winning designers. So I asked the winner to tell about him, here is the story in his own words:

I had my schooling in the small town of Jamshedpur, Had to struggle my way into Design as Engineering seemed a safer bet to my parents. 
We as school kids rarely knew of design as profession and by the time I wanted to get into a Design Institution most of the colleges had finished their entrance exams. I saw an interview of Professor S.Balaram one of the founders of NID (National institute of design Ahmedabad) and came to know that he has started a design college in Coimbatore (DJ Academy of design). I cleared the entrance and joined. I was in the 2nd batch of the college and had 16 students in my batch! we had just 7 seniors! But I knew I was in the right place.
I finished my Industrial Design in DJAD and received my convocation letter from the inspirational CEO of Titan Ltd. Mr. Bhaskar Bhat. During My education in DJAD i won the 1st prize in IIT Chennai (For the design of a Car's dashboard- Aesthetics and safety)
I also was among the top few finalists at IIT Kanpur (For Design of a intercity Bus) and won other small awards.
My designs are mostly functional, Innovative and Inclusive in nature, I believe there is always a smarter way!
Life around us is getting more and more complicated, by designing simpler and smarter products we can simplify it a bit.
Innovation in the Indian industry is the only formula for sustainable success.
During my 2nd year in college I designed a needle that can be easily threaded and made a working prototype. To my surprise that same year someone won a RED DOT DESIGN award for a very similar concept from Korea. I was young and felt really bad, but my professor Mr. S.Balaram said don't be disappointed but know that even your designs can win such awards one day. And It took me 4 years and I won it this year with my design " Half dose" It took lot of hard work and determination.
I worked in Icarus Design studios and developed a Low cost solar water heater. I then moved on and was consulting companies in various interface related products. I also worked for a furniture company for a while in Bangalore.
Now I am in Visakhapatnam my Native place and am developing some Lights for Hotels.
You can check out my works at the below links:

U.S.-India S&T Endowment Fund -Third call for proposals

Priority Areas:
Healthy individual: Affordable biomedical devices, diagnostic / preventive / curative measures, or food and nutrition products to improve health. (Drug development and clinical trials are not eligible activities in this category).
Empowering citizens: Reducing the digital/technology divide. This could include amongst others, information and communication technologies with societal impact in areas such as water, agriculture, financial inclusion, and education.
Proposals must include a minimum of one partner from each country. Bi-national teams applying to the Endowment will work together to commercialize technologies for societal impact.
  • The Bi-national teams can include:
    1. i) Start-up companies; or
    2. ii)Incorporated companies; or
    3. iii) Non-incorporated entities; or
    4. iv)Individuals or consortia from academia, government laboratories, non-government R&D institutions
  • Each bi-national team must include at the time of application an entrepreneurial (small-scale as opposed to large-scale) entity that will receive a portion of the grant and take the technology to the market. If partners are planning to form a new venture to commercialize the technology, the proposal should include planned incorporation date and the amount of grants requested for the new entity.
  • Relationships between the U.S. and Indian partners must be clearly defined, including ownership of intellectual property rights for the technology proposed to be developed and commercialized.
  • The proposed technology must have potential towards commercialization within 2-3 years
Grants of up to Rs. 2.50 crores or approximately $450,000 (subject to prevailing exchange rate).Proposals outside this range may be considered under exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the US-India Science & Technology Endowment Board (hereafter referred to as 'Board').

Submission deadline for executive summaries: 15 December 2012 (11:59 PM, Pacific Standard Time) 

For the second call the following teams were selected:

Healthy Individuals Category
i) Proposal Title:Mobile Phone based HbA1c Analyzer
Lead Partners: Sidhant Jena, Janacare Solutions Private Limited, Bangalore and Stephen Chen, Teco Diagnostics Anaheim, CA
ii) Proposal Title:A novel way to manage fecal incontinence in non-ambulatory patients
Lead Partners: Nishith Chasmawala Consure Medical Pvt. Ltd., Surat and Matt Durack Lunar Design San Francisco, CA)
Empowering Citizens Category
i) Proposal Title:Branchless Banking and Financial services for the Unbanked and Under-banked
Lead Partners: Abhipriya Gupta, Eko India Financial Services Private Limited, New Delhi and Angela Schmuck, IDmission LLC, Mesa AZ