“From waste to resource – how can we turn garbage into gold?” This question was asked by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of its campaign “Shaping the Future – Building the City of Tomorrow”. Together with the regional initiative “Germany – Land of Ideas”, ideas for dealing with the waste disposal problem in Indian cities were requested and submitted between 27 April and 10 July 2016 on the open innovation platform . A top-class jury representing the fields of German and Indian politics, business, science and society has now chosen the two most innovative ideas.
Innovative ideas for India’s waste disposal sector
One of the two prize winners is Ms. Poonam Bir Kasturi from India with her idea of a “Community Composter”: this composter, which is intended to convert organic waste into nutrient-rich fertiliser in Indian residential units, subscribes to the motto “Make waste visible and beautiful”. The aesthetic, ergonomic design of the composter will in future not only make it a practical solution for disposing of organic household waste but also bring about a change in awareness: the topic of waste disposal in India should develop positive associations and in future be seen as a communal activity. The jury was impressed not only by this innovative approach, but also by the plans for the continuation of this project, in which the compost is to be supplied to organic farmers in India.
Ms. Isabella Aberle from Germany also convinced the jury with her idea “Virtual Reality of a Cleaner India”: she wants to have people in India immerse themselves in the virtual reality of their country and experience a clean India. Her approach: virtual reality stations are to be installed in public areas in major Indian cities, with the help of which users can view the cityscape of the future with no waste. At the same time, a “Clean Future” campaign will explain how this virtual vision of a clean India can become reality. The jury was particularly impressed by the low-level, generalised approach and the aspect of self-motivation and developing awareness.
The two winners will receive their awards in autumn at a prize ceremony to be held at the German House for Research and Innovation in New Delhi; the prizes include a trip to visit research institutions in Germany and India respectively. The objective of these trips is to develop the ideas further by networking and establishing new partnerships, thus increasing their potential for realisation.
About the campaign “Shaping The Future – Building the City of Tomorrow”
The ideas competition “From waste to resource – how can we turn garbage into gold?” marked the start of the BMBF’s international campaign . This campaign focuses on the question of how cities can be maintained as viable, sustainable living spaces. After the national year of science “City of the Future”, the campaign now aims to expand this theme internationally, concentrating in particular on five countries: India, China, Vietnam, Colombia and the USA. The goal is to stimulate international networking and make Germany even more well-known and visible as a hub of international research and innovation. The DLR Project Management Agency is managing the campaign on behalf of the BMBF.
About Innovationskraftwerk (Innovation Powerhouse)
The regional initiative “Germany – Land of Ideas” operates the open innovation platform Innovationskraftwerk together with innovation consultants inno-focus businessconsulting. Innovation managers from renowned companies assist with its ongoing development.