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The initiative has begun with a pilot project of a sugar cane bud chipper by innovator Roshan Lal Vishwakarma of Madhya Pradesh. "Tata Agrico will procure the bud chipper from the innovator and will sell it through Tata outlets. It has been agreed that a margin will be paid to the innovator. Once the pilot is over, other technologies from NIF's database will be co-branded in this arrangement," said Dr Vipin Kumar, chief innovation officer from NIF who signed the MoU with T V S Shenoy, chief, Agro Division, Tata Agrico.

Ahmedabad-based NIF is a national initiative to strengthen grassroots technological innovations and outstanding traditional knowledge. NIF counts Dr R A Mashelkar and Professor Anil Gupta among the members of its governing board.

In the past, NIF redefined innovation by creating markets for India's ingenious innovators by collaborating with corporate houses. In 2010, Future Group along with NIF, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India formed a strategic tie-up for an innovation lab called 'Khoj Lab' and helped grassroots innovators commercialize their products through the company's retail outlets. In April 2011, the first product to roll out from the Khoj Lab was a range of nutraceutical cookies, developed from the traditional knowledge of the Bhil community.

The following year, NIF partnered Britannia Industries to market NIF's patented herbal food products.Tata Agrico, the Tata Steel's oldest brand, will collaborate with National Innovation Foundation (NIF) to sell unique agricultural implements made by grassroot innovators.

Tata will co-brand the technologies developed by grassroot innovators registered with NIF. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between NIF and Tata Agrico to market the innovations through Tata outlets and a fixed margin is to be paid to the innovator.

News Link: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-01-09/ahmedabad/36237049_1_nif-innovation-lab-tata-agrico