Grassroots innovations are essentially solutions generated by people at the grassroots to problems faced by them without any external help. It satisfy a key need of the consumers, which has not been met or satisfied by the existing products and services. Given the lack of financial and technical resources present with the grassroots innovators, most grassroots innovations are crude and limited in terms of design, scalability and large scale dissemination and commercialisation possibilities. Therefore, there is a need to build a value chain around these innovations if the benefits from these innovations have to be disseminated to consumers far and wide.
In most situations, the grassroots innovators are not capable to scale up the production and marketing of the innovation, certain creative methodologies have to be adopted for the commercialisation of these innovations. Depending upon the innovator's capability, stage of innovation and interest of entrepreneur , GIAN adopt any of following routes for business development and commercialisation activity.
- Innovator develops technology, licenses to entrepreneur - The technology can be transferred to an entrepreneur, either on an exclusive or a non-exclusive basis for a pre-defined territory, which could be as small as a district of a state.
- Innovator comes up with prototype and entrepreneur gets involved in developing a commercially viable product at this stage itself
- Idea Licensing - the idea of an innovation is licensed to an entrepreneur for a different application
- Innovator himself becomes an entrepreneur - GIAN providing mentoring and financial support to the innovator for enterprise development for mass scale manufacturing and marketing the product.
- GIAN becomes a partner in the venture by providing financial and incubation support along with the innovator and / or the entrepreneur.
GIAN have successfully incubated and completed successful commercialisation of around 50 grassroots innovations using the various mechanisms as listed above. To extend venture support to the innovator or entrepreneur, GIAN has access to Micro Venture Innovation Fund (MVIF) (web link of MVIF from NIF site) established by National Innovation Foundation in association with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).
In recognition of its various achievements, GIAN has also been conferred the National Award for Technology Business Incubation by National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Board (NSTEDB), Government of India for the year 2003.
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