About Us

GIAN aims at sustaining the spirit of innovation, encouraging experimentation and nurturing creativity at grassroots level of knowledge rich economically poor people, students, mechanics, workers, young start-ups, by contributing to the creation of a knowledge network. 

We believe in

The Golden Triangle for Rewarding Creativity

The golden triangle for rewarding creativity is GIAN’s motto. The reduction in ex-ante and ex-post transaction cost of innovators, investors, and entrepreneurs is achieved by several operating principles: Never to ask innovators to come to the office, instead provide them support at their doorstep; organize financial, intellectual property, product development, validation & value addition, business development, and dissemination support; connect them to the nearest resources instead of asking them to come to an urban centre. We believe in providing in situ incubation support to innovators, start-ups, communities and others. Hand holding a grassroots innovator to help them in their journey to become a social and/or economic entrepreneur is our passion.

Over the years, we have seen that all three resources are often not available in one place, with one person, or with one institution. Connecting them may help to scale up innovations for and from the grassroots communities by reducing transaction costs. However, it is also true to say that incubators for grassroots and social innovations are different from others. Since they may not have the same business plan as the generic equity-based models, new models of benefit sharing have to be devised for the sustainability of such organizations.


Who are we

GIAN (Gujarat Grassroots Innovation Augmentation Network) is the first incubator of grassroots innovations set up in 1997 in collaboration with the Gujarat government and supported by SRISTI and IIMA in addition to the Honey Bee Network. In 2003, It received the NSTEDB, DST, the best technology incubator award at the hands of then President Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, sharing it with IIT Madras. The Honey Bee Network pioneered the IPR protection for grassroots innovators in collaboration with SRISTI and created a platform for linking innovation, investment, and enterprise. GIAN has entered into an MOU with UNDP India and UNDP headquarters New York to support inclusive and frugal innovations in 115 countries through 91 innovation acceleration platforms. GIAN has worked with UNESCAP, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNDP, FAO, and many national organizations like SIDBI, NABARD, NIF, SRISTI, IIMA, etc.

GIAN is registered as:

GIAN also established a Sec 8 incubator company, GIANASTRE with the assistance of the Gujarat government with identity. no. U74999GJ2018NPL103052 (Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013).

GIAN’s model was scaled up in the form of the National Innovation Foundation-India, set up under the Department of Science and Technology with the help of the Honey Bee Network.

About Us

What We offer


Developing models of the built value chain and inclusive innovation from and for the grassroots level


Making a database of innovations from polytechnics/ITIs and other sections of society besides grassroots, artisans, craftsmen, students, farmers, pastoralists, etc.


Pursuing on-farm testing, trialing diffusion of innovations, outstanding traditional knowledge, climate resilience, and farmers’ practices


Empowering the local communities through Intellectual Property (IP) and DIY technologies by promoting open, inclusive innovations and platforms that encourage lateral learning and other research approaches


Building up institutions for creation


Observing Prayog Yatra by enabling the experiments’ students and farmers to visit each other’s farms/labs, fabrication, and mobile food lab.

What do we do

GIAN aims at sustaining the spirit of innovation, encouraging experimentation, and nurturing creativity at the grassroots level of knowledge-rich economically poor farmers, students, mechanics, workers, young start-ups, etc. by contributing to the creation of a knowledge network. This network empowers the innovators, prevents the erosion of traditional knowledge systems, recognizes and augments contemporary innovations, and facilitates the diffusion of grassroots green innovations through commercial and non-commercial public, private, and voluntary channels.

The golden triangle for rewarding creativity is GIAN’s motto. We believe in providing in situ incubation support to innovators, start-ups, communities, and others. The reduction in ex-ante and ex-post transaction cost to innovators, investors, and entrepreneurs is achieved by several operating principles:

– Provide innovators with support at their doorstep as opposed to asking them to travel;

– Organize financial, intellectual property, product development, validation & value addition, business development, and dissemination support;

– Connect innovators to the nearest resources instead of asking them to come to an urban center.

Supporting grassroots innovators on their journey to becoming social and economic entrepreneurs is our passion. Following are our area-specific activities:

Incubation and individual support to grassroots innovations

 In-situ incubation of innovations from and for the grassroots level that is providing support for grassroots innovators at their location with periodic consultations.

Operating the Micro Venture Innovation Fund, first promoted at ICCIG, 1997, IIMA and operationalized earlier at NIF and now with SIDBI, at GIAN providing low-interest loans to grassroots innovators, ITI/Polytechnic students, and others.

Research & training

Implementing the Community Innovation Lab and Community Food and Nutrition Lab  to encourage local youth, women, and others to experiment and explore solutions to local problems through mutual learning and leveraging traditional knowledge in the areas of nutrition and conservation.

Working with ITIs and polytechnics to tap the talent of students and faculty in addressing local problems, while also encouraging them to address wicked social problems through summer school programmes on inclusive and frugal solutions.

 Implementing GIAN Skills – The Grassroots Enterprise Development and Training Centre project at Sanand GIDC, Industrial Commissioner’s Department, Government of Gujarat. The GIAN is also a nodal institute under the scheme of Startup Gujarat to support grassroots innovators.


On-farm research to explore the potential of farmer-bred varieties, plant protection, herbal veterinary care products, mechanical devices/farm tools, etc.,  based on people’s knowledge and other technologies at the community level

Mobile exhibition of grassroots innovations to cross-pollinate the lessons of grassroots creativity across the cultural and agro-ecological boundaries

Laghu Sahay Yojana of Climate Change Department, Government of Gujarat to promote solar energy applications at the community level

Jointly organized Shodhyatra in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra

Nutrition gardens in around 700 schools all over the country by sharing vegetable seeds to help children develop green fingers and use vegetables for improving the nutrition of children and women

Participatory design and development of inclusive innovation

GIAN Summer School on Open Inclusive Innovation

Children creativity workshops

Women groups experimenting with edible weeds as a source of extremely affordable nutritional material

Institution building and policy design

The partnership of Honey Bee Network with UNDP, India, and globally is being carried out through Gujarat Grassroots Innovation Augmentation Network – GIAN.

GIAN has contributed to the United Nations Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM 10) Member group and UN Inter-Agency Task Team (IATT) in preparation for the Multi-Stakeholder Meeting on Science, Technology, and Innovation for the SDGs 2019, organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

The engagement with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the association as an NGO and organization of a training program on the Development of Value Chain of Grassroots Innovation was done in Namibia in collaboration with the UNESCO and the Namibian Ministry of Higher Education Training and Innovation. As a result, a HBN node/GIAN Namibia is proposed to be set up. A long-term collaboration between the Honey Bee Network and UNESCO is being discussed to build robust indigenous and grassroots innovation systems in many countries, especially developing nations.

Workshop on Policies to Support Grassroots Innovation Organized by United Nations ESCAP in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), the Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI), and the Grassroots Innovation Augmentation Network (GIAN), where nearly 17 countries participated.


GIAN has developed a database of countrywide technological projects by polytechnic and ITI students, sourcing industrial-technological energy consumed and waste (circular economy) gaps, (http://giannidhi.in/). GIAN NIDHI is an initiative at GIAN aims at putting the problems of micro, small and medium enterprises, informal sector, grassroots innovators and other social sectors on the agenda of the young ITI & polytechnic students across the country. Furthermore, GIAN aims at promoting social innovations by the most neglected strata of technology students of our society.

GIAN co-hosts a database of 0.43 million abandoned patents from the US Patent Office Database. The idea was to tap the opportunities of entrepreneurship, blending and bundling of local knowledge and triggering solutions to some of the wicked problems.

GIAN made the database of GRassroots Innovation Database in collaboration with UNDP accelerator Lab (www.grid.undp.org.in)

Awards & conferences

HBN CRIIA (Creativity and Inclusive Innovation) Awards for Students, Entrepreneurs, and Grassroots Innovators, etc., from around the world

International Conference on Creativity and Innovation at/for/from/with Grassroots [ICCIG ] in collaboration with Honey Bee Network institutions.

Market & Community connection

The GIAN farmers’ store connects consumers to organic producers and products developed by incubatees of GIAN and SRISTI.

GIANASTRE – the GIAN Association for Sustainable Technology, Research and Entrepreneurship incubator supports start-ups in setting up as Section 8 companies

Energy conservation awareness workshops in Narmada & Panchmahal district are sponsored by Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA).

Online e-commerce platform.


Our Board members

Prof. Bakul Dholakia

Chairman (Former Director of IIM Ahmedabad Director & Former Vice Chairman of Adani Institute of Infrastructure Management and Advisor to Adani Group)

Dr. Rajiv Kumar Gupta, IAS

Vice Chairman (Additional Chief Secretary)

Prof. Anil K Gupta

Honorary Secretary (Faculty, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad)

Shri Manish Bhardwaj, IAS

Member (Additional Chief Secretary Agriculture, Farmers Welfare & Co-operation Department, Govt. of Gujarat)

Shri A. K. Rakesh IAS

Member (Principal Secretary to Government Panchayat, Rural Housing & Rural Development Department)

Shri C. K. Koshy

Member (Ex. Chairman, GSPC limited )

Prof. Vijaya Sherry Chand

Member (Faculty, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad)

Nilesh A Kulkarni

Member (Director – Commercial Gharda Chemicals Limited)

Smt. Reema Nanavaty

Member (General Secretary, SEWA)

Shri Sunil R. Parekh

Member (Advisor, Zydus-Cadila Ltd.)

Mr. Sunil Shukla

Member (Director, Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India)

Dr. Vipin Kumar

Member (Director, National Innovation Foundation)


Our team

Akshay Shah

Finance & Admin Officer

Rageshri Thoriya

Innovation Manager

Dhyanesh Mistry

Computer Trainer

Nadeem Syed

General Manager, J&K

Sabzar Wani

Innovation Manager, J&K

Syed Tejamul Hussain

Sales & Inventory Coordinator

Abhijeet Tiwari

Field Officer In-charge, Sikkim

Ankit Somra

Design Engineer

Diwakar Kumar

Field Engineer

Saurabh Dhabarde

Research Associate

Sapna Sharma

Research Assistant

Sanjay Gurung

Field Officer, Sikkim

Unnikrishnan Nair

Design and Publication Head

Ramesh Thakor

Field associate cum driver



Ajay Singh

Assistant Design Engineer

Paolal Mawnjui

Field Officer - Nagaland

Got questions? Contact us!