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 her 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. But it is also true to say that incubators for grassroots and social innovations are different from others. They may not have the same business plan as the generic equity-based models, but 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:

– a trust under the Bombay Public trust Act, 1950, Registration no F/ 5830 (Ahmedabad) & as a society under Societies Registration Act, 1860 Registration no. GUJ/5981/Ahmedabad.


-a Nodal Institute under Startup Gujarat Scheme, Government of Gujarat

-a Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (SIRO) by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research

-a Patent assistance cell, Government of Gujarat 

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 National Innovation Foundation-India, set up under the Department of Science and Technology with the help of the Honey Bee Network.

What we offer:

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

a.     Intermediation amongst innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers

b.    Deliver in-situ value addition, in remote forest and farming areas

c.     Provide a network of fabricators and innovators for frugal design and development of products

d.    Deliver knowledge network to mobilize social capital of committed individuals, policymakers, and institutions

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

a.     Pool the final year projects of diploma/polytechnic & ITI students at Gian Nidhi

b.    Collate innovations from grassroots, i.e., farmers, artisans, mechanics, teachers, artisans, folk artists, etc. and mobilize frugal innovations developed by the formal sector to blend or bundle with grassroots innovations or deliver in a standalone manner

c.     Annotate the database for use across cultural, regional, and even national boundaries at either artefactual, analogic, heuristic & gestalt level

d.    Build multi-language, multimedia content for overcoming barriers of language, literacy, and localism

e.     Disseminate database as an open-source, self-help learning and experimenting material to encourage users to enrich and expand the database with their voluntary contribution

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

a.     Match specific on-farm production constraints with the available public domain innovations/practices

b.    Design experiments to identify the possible advantage of introduced technologies with the existing practices

c.     Create a committee appraisal of on-farm trials at different stages of crop/livestock lifecycle to evaluate the strength and weakness of introduced innovations

d.    Derive lessons for continuous, discontinuous, or modified experiments for the following season

e.     Ascertain if the neighboring farmer will introduce the innovation during the following year

4.     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

a.     Create an online portal for innovation exchange / lateral learning and engagement with different stakeholders

b.    Organize workshops and meetings with experimenting farmers, students, and innovators to promote lateral learning

c.     Engage with policymakers and other support institutions to mobilize opportunities for the growth and development of various grassroots innovators

5.     Building up institutions for creation

a.     Develop case studies for capacity building of innovators, incubators, policymakers, and other stakeholders

b.    Organize retreats for innovators and their supporters for deepening empathy and widening the horizon for engaging creative communities and grassroots innovators

c.     Arrange interactions of between the GIAN team/innovators and leading institution builders and leaders of an innovation movement

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

a.     Organize Prayog Yatra to spread the spirit of experimentation and review the ongoing experiments through a traveling seminar of on innovators, students, and other stakeholders

b.    Link school children, students of ITI polytechnic, teachers, volunteer organizations, and individuals with the local communities to map their unmet needs, tap into their energy, and cap the persistence inertia

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 people, 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:

  • Dr. Anamika Dey – CEO
  • Akshay Shah – Admin & Account Officer
  • Alzubair Saiyed – Fellow Associate
  • Kishore Solanki – Coordinator Innovation Lab
  • Dhyanesh Mistry – Computer Trainer
  • Piyant Parmar – Field Officer
  • Lekh Nakrani – Fellow (Scouting and Documentation)
  • Sanket Savaliya – Fellow (Dissemination)
  • Darshan Kukvaya – Agriculture Officer
  • Bimbini Baruah – Assistant Manager (Innovation Development)
  • Dr. Vedanshi Joshi – Veterinary Officer
  • Sabzar Wani – Manager (Scouting and Documentation)
  • Nadeem Syed – General Manager (J&K)
  • Rageshri Thoriya – Executive (Innovation)
  • Mukesh Sakariya – Field associate cum driver
  • Parmesh Zala – Office help
  • Ramesh Thakor – Field associate cum driver