Student duo from West Bengal wins DuPont The Power of Shunya™ university challenge!

Vivek Pandey from IIT, Kharagpur and Rahul Sharma from IIFT, Kolkata win first prize of Rs 10 lakhs for their innovation towards zero food waste

DuPont today announced that Vivek Pandey from IIT, Kharagpur and Rahul Sharma from IIFT, Kolkata have won the first prize in the national university competition, DuPont: The Power of Shunya™: Challenge for Zero Season 2. Their winning innovation, Micro Cold Storage, is a farm-level solar cold storage system can address the issue of food wastage. The Runners up prize was given to Zeta Nano Purifier, a new water-purifying product developed by contestants Devlina Das and Pushkin Kasat from VIT, Vellore & Shailesh J Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay.

unnamed (6) Speaking on the announcement, Balvinder Singh Kalsi, President, South Asia & ASEAN, DuPont said, “DuPont has identified three specific global challenges that have emerged with a growing population: feeding the world, reducing dependence on fossil fuels and protecting people and the environment. These winning innovations focused on ‘zero food waste’ and ‘zero water-borne diseases’ reflect our belief that science powered solutions can play a vital role in addressing these challenges. We feel that adoption of such innovations can help India become one of the world’s leading and sustainable economies.”

The winning innovation beat 15 other path-breaking innovations from India’s premier science & technology institutes and B-schools. The winner has received a grand prize of INR 1,000,000 (Rupees Ten Lakhs only) and a paid experience to the global DuPont headquarters and the Experimental Station at Wilmington, Delaware, USA. The winners were announced at the grand finale of the show that aired last weekend on ET Now and the prize money was given away by Balvinder Singh Kalsi, President – South Asia & Asean, DuPont. The nine part series showcased 16 effective and relevant innovations for India, shortlisted from 500 entries.

 Every year India loses 30% of the food production due to food wastage and contamination*. The winning idea, Micro Cold Storage can help increase shelf life of agricultural produce using solar powered cold storage. It uses a uniquely designed thermal storage methodology that will control compartment cooling in tandem with regular cooling. The Zeta Nano Purifier is a zinc oxide nano particle that has been modified by amine. This new purifying technique is designed to treat large water masses plagued with a wide array of pollutants, including various types of metals, dyes and pesticides.

 Jury member, Dr. Homi Bhedwar said, “I was delighted to witness the ‘power of science’ and the passion of young students in technology and business to achieve India’s pursuit of Shunya. The students developed innovative approaches to address malnutrition, pain, energy deficiency, disability and a host of other challenges facing the country today. The innovations are compelling and as a jury member seeing them close-up, I can say confidently that the future of India is in good hands.”

The series, DuPont The Power of Shunya™: Challenge for Zero Season 2 was aired on ET NOW.

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