Ms. Shalini Kumari from India won the first prize in the Grassroots Innovation Competition at the 3rd ASEAN India Grassroots Innovation Forum for her innovation “Modified walker with adjustable legs”. The technology that has been brought to industry, Visco Rehabilitation Aids, a leading manufacturer of orthopedic products in the country, is available for purchase through brick-and-mortar stores and also through marketplaces like Amazon India for the common man in the country. Ms. Shalini Kumari received the award from H.E Dr. Hula Seingheng, COSTI Cambodia Chairman and Director General, General Department of Science, Technology and Innovation under the Ministry of Industry for Science, Technology and Innovation (MISTI), Kingdom of Cambodia. She received a cash prize of US$1,500 for being the first prize winner.
The three-day 3rd ASEAN India Grassroots Innovation Forum organized by ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI) in collaboration with Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India concluded today in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for presence of H.E. Kitti Settha Pandita Cham Prasidh, Honorable Minister of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation, Kingdom of Cambodia. The Forum consisted of Grassroots Innovation Competition, Student Innovation Competition, Panel Discussions, Keynote Addresses and Innovation Exhibition comprising participants from India and ASEAN Member States (AMS).
On this occasion, the Honorable Minister from Cambodia expressed his optimism that the participants would learn from the experiences of others. About 100 technologies from 9 countries were on display during the three-day exhibition. Also present on the occasion were Mr. Richhpal Singh, Charge d Affairs, Embassy of India in the Kingdom of Cambodia and Dr. Zurina Moktar, Head of Science and Technology, ASEAN Secretariat. On the sidelines of the 3rd ASEAN India Grassroots Innovation Forum, a Government Meeting 2 was also held in Cambodia, attended by representatives of ASEAN Member States, India and the ASEAN Secretariat.
The 2nd and 3rd prizes went to local innovators from the Philippines and Myanmar, who won US$1000 and US$500 respectively. A total of 45 basic innovators representing 9 nationalities took part in this competition. The first and second prizes in the Student Innovation competition were won by participants from Thailand, while the third prize was won by a student from Lao PDR. A total of 37 participants representing 9 countries took part.
First prize winner from India Mrs. Shalini Kumari at the Forum, a resident of Patna, Bihar; was first awarded by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India, an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India through the IGNITE competition in 2011 for the same technology.
The ASEAN India Grassroots Innovation Forum is organized annually by COSTI in collaboration with DST, Government of India and National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India consists of seminars, innovation competitions and an exhibition. By bringing together key players, namely government officials, local innovators, student innovators, academics, entrepreneurs and the wider community, this forum provides a platform to support and strengthen the development of a grassroots innovation ecosystem. The first two forums were held in Indonesia (2018) and the Philippines (2019), with a short two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.