Infosys launches Maker Awards for India; commits Rs 1 crore


MUMBAI: Months after launching an initiative to reward creative ideas from innovators in the US, Infosys has committed Rs 1 crore to reward innovative ideas coming out of India as part of its Infy Maker Awards program, ahead of the Make in India week.

In an interview with ET on Friday, Infosys COO Pravin Rao said that Infosys would award 20 prizes of Rs 5 lakh each to citizens to encourage them to build out creative ideas and solutions.

“We are launching the India chapter of the Infy Maker Awards…we had announced Infy Maker Awards US as part of an event organized by the White House last year. So, we’re extending it to India — the whole idea is to encourage spirit of making in India and identifying the next generation of innovators,” Rao told ET.

In September last year, the Infosys Foundation USA had launched the Infy Maker Awards program to reward innovative ideas coming out of various sectors and communities.

“We will award 20 prizes of 5 lakhs each. Basically it’s about coming up with ideas and solutions and the potential to solve real world problems — we want to reward and recognise them. We will have a very distinguished panel of judges consisting of technologists and academics…Basically the whole idea is to encourage people to publish videos describing their work,” said Rao.

The first cycle of the awards will begin on March 1, 2016, Rao said.

“This is an extension of what we did in the US in September. In the US, we’ve committed $1 million to reward innovative ideas,” added Rao.

Rao also did not rule out the possibility of Infosys leveraging some of the ideas that come out of the program, although the focus remains on building out a larger ecosystem of ideas.

“At this point it’s about encouraging more and more people to start thinking creatively, problem-solving capabilities. Sometimes we don’t see the translation of ideas into reality — we want to encourage that in our small way. The idea is to create an ecosystem,” he said.