Beyond Awards - All that KPIT Sparkle has to offer
“Opportunity does not come gift wrapped. You must take risks”. But what if we told you that we’ve got an opportunity on the offering and there are no risks attached? At best, the most risk you’ll have to take is to get out of your comfort zone and the spectrum of excuses that are keeping you from taking your innovative idea to success. Before you dismiss this as a ‘too good to be true’ kind of claim, read on. This opportunity that we are talking about is KPIT Sparkle. Since its inception in 2015, KPIT Sparkle, a one of a kind an innovation contest, has provided science and engineering students from across India, a platform to present innovative ideas related to the field of energy and transportation to solve real-world problems. The competition is open to all students from an undergraduate level to Ph.D. While KPIT sparkle is a competition, it is quite unlike regular contests. There is an award, and a handsome one, but this competition moves beyond awards. So let’s begin with the scale of the program. In 2015, the first edition, 100 colleges participated in the contest which rose to 1121 in the 5th edition. 22150 students participated in this program in 2019 submitting 2065 ideas. While the competition is getting tougher owing to its rising popularity, here’s a look at what all you could win.
Solve real-world problems Let’s talk about opportunity first. This year along with the “i Innovate” contest, we are hosting another contest called ‘“i can crack IT”’. The “i Innovate” contest looks for valid and innovative ideas in the area of ‘mobility and energy’. This year’s theme for the same is “Mobility & Energy for the Future”. The students can choose their topic of innovation from a range of 12 categories such as Electric vehicles, solutions for improving road safety, sensors and actuators for Automotive, renewable energy solutions, etc. You can submit more than one idea and can participate as an individual or with a team. There is no restriction in terms of team configuration – your team members can be from the same or different college, department or branches. The second contest called “i can crack IT” is the new challenge for this year. Here we, KPIT, provide you with a problem statement spanning across topics such as automotive diagnostics, artificial intelligence and analytics, autonomous driving, infotainment, cybersecurity etc. and expect you to come up with a solution for the same. We will enable you to crack this challenge by providing the required environment, useful links, and access to data available for research! Of course, that’s only part of the fun. The world and India suffers from thousands of problems in the energy and mobility space. These are crying to be solved. And, who better than the energetic young generation to crack those problems. Who better than you to innovate and work on a solution that may save the world tomorrow! Exciting or outrageous, if your idea is innovative, you get a chance to win. One of the winners of the 2019 challenge was a team of engineering students from Belagavi. Their invention – a special Power Chair that charges your phone while you relax on it! Other young minds at KPIT Sparkle have created things like a vertical axis water turbine (VAWT), which is 24% more efficient than a conventional system. Some have designed a scalable plant-based microbial fuel cell technology while others have designed a novel transmission system (single stage gearbox) to increase the load carrying capacity and gradeability of existing e-vehicles. Clearly, the thousands of problems we spoke of earlier present millions of opportunities too! All that glitters – the prize money It is not just plaques and certificates at KPIT Sparkle. You can also get excited about awards worth Rs. 21 Lakhs for students and Rs. 60,000 for their mentors for “i Innovate”. “i can crack IT” presents 20 awards of Rs. 50,000 each. Have we got your complete attention now? And this money is only a part of the whole prize. Resume building Most companies look at the kind of experience you have gathered in your student life during their hiring process. Participating in a contest like KPIT Sparkle adds to your resume value immensely. This platform gives you an opportunity to showcase your skills, innovative mindset, problem-solving capabilities, teamwork and dedication to project completion. And the biggest brand names in the world look for that on your resume when they come to campus. KPIT Sparkle is a coveted contest that sees students participating even from premier institutions such as the IIT’s, NIT’s as well as other colleges across India. In this contest, you’ll be working on real-world problems providing real-world, working solutions. And such opportunities make any resume shine. Interact with top industry minds Our jury consists of stalwarts from the industry. Imagine the opportunity and the kind of learning you get when you interact with great minds like Padma Vibhushan Dr. R. A. Mashelkar who heads our jury panel. Contestants in past events have had the golden opportunity to collect feedback from great minds like Dr. Peter F Tropschuh, Vice President, Strategy Sustainability, AUDI AG, Dr. Carl Perrin, Director, Coventry University, Dr. Milind Rane, Professor, IIT Mumbai, Dr. Pravin Kumar, Professor, IIT Guwahati and Dr. Siddhartha Mukhopadhyay, Professor IIT Kharagpur. They have found that a well-placed word or a subtle nudge has helped them transform their thinking and inspired them to newer heights. Unparalleled opportunities to bring your idea to life We have partnered with DST and AICTE. DST is the knowledge partner for KPIT Sparkle and takes the winning and promising KPIT Sparkle ideas to the next level for the actual application using DST incubation centers through various DST schemes. The AICTE partnership enables active and deeper participation of key institutions and support from their faculty for motivating and guiding students for quality ideas. Along with this, there are internships from KPIT on offer for the promising 3rd year UG / 1st year PG Engineering students. Added to that are joint IP creation and filing opportunities with KPIT. Your innovation at KPIT Sparkle may be the stepping stone to a new product, a new business, or a new world. Recruitment opportunities When we meet so many impressive young minds at KPIT Sparkle, how can we not be tempted to make a deeper commitment to them? Quite obviously, this is a recruitment opportunity to take seriously. Over the last couple of years, several valid idea submissions for KPIT Sparkle have resonated with us so much that we have offered to employ their creators. Some of these people have then driven those ideas to a logical conclusion as KPIT employees! So, what do you think? Wouldn’t you want to be a part of a competition that opens up a world of opportunities for you? Are you in it to win it? If yes, sign up now at https://sparkle.kpit.com/!
What’s new in KPIT Sparkle this year?
It’s not just about ideas; it’s about making ideas happen. If you have an idea, and if you want to bring it to life, KPIT Sparkle is the platform you’ve been waiting for.
Having been around for 6 years now, KPIT Sparkle has been a key milestone on the road to shape the innovations of the future. And what better way to do this, than by getting students from undergraduate, post-graduate and Ph.D. courses on board from colleges across India and encourage innovative thinking?
By bringing the industry and academia together, we encourage students and faculty to come up with innovative ideas on the most important topics of today. Students from Science, Engineering, Design, and Management streams are given the opportunity to identify a real-life use-case or problem, develop a solution and comprehensively demonstrate it through a working prototype.
A quick recap
Since the past 6 years, KPIT Sparkle has successfully been running what has now become the “i Innovate” contest. Students from colleges across India are given the golden opportunity to submit innovative and out-of-the-box ideas across a wide range of topics. They can select their own problem statement, propose solutions and submit their ideas to the contest. “i Innovate” not only gives students the platform to solve problems related to specific areas within the mobility and energy space, it also awards them with lucrative awards such as IP ownership opportunities, incubation opportunities, monetary benefits, as well as employment opportunities. What’s more, students get the chance to interact with and seek advice from the great minds and experts of the industry and academia, who judge the projects during the contest. Students also get the chance to work on research projects of their interest within the KPIT family.
What’s new in 2020
With so many advancements happening in the energy sector, our focus this year is on “Mobility and Energy of the Future”. Through the “i Innovate” contest, students can propose a problem statement in the area of Mobility and Energy and offer their innovative solutions. This year, the categories under mobility include electric vehicles, hybrid electric, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence for electric vehicles, telematics for 2/4 wheelers, solutions for improving road safety, shared mobility, and sensors & actuators for automotive. And the categories under energy include energy storage technologies, energy generation technologies, and renewable energy solutions. While the “i Innovate” contest will run as previously, this year, we’re also introducing an exciting new contest called “i can crack IT”. A contest related to real-world industrial problems, “i can crack IT” provides participants with a problem statement and encourages them to come up with the best solution. All the required environment, useful links, and access to data available for research will be provided by KPIT. Students can add one faculty as a team member, and also file for a joint patent for their solution with KPIT. Since mobility and energy are the key areas we work on, there are specific areas where we need help. Through “i can crack IT”, we are encouraging students, as well as faculty, to come up with ideas, and help us solve problems. This year, the categories for “i can crack IT” range from automotive cyber security, connected vehicles, and infotainment to autonomous driving, electric vehicles, powertrain, alternative powertrain, automotive diagnostics, tools, and analytics. Once a student registers for “i can crack IT”, he/she can choose any category of interest. Once the problem statement is selected, he/she will receive a document with all the details about the problem. “i can crack IT” offers lucrative internship opportunities for 3rd-year undergraduate and 1st-year post-graduate students, as well as joint IP opportunities with KPIT. With 20 awards of INR 50k each, it also offers an industry exposure program to professors who reach the first milestone. “i Innovate” winners stand the chance to win amounts ranging from 10 lakhs to 1 lakh for their innovative solutions. Are you up for it? How many times have you come up with an innovative idea, but failed to build a prototype simply because you did not have the right platform or the support to bring it to life? With KPIT Sparkle, that will never happen again. A team of experts from industry and academia will handhold you throughout the journey of your idea from concept to prototyping. If you are an undergraduate, post-graduate or Ph.D. student from any Science, Engineering, Design or Management college in India, if you’re up for challenges, and if you have the knack of solving problems in the area of Mobility and Energy, register for any of the two exciting contests, get rewarding offers, and allow your bright mind to sparkle. With 40,000+followers on Facebook and more than 66,600 impressions on Twitter, KPIT Sparkle is extremely visible. It has successfully been able to reach out to students across the country with its innovation contests. For more information, you can get in touch at KPITSparkle2020@kpit.com
6 options to replace fossil fuels in our cars
~The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it~ Robert Swan
That fossil fuels play a dominant role in the world today is known to all. Having been a fundamental driver of the Industrial Revolution, and a major contributor of most of the technological, social, economic, and development progress that followed, fossil fuels have brought about a global change – in many ways. But with a growing list of environmental impacts such as air pollution and emittance of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, the time has come to switch to more renewable sources.
Yet, in 2018, fossil fuels provided 80% of the total energy used in the USA, the world’s leading economy. As greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, the world is running out of time to avert devastating impacts.
The longer we wait to curb fossil fuel usage, the greater the damage they will cause to the environment.
With car sales touching the 78.7 million mark in 2019, it’s about time to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, transition towards renewable sources, and balance the role of energy in social and economic development.
1. Electricity: Although electric vehicles have been around for a while, Tesla has made the electric car concept undeniably trendy. Not only are they reliable, cheap, and safe to operate, with modern looks and features, they are also more fun to drive. Since they use high-powered batteries to store electric energy that powers the motor, they minimize the carbon footprint drastically. According to a report by the USA’s Department of Energy, electric vehicles displaced 323 million gallons of gasoline in the US alone. All they need is a plug-in station, and you’re good to go.
2. Hydrogen: With emissions virtually nil, hydrogen is another great alternative to fossil fuels. Since power is generated within a fuel cell, they emit only water vapor. An energy efficient vehicle that runs on hydrogen offers fuel efficiency twice as much as a vehicle that runs on fossil fuel. They can convert up to 75% of fuel into usable energy, and drive distances of up to 500 kilometers on a single tank. Since most hydrogen vehicles are equipped by regenerative brakes, they create a better environmental profile, while offering the same driving experience.
3. Propane: Propane, or liquefied petroleum gas, is another clean-burning and high-energy alternative to fossil fuels. Although propane vehicles are typically more expensive, the fuel itself is far cheaper than petrol. Also, since the fuel is in a gaseous form, the engine runs far more efficiently, especially in cold weather. The vehicle’s power, acceleration, and cruising speed are similar to those of conventionally fueled vehicles. Plus, the ease of maintenance and reduced emissions have spurred the use of propane across transport vehicles – from small cars to heavy-duty trucks.
4. Ethanol: Made from corn or sugarcane, ethanol or ethyl alcohol is a renewable source of energy that is picking up steam (pardon the pun) in the global fuel supply scene. Since ethanol contains less energy compared to fossil fuels, more of it is needed to get the same results. Yet the production and use of ethanol is known to demand greenhouse gas emissions anywhere between 52 to 86% less. Despite the energy needed in producing ethanol being substantially large, the total amount of energy that goes into the process is comparable to the energy released by burning the resulting ethanol fuel, resulting in an energy balance.
5. Natural gas: Natural gas finds great application in the industrial sector, mainly for heating buildings and generating electricity. Now it is also becoming a viable fuel for cars. Not only it is abundantly available, but it also has very low carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. Today, many hybrid compressed natural gas vehicles are available that are highly fuel-efficient. They offer mileage similar to fossil fuels while burning more cleanly. It is estimated that in India alone could have 10 million CNG vehicles on the roads by 2025.
Do your bit Although fossil fuels have long powered the transportation industry, environmental concerns and government regulations are driving car manufacturers as well as consumers to actively seek substitutes for the conventional fossil fuel-powered engine. Electricity, hydrogen, propane, ethanol and natural gas are some extremely efficient greenhouse-friendly alternatives. With fossil fuel levels dropping, and their environmental risks increasing, it’s time we switch to more greenhouse friendly alternatives and do our bit for the environment.
~It is our collective and individual responsibility to preserve and tend to the world in which we all live~ Dalai Lama
Are you up for a challenge? Here is where we need your help
~We don’t grow when things are easy; we grow when we face challenges~ At KPIT Sparkle, over the past 6 years, we have been a witness to the brightest minds of the country showcasing their potential and innovation at an inspirational level. These students come up with out-of-the-box ideas and solutions, and we’re happy to do our bit in facilitating these new ways of doing things. Over this time, undergraduate, post-graduate, and Ph.D. students from Science, Engineering, Design or Management colleges in India have grabbed the platform to bring their ideas to life. But what’s success without a little bit of challenge? This year, we’re looking to challenge students, professors, and faculty through an exciting contest where they can showcase their imagination, skills, and initiative in the areas of Mobility and Energy. What is the contest? A KPIT Sparkle first this year, the ““i can crack IT”” innovation contest gives participants an opportunity to solve real-world problems. They can choose from a range of problem statements across various categories within Mobility and Energy and try to come up with the best solution. Since all the required links, data, and informational resources are provided by KPIT, all the participants have to do is to rack their brains and come up with out-of-the-box solutions that are modern and innovative. Students can add one faculty as a team member, and also file for a shared patent with KPIT for the solution they provide. Mind you, these are not easy or run-of-the-mill problems. These are problems that our in-house experts have already grappled with and found challenging. Challenging enough, in fact, for them to have to turn to you, bright young minds with a request for help.