City innovators make it to the finals of Titan’s Design:Impact Awards  

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Pune, July 2018: Titan Company Limited, India’s largest lifestyle company driven by innovation and design, had launched the ‘Design:Impact Awards for Social Change’ in collaboration with Tata Trusts, last year. The key focus of the program is to identify, support and celebrate innovative tangible product designs that resolve social issues. The program received 993 applications across 13 sectors from all corners of the country and beyond. After multiple rounds of evaluation by eminent subject matter experts, social sector evangelists and impact investors, 18 finalists were identified.

Two of the finalists are from Pune.


The team at Module Innovations invented USense, a credit card size test designed to detect presence of 4 major Uropathogens causing 96% cases of Urinary Tract Infection(UTI) in India. 1 in 3 women under 24 contracts a UTI. Globally 150 million people suffer from UTI. Each well at the 4 corners of the credit card size USense correspond to a specific bacteria. These 4 bacteria include 1)E.coli 2) S.aureus 3)Klebsiella and 4)Enterococci . The innovative design allows for the detection of these organisms by a simple blue to red color change. The compact dimensions make USense portable. USense boasts of innovative and unique features of being rapid with detection in only 30-60 minutes, affordable with nanofibers technology, portable and simple to use, making it reachable and usable in every setting and intellectual depth, says Sachin Dubey, the CEO of Module Innovations.

Khethworks Solar Pump

With India rapidly moving towards becoming a developed country, Katherine Taylor identified the need dire for agricultural productivity to increase. Viable irrigation options for 85% of Indian farmers – the smallplot farmers – are key. At Khethworks, they make solar-powered irrigation systems that are perfectly fit for small-plot farmers in east India, where shallow groundwater is accessible. Working with smallholder farmers, they have designed the system’s cornerstone especially for their needs: a centrifugal pump which is portable, easy to use and highly efficient. Additionally, the usability and portability as compared with fuel pumps allow for women to transport and operate the pump freely. Since agriculture-grade electricity is patchy across east India, farmers depend either on inconsistent and unpredictable monsoon rains or on costly fuel pumps. The Khethworks product provides an alternative option, giving the farmers an unprecedented level of control over their lives and livelihoods.

On approaching the final stage of the competition, Mr. Bhaskar Bhat, Managing Director, Titan Company Limited, said, “The aim of the Design:Impact Awards is to support innovative tangible product designs in causing social impact. We will jointly use our design experience and social sector connect to help innovators make an impact wherever they are needed the most. It is our flagship CSR program and I congratulate all the finalists for their disruptive innovations.”

The finalists have been evaluated by a grand jury panel which included the likes of Prof. Anil Gupta, grassroots innovations scholar and founder of the Honey Bee Network, Padma Shri Dr. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, Principal Advisor to the Minister of Railways and pioneer in Industry Academia interaction towards R&D, Innovation and Product Development; Padma Shri V.R. Mehta, Trustee, Sir Dorabji Tata Trusts, Mr. Harish Bhat, Brand Custodian, Tata Sons, Ms. Susmita Mohanty, serial space entrepreneur and co-founder and CEO of Earth2Orbit, Ms. Kiran Bir Sethi, founder of the Riverside School in Ahmedabad and founder of Design for Change and Mr. Ramji Raghavan, social innovator and entrepreneur and Founder and Chairman of Agastya International Foundation.

The winners are yet to be declared. They shall receive grants up to Rs 65 lakhs per project which will enable grantees to upscale the social impact of their innovations and positively impact the underprivileged communities and needs of the society.