With a “jugaad” mindset embedded in the culture, India has no shortage of social innovators cooking up solutions to the world’s ills. As a matter of fact, the Greenway Grameen Infra (GGI) team from India has just been announced as the winners of the 2012 Intel Global Challenge at UC Berkeley, receiving $50,000 from the Intel Foundation on their invention of a biomass-based stove that increases fuel efficiency.
Open fires and traditional mud stoves are still used for cooking by nearly 3 billion people around the world. But these are damaging to the environment and lead to premature deaths. GGI’s flagship product, the Greenway Smart Stove, has a unique air-flow generator that saves fuel consumption by up to 65 percent and reduces smoke output by 70 percent. Since commercially launching the product in December of 2011, the team has sold more than 12,000 units.
“This year, we saw impressive innovations in fields including healthcare, mobile app development and energy conservation,” said Shelly Esque, president of the Intel Foundation and global director of Intel’s Corporate Affairs Group. ”These student entrepreneurs from around the world have developed first-class business plans ranging from improved reliability for cancer diagnoses to the production of inexpensive, more efficient solar cells.”