3M-CII Young Innovators Challenge Awards 2021 is looking for innovative ideas that mirror the hope of a resurgent India and have the potential to restore and reshape society as we emerge out of the pandemic.
3M was established in India in 1988 and has completed 30 years of operations. 3M’s headquarters in India is based in Bengaluru with branch offices at Mumbai, Gurgaon, Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai. 3M leverages its global innovation expertise to develop homegrown solutions that address the unique needs of diverse customers in Indian markets.
About the Challenge
Since 2014, 3M-CII Young Innovators Challenge Awards Program has been recognizing and promoting youth-led innovations that have the potential to bring about sustainable impact in our society. The Challenge has completed 7 successful editions and awarded more than 40 young innovators giving rise to 5000+ ideas for impact.
All participants of the Challenge must be
- Under 30 years of age and should be born on or post 1991
- Should be permanent residents of India
- Should not be current 3M employees, interns or trainees
- Make submissions in English
- Should not make any submission of an idea to promote or market 3M or its products
Submissions under Product and Service Innovation Categories:
- Are open to individuals, teams and organizations with impactful innovation.
- Idea Prize entries must have a clear one year plan with endline of the project
- Impact Prize entries must ensure that their organizational age is less than 4 years from the date of registration.
- Innovations presented should not have been awarded by any other major National or State level awards program previously.
Nominations under Rural & Inclusive Innovation Category
- Nominations (both self and third party) must focus on grassroots innovation creating positive social change at the bottom of the pyramid.
- Self-nominations must mention recommendations from individuals or organizations who are aware of the idea or the project presented.
- Anyone or any organization can submit a nomination for a credible remote innovator with worthwhile reference for due diligence that should include their contact information such as direct email and mobile numbers.
- Innovation must serve vulnerable communities in rural or remote areas or underserved communities in an urban setup.
- The nomination could be of an individual or leadership team of an early-stage organization.
- The nomination should not have been previously awarded (such as major National or State level awards, Chief Minister’s Awards and Corporate Prizes).
- All nominations should adhere to the age criteria of the “Challenge” that is mentioned in the eligibility section.
Product and Service Innovations:
- Concept: Envisioning is the most powerful basis of developing it into a project. The concept has to be dynamic in nature and should contribute to positive change-making in the sphere of its relevance. Best entries, through their innovation, will not only address a need or solve a problem but also seize an opportunity for growth and leadership in a new space. The ideas presented must hence be expansive of their overall plan of design, development and implementation.
- Innovation: We are looking for the “game-changers” or “changemakers”, those who can lead the future with their idea. The best entries will demonstrate how through creative approaches and solutions, an existing need or problem is being solved. However, problem-solving need not seek permanent intervention, but an intervention with a sustainable impact. The innovation must be able to present evidence of various distinctive advantages over other alternatives. Additionally, the submissions must propose a unique value proposition in relation to the cost of opportunity versus economic feasibility for its benefits. Such solutions (be it a product, application, service or practice/initiative or hybrid combinations of existing tools) must be capable of being prototyped. Ideas presented do not have to involve inventing something entirely new, but entries should describe how the ideas are original.
- Measurable Impact: Entries should be able to explain how the idea has the ability to deliver a positive measurable impact on society at large (e.g. accessibility or affordability or inclusiveness). The best projects will tackle a root problem or social issue making an impact.
- Financial Sustainability: Ideas presented should have a clear plan to reach long-term goals. The strongest entries will outline how their solution can be sustained without relying on philanthropic donations or aid for core funding. If ideas are already at work, they should demonstrate fiscal responsibility and marketplace validation.
- Governance: To ensure and identify how well the innovative idea can be incorporated into a practical scenario of various parts of the country. This includes its potential for collaboration with other entities. Further engagement of citizens in order to implement the same is also analyzed.
- Potential: The potential of the project, idea or innovation to be scaled up for greater impact and opportunities to connect with other networks.
Nominations for Rural & Inclusive Innovations:
These submissions will be assessed on the following criteria:
- Vision and leadership (including personal journey or the motivation behind the idea)
- Concept and approach for addressing the identified social problem
- Profile of Beneficiaries Targeted (i.e. while the idea must adhere to the rural context, the target audience will also be important criteria to evaluate relevance, inclusiveness and futuristic approach in developing last-mile communities)
- Ability to create multi-level partnerships for sustaining the innovation for long term
- Impact and milestones either achieved or planned
How to Apply?
Interested applicants can apply for the challenge through this link.
- July 1, 2021: Submissions Open
- July 21, 2021: Submissions Closed
- July 24 – July 30: Pre Semi-Finalists Virtual Pitches
- August 5, 2021: Announcement of Semi-Finalists
- August 17 – August 19: 3M India Panel for selecting Finalists
- August 20, 2021: Finalists Announcement
- August 27, 2021: Grand Jury
- August 30, 2021: Winners Announcement
- Sept 14 – Sept 18: Winners Felicitation at the CII Innovation Summit