Smart City agency to encourage start-up ecosystem in the city

ST Correspondent
Saturday, 11 August 2018

The Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd (PSDCL) has set up the Pune Idea Factory Foundation (PIFF), as a non-profit organisation dedicated to boost the start-up ecosystem in the city. 

Pune: The Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd (PSDCL) has set up the Pune Idea Factory Foundation (PIFF), as a non-profit organisation dedicated to boost the start-up ecosystem in the city. 

The PIFF has drawn up a detailed roadmap encompassing multiple initiatives. On Friday, an online event was launched while an offline Hackathon is scheduled on September 29 at the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU). 

The PIFF is holding the first-of-its-kind Smart City Hackathon in association with NITI Aayog. Participants from Pune and outside will come together to work on prototypes/ ideas, which would solve some of the key urban governance issues of Pune in a sustainable manner. Participants can access more details at https://www.hackerearth.com/sprints/niti-aayog-pune-smart-city-hackathon/

This hackathon, which will be powered by Tech Mahindra, is supported by DELL EMC and RBL, the private sector banks in the country. The offline hackathon will be hosted by SPPU on its campus. The Rocky Mountain Institute, US is the knowledge partner of the hackathon.

The challenge will be related to themes of water management, solid waste management, citizen safety and security, public health and digital connectivity. Hackathon participants will be encouraged to put on technology hats and provide sustainable solutions for the city. 

To make this hackathon a level-playing field for all, teams will be evaluated on two tracks, namely Solutionthon and Ideathon, depending on the maturity of their proposed solution, with the top solutions likely to be deployed in the city. 

Dr Rajendra Jagtap, CEO of PSDCL, expressed optimism about the development and said, “This is an advent of the power of intelligence from all sections of society to pull together innovative solutions and co-create a livable, secure and resilient space. I encourage start-ups, entrepreneurs and various sectors to come together to solve issues affecting our cities and the nation at large.” 

On the launch, Anna Roy, Advisor, Niti Aayog, said, “NITI is very happy to collaborate with Pune Smart City to explore how frontier technologies can be leveraged to address city-specific issues. The rate of urbanisation being witnessed in India and given the commitment of the government to improve the quality of life of citizens, it becomes very important to take such initiatives. Through this hackathon, we propose to involve citizens of Pune in the future development of the city and also to attract innovators to provide solutions for its various problems. Thus, we not only address the urbanisation issues but also help nurture the research and innovation ecosystem in the country.”

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