3M-CII Young Innovators Challenge Awards 2021

3M-CII YICA : A partnership towards harnessing the potential of India’s youth

India’s young people in the age bracket of 18-29 years constitute 22% of the country’s population. India’s aspirations for growth lie in harnessing this demographic dividend and proactively focusing on developing their potential. Our youth have the potential and vision to change countless lives, but many times they don’t have the resources and support to bring these ideas to life.

Since 2014, 3M India and CII have been partnering to support young innovators in the age group of 18-30 years with grants and recognition on  wider platform to share their ideas.

3M-CII Young Innovators Challenge Award was  a pilot launch in 2014, and coincided with the 10th anniversary of the CII India Innovation Summit. Since then, 3M India and CII have hosted eight  Seasons of the Challenge, growing the initiative into an annual competition that young people look forward to as launching pad for their careers as innovators and social entrepreneurs. The Challenge thus far awarded more than 40 young innovators across the country.

8th Season of 3M-CII Young Innovators Challenge Award

History has repeatedly shown that a crisis necessitates innovation. While the pandemic has disrupted our society globally forcing the world to rethink, reimagine and adapt, science and sustainability have forged new opportunities across multiple sectors. 3M-CII Young Innovators Challenge Awards 2021 invited entries  for “Ideas that inspire hope for a resurgent India” and have the potential to restore and re-shape society as we emerge out of the pandemic.

In this 8th Season of the 3M-CII Young Innovators Challenge Award for 2021 the team went through 1500+ idea submissions, drilled down to 49 Semi-Finalists and further to 19 Finalists, who were evaluated by a Grand jury of erudite social impact and innovation leaders.

We emerged with 5 Awardees and 2 Special Honors in the three award categories – Product Innovation, Service Innovation and Rural & Inclusive Innovation.,. At each of the above stages of the challenge, we were privileged to have had a strong evaluation team of domain experts, sector practitioners and industry leaders who supported the selection of the season’s awardees.

Against the backdrop of the pandemic for the second year in a row, 3M and CII are delighted to present the 8th Season’s Winners.

8th Season’s Winners

Idea Prize – Winner

BlisCare – BlisCare provides affordable digital classroom solutions for visually impaired students with a Digital Braille Display System (Braille Tablet) that can replicate, in real-time, any text, graphical diagram/map into digital braille.

Project Team Member(s): Chinmaya Naik and Nikita Kumari


Impact Prize – Winner

AKIcare – Kidney failure is a common and dangerous ICU related complication and is often detected late in critical patients. AKICare is a novel attachment to any traditional urinary catheter system and provides a new tool to detect the onset of impending renal dysfunction by analyzing urine levels in real-time.

Project Team Member(s): Dilip Shankar and Niharika C. S.


Special Recognition for IMPACT

Canfem – Canfem is a social enterprise that provides products and services catering to the non-medical needs of cancer warriors with an equal focus on advocacy, mental health and empowerment for a better quality of life
Project Team Member(s):
Akriti Gupta

Impact Prize – Winner

Learn and Empower – India’s first hearing impaired-friendly, digital, games-based AI-enabled, teaching-learning platform.
Project Team Member(s): Prabodh Mahajan, Amanpreet Chopra and Krishna Samudrala

Idea Prize – Winner

Venticook – Venticook is a clean, biomass-burning stove that uses a treadle mechanism (similar to a sewing machine) to provide a cleaner and more efficient alternative to the conventional biomass cooking stove.

Project Team Member(s): Anup Paikaray


Impact Prize – Winner

Sensor-Based Smart Auto Feeder for Fish/Prawns – Using Smart Feeders for Fish & Prawns, feed is provided based on sensor data in a scheduled manner that not only reduces 20% feed wastage but also prevents overfeeding/ underfeeding of shrimps, prawns and fishes.

Project Team Member(s): V. Sai Naga Lokesh


Special Recognition for IDEA

Solar Powered Lift Irrigation in remote regions of the Himalayas – This idea leverages existing, tested technology solutions in the remote regions of Himalaya (i.e. Zanskar, Ladakh), to provide local communities access to water and energy along with support to livelihoods.

Project Team Member(s): Nishit Sangomla and Lobzang Wongtak

Award Overview

3M-CII Young Innovators Challenge Awards showcases the best early-stage innovations of the season at CII’s India Innovation Summit being held from 14th-18th September 2021. Additionally, 3M India will offer seed funding to all the awardees to help further their work as well as provide a variety of media opportunities, access to professional networks and mentoring. Prizes are awarded in two categories under Product, Service and Rural & Inclusive Innovation.

  • Idea Prize for innovations at project stage with a successful prototype that demonstrates potential to scale.
  • Impact Prize for innovations that are a part of early-stage organizations with less than 4 years of existence, having tested the idea and demonstrated measurable impact.

Additionally, all participants benefit from:

  • Exclusive thematic knowledge sessions organized by the Challenge Partners and Domain Experts.
  • Acknowledgement of their participation (on request) to serve as a reference for their participation in future forums.
  • Engaging with peers and experts in discussing topics of interest
Convenors of 3M-CII Young Innovators Challenge Awards 2021

3M is a USD 32 billion science-based company with operations in 70 countries and 94,000+ employees who collaborate to solve problems and improve lives in more than 200 countries. The company applies its technology platforms to create more than 60,000 differentiated products for customers that it brings to market through four business groups: Safety & Industrial, Transportation & Electronics, Health Care, and Consumer.

3M was established in India in 1988 and has completed more than 30 years of operations.  3M’s headquarters in India is based in Bengaluru with branch offices at Mumbai, Gurgaon, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai. 3M leverages its global innovation expertise to develop homegrown solutions that address the unique needs of diverse customers in Indian markets. 3M’s Innovation Centers at Bengaluru and Gurgaon help boost innovation in India for India and its manufacturing footprint is spread across Bengaluru, Pune and Ahmedabad. 3M Design Center at the Innovation Center in Bengaluru is one of five 3M Design Centers in the world enabling innovation and meaningful brand experiences for customers.

Today 3M science is improving the lives of millions of Indians – from products that improve manufacturing efficiency, impact healthcare delivery to safety solutions that increase road visibility and employee safety and everyday home cleaning and organization solutions.

As part of its social responsibility efforts, 3M is committed to encouraging young innovators and scientists who have the potential to reshape society for a better tomorrow as we emerge out of the pandemic.


CII’s India Innovation Summit: The India Innovation Summit is an annual flagship event organized by CII Karnataka. Since its inception in 2005, the India Innovation Summit has brought together over 5000 experts in Innovation from diverse backgrounds including major R&D Companies, Government, Academia and Start-ups to discuss and deliberate on ‘Innovation’. The “Summit” has served as a prestigious platform for recognizing outstanding young innovators selected through the 3M-CII “Young Innovators Challenge Awards since the conception of the initiative in 2014.

Platform partners

Philanthropy Partnership

Storytelling Partnership

Storytelling Partnership

Knowledge Partnership

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