NIGC Launched with Toyota Manufacturing Innovation Prize

Karachi (Pakistan), November 7, 2013: Indus Motor Company (IMC) and Pakistan Innovation Foundation (PIF) announced the launch of National Innovation Grand Challenge (NICG) 2013-14 here on Thursday. A year‐long ‘Open Innovation’ competition, NIGC encourages Pakistani Innovators, youth, students, professionals, entrepreneurs, and citizens to innovate for solving Pakistan’s development challenge in a variety of areas such as Agriculture, Energy, Rural Development, and Manufacturing.

The Challenge invites creative minds from all over Pakistan to come up with unique and innovative ideas in two critical domains. The first challenge is to develop a replicable, scalable and marketable product or process that enhances productivity, reduces energy requirement or reduces industrial waste by at least 33%. The second challenge is to develop an innovative product, service, or tool that complements or enhances the utility of a manufactured product and has a compelling market potential and cost-performance profile for rapid commercialization in Pakistan. The Winners shall bag Rs. 1,000,000 (1 Million) ‘Open Innovation’ Prize and Rs. 500,000 (0.5 Million) Dedicated Student Prize.

The announcement was made by the Senior Leadership PIF and Toyota Pakistan which is founding corporate member of the Foundation.

“The Corporate sector has a special role to play in innovation…many of them have systems and processes in place to drive innovation internally…so they can help us in driving innovation projects across Pakistan”, says Saad Amanullah Khan, who the Chairman of Pakistan Innovation Foundation and also the CEO of Gillette Pakistan.

The Toyota – Manufacturing Innovation Challenge 2013-14 is part of Pakistan Innovation Foundation’s National Innovation Grand Challenge (NIGC) – a year-long ‘Open Innovation’ Contest that encourages Pakistani Innovators – youth, students, professionals, entrepreneurs, and citizen innovators – to innovate to solve Pakistan’s development problems and competitiveness challenges.

Faisal Muneeb Khan, Senior General Manager HR, Administration and Corporate Social Responsibility, Indus Motor Company, said: “There is paramount need to grow our local industry and nurture human capital in order to develop our economy. Kaizen , or continuous search for a better way, is a way of life at IMC. By encouraging our employees to practice ‘Kaizen’, we are in effect encouraging them to innovate. We believe that our success and the success of Pakistan lies in finding much needed innovative solutions that are home grown. It’s time we looked inwards for answers.” “The National Innovation Grand Challenge provides a great opportunity to the talent available in Pakistan to come forward and showcase their creative ideas and bring them to life,” he added.

Patterned after the famous X-Prize and Grand Challenges in Health, Toyota Manufacturing Innovation Challenge builds upon Toyota’s stewardship of the manufacturing industry and the tremendous talent that Pakistan has within its youth and young professionals as demonstrated in competitions such as Shell Eco-Marathon, Microsoft Imagine Cup, and International Science Olympiads. Toyota has, in the past, encouraged and funded student teams to participate Shell Eco-Marathon and other similar contests where Pakistani youth have competed with passion and achieved excellence.

“Entrepreneurship has been a craze in Pakistan for a little while now. But entrepreneurship without innovation i.e. breakthrough ideas is very hard to do. We want to bring breakthrough ideas to traditionally conservative sections of Pakistani society. Pakistanis are immensely talented people but their talent often remains raw and undiscovered. I am certain that NIGC has the potential, in due time, to revolutionise Pakistan’s economy and its society,” says Dr. Athar Osama, the Chief Executive of the Pakistan Innovation Foundation.

The Competition is Open now and those seeking to compete can register on PIF’s website (http://www.pif.org.pk/NIGC-2013). The contestants shall go through a 10 month long process in three distinct stages of Design, Prototype, and Demonstration Phases that will end in July 2014. Contestants shall receive guidance, mentoring, and training throughout the process that will end in the announcement of finalists. The winners shall be announced in August 2014 at a National Conference and Innovation Showcase.