Alumni Startup Wins India Australia Circular Economy Hackathon

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EcoDabba, a startup by young alumni and students of IIT Kharagpur has been adjudged Indian Student Winner at the India Australia Circular Economy (I-ACE) Hackathon. The feat comes in the theme of creating opportunities for plastics waste reduction. EcoDabba presented a novel idea of storing food in bagasse (sugarcane waste) coated with an eco coating for increased longevity which is 100% biodegradable food storage packaging. The solution by Ecodabba quickly biodegrades replenishing the soil and creating value for farmers.

The event was jointly conducted by Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog and the national science agency of Australia – Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. The award ceremony of the event was graced (virtually) by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi,  Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and CEO of Niti Aayog Amitabh Kant along with numerous Indian and Australian luminaries.

Almost 80 teams of students and small and medium businesses from India and Australia turned their collective minds to solving the world’s global challenges with a focus on stopping waste and creating sustainable business practices. Four student teams and four SME teams each from Australia and India were awarded across the four themes.

The concept of the I-ACE Hackathon originated last year at a virtual summit where the Prime Ministers of both countries committed to working together on circular economy innovation initiatives.

“All participants of this circular economy hackathon are winners and commend your spirit to innovate in this times of COVID 19. We are not the owners of all that mother earth has to offer, but merely its trustees for all the future generations to come,” Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi stated.

“We [India and Australia] must explore ways to scale up innovative ideas and must look at consumption patterns and reduce ecological impact, not only in two countries but for the whole world. Recycling, reusing, eliminating waste and improving resource efficiency should become part of our lifestyle. The Power of youth comes from openness to new ideas, innovation and the ability to take risks. The strong India and Australia relationship will play an important role in shaping the post covid world,” he added.

Ecodabba was selected among 1000+ submissions. Mentored by the founders of EcoDabba: Bindu SanchetiSourav Kundu and Nikita Agrawal, graduates of 2020, the idea was presented by Rajat MaheshwariSoumya Acharya, and Krishna Kumar Soni.

EcoDabba is a sustainable food packaging solution startup conceptualized in 2020 by IIT Kharagpur graduates comprising Bindu Sancheti and Sourav Kundu from the Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Nikita Agrawal from the Dept. of Agricultural and Food Engineering. They aim to provide a solution to the reduction of waste in food packaging in the post-pandemic world. The startup was among the top three at the Global Business Challenge 2020. [https://kgpchronicle.iitkgp.ac.in/the-2020-winners/]

With inputs from https://www.csiro.au/en/News/News-releases/2021/Students-and-SMEs-hold-keys-to-ending-waste

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