Students to Create Patentable Innovations in Just Six Weeks at Maker Bhavan Foundation’s Invention Factory

Students to Create Patentable Innovations in Just Six Weeks at Maker Bhavan Foundation’s Invention Factory21st May, 2024: Maker Bhavan Foundation (MBF), a non-profit charitable organization committed to making STEM higher education more relevant to real-world needs in India, has returned with the fifth edition of its flagship program, Invention Factory. This six-week residential summer program will be held at IIT Gandhinagar (from 27th May to 5th July 2024), IIT Bombay (from 3rd June to 12th July 2024), and IIT Jammu (from 3rd June to 14th July 2024).

Incepted in 2013 in New York, Invention Factory is the brainchild of Prof. Alan Wolf (Professor of Physics and a U.S. Patent Attorney) and Prof. Eric Lima (Professor of Mechanical Engineering) of The Cooper Union. The same program was adapted and introduced to India by Maker Bhavan Foundation, which hosted the first edition of Invention Factory in 2018 at IIT Gandhinagar. Since then, Invention Factory in India has been an annual event, featuring the participation of 146 students who have filed 74 provisional patents in India and the US throughout the four editions with 21 winning inventions.

[Dr. Alan Wolf, Professor & Chair of Physics (Retd), Cooper Union and Co-Founder of Invention Factory], said, “I’m so excited to return to India for Invention Factory 2024!

As always, the first week will be particularly exciting and intense — What clever and impactful inventions will be proposed? Which ones will be upvoted (to move forward) by the end of the week? Our new students can’t imagine the ride they are in for! Lots of ups and downs, and a profound transformation by the end of the program! ”

In 2024, Invention Factory has ballooned in popularity. For this edition, over 700 applications were received, a 250% rise from the number of applications received in 2023. From this pool, an exclusive 60 students from engineering colleges nationwide have been selected; these are set to join this dynamic and intensive boot camp. At all three campuses, Invention Factory participants will form teams, exchange ideas, receive mentorship throughout their development phases, and showcase their final prototypes to professors. The top three “Best Inventions” per location will be rewarded with a financial incentive, and each participating team will get to file a provisional patent for their prototype in both India and the US. A provisional patent protects inventions for one year.

Kirat Patel, Executive Director, Alkyl Amines, said, “I am happy to witness the Invention Factory open its doors to all colleges nationwide this year. Alkyl Amines is proud to associate with the Maker Bhavan Foundation (MBF), sharing a vision to expose students to mentorship, industry, and experts. Students from all colleges are getting exposure to resources otherwise unavailable to them through Invention Factory. I am especially glad to see a student from the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) participating in this program. The Tinkerers’ Lab we support at ICT through MBF exemplifies the multidisciplinary learning that MBF promotes across its various initiatives. I anticipate the fresh perspectives and ingenious solutions that emerge from this edition of the program will empower students from diverse backgrounds to achieve excellence.” Alkyl Amines is the sponsor for the Invention Factory at IIT Gandhinagar.

The earlier editions of Invention Factory have witnessed myriad innovative ideas and prototypes. Last year, a team from NIT Trichy and IIT Gandhinagar came together at IIT Bombay to invent an “Automatic Gas Shut Off Knob,” aimed at detecting gas leaks and providing remote control over the knob.

Two students from  IIT Madras and NIT Calicut, respectively, developed the prototype of a passive asthma inhaler, which addresses the issue of improper inhaler techniques. This prevents shortfalls in the dosage of medication to be taken by asthma patients – a recurring problem for them. Another innovative prototype was developed by a team from IIT Gandhinagar and IIT Kharagpur. They developed a wearable breast pump with a cold container, a device that can be attached to a bra that doubles up as a storage device for breast milk. This innovation has the potential to benefit innumerable new mothers.

Maker Bhavan Foundation (MBF) believes in nurturing gifted students and faculty makers, empowering them to become the future generation of talented technologists and inventive engineers responsive to solving relevant “real-world” problems. MBF currently partners with 20+ higher education institutions across India and is on path to reach 1 lakh student beneficiaries by the end of 2024. The Indian industry needs disruptive innovation to gain a competitive edge globally. MBF’s vision is to create a sustained industry–academia partnership to improve the relevance of engineering curricula for the industry, collaborate, and build innovative solutions.

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