About the Program
We want to revolutionise driving on Indian roads. This innovation carries the promise of transforming our lives and addressing a range of challenges: from decreased road mortality rates and driver fatigue, to increased environmental friendliness that makes transportation more inclusive for people of all abilities –the possibilities are endless.
This document contains complete information on the Challenge including quantified deliverables, evaluation criteria, and timelines. Applications now open.
What's in it for you
- $700,000 to build a driverless car that can revolutionize transportation in India.
- Meet with industry experts, potential mentors, and join a growing community of innovation stars in India.
- Get privileged access to events across the country, and take part in webinars, Twitter chats, and Google Hangouts.
- Free access to our Resources section for the latest updates on the innovation landscape in India.
- Applicants for the Challenge must be registered on SparkTheRise.com.
- Individuals, teams, organizations or institutions from India, working on the innovation within the geographical limits of India are eligible to participate in this Challenge.
- Non-Indians, residing in India, associated with an Indian organization or institution can participate provided that the work on the challenge is carried out within the geographical boundaries of India.
- Team sizes can range from 1 to 20 members. A comprehensive list of criteria can be accessed here.
|Date||Stage / Phase|
|24 March 2014 - 19 September 2014||Submission of Applications|
|07 April 2014 - 06 October 2014||Evaluation of Applications and Announcements (Continuous Process)|
|14 April 2014 - 09 January 2015||Approach Note Submission|
|02 June 2014 - 16 February 2015||Approach Note Evaluation and Announcements (Continuous Process)|
|16 January 2015 - 20 March 2015||Live Presentations|
|13 February 2015 - 16 April 2015||Evaluation of Live Presentations|
|17 April 2015||Announcement of teams selected to move to Stage 1|
|15 April 2016||Working Prototypes (Dates are tentative. Details to be announced Jan 16th 2015)|
|17 October 2016||Full Solution Demonstration (Dates are tentative. Details to be announced later)|
Mahindra has no claims whatsoever on a team’s Intellectual Property (IP).Teams are expected to take all necessary steps to protect their IP and obtain patents. Mahindra will not play any role whatsoever in helping teams obtain patents. EY are the process advisors on the Rise Prize. They oversee the entire process and ensure a safe and fair competition. A comprehensive set of guidelines on IP can be found here.
After submitting your application, you will receive a notification within 15 days if you have been shortlisted for the next stage. Only shortlisted applicants will be required to fill in an Approach Note.
The Approach Note is a more detailed description of your innovation and will help the jury evaluate your participation in further rounds.Download Template
Dr. Ryan C.C. Chin
Ryan is Managing Director & Research Scientist, City Science Initiative, MIT Media Lab which is responsible for establishing frameworks for academic-industrial collaboration as well as furthering research in urban systems. In 2006, Esquire Magazine placed him amongst the top 42 innovators under the age of 35. More recently his work received the 2014 Katerva Award (City Car Project). Know More.
Prakash is a Visiting Professor at IIT-Gandhinagar and his key areas of interest are embedded wireless networked systems and product design; Real-time software application development for robotics, automotive, industrial automation and natural resources monitoring. Previously he led the Competency Centre for Embedded Systems, Telematics and Plant Automation for Tata Technologies. Know More.
Dr. Karl Iagnemma
Karl is a principal research scientist in the Mechanical Engineering department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has recently led research programs for agencies including the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, the Army Research Office, DARPA, the NASA Mars Program Office, Ford Motor Company, and the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts, among others. Dr. Iagnemma was chosen as one of 16 people who redefined science in 2003 by SEED magazine. He was a 2005 nominee for a MacArthur Foundation fellowship. Know More.
Sushmita is a Professor at the Machine Intelligence Unit (MIU), Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. She was the Head of MIU during the period 2010 to 2012. She has received numerous awards including the National Talent Search Scholarship (1978-1983) from NCERT, India, the University Gold Medal in 1988, the IEEE TNN Outstanding Paper Award in 1994 for her pioneering work in neuro-fuzzy computing, and the CIMPA-INRIA-UNESCO Fellowship in 1996. She is the author of several books including ``Neuro-Fuzzy Pattern Recognition: Methods in Soft Computing" and ``Data Mining: Multimedia, Soft Computing, and Bioinformatics" among others. Know more.
Mohan is an Emeritus Fellow at the IIT-Delhi and his key areas of interest are Biomechanics and epidemiology: Specifically with an Expertise in human impact tolerance, vehicle crashworthiness and road safety research. He is presently involved in design of safer truck fronts, analysis of highway crashes, analysis of tractor driver vibrations and interaction between safety and environmental policies. Know More.
Amitabha is an Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in IIT-Kanpur. He is also associated with the institute’s Centre for Robotics and Mechatronics. His key areas of interest are Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision and Geometric Modeling, and Robotics. He was a recipient of the "Hari Om Sharan Prerit Vikram Sarabhai Award" for 1999 in the area of Electronics, Informatics, Telematics, and Automation. Know More.
Dr. Ashok Jhunjhunwalla
Ashok is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at IIT Madras where he leads the Telecommunications and Computer Networks group and has incubated more than fifty companies in the last twenty years. He chairs IITM Incubation cell, Health Technology Innovation Center, co-chairs Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI) at IIT Madras and is professor in-charge of IITM Research Park. Know More.
Chetan co-founded the REVA Electric Car Company, and is CEO of Mahindra Reva. He currently holds and has filed over 30 global patents in electric vehicle technologies. His vision and pioneering innovations in electric vehicles have been recognized worldwide, including Mahindra Reva being voted as one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies in the world in 2013. Know More.
Rajan is Chief Executive — Truck & Power Train Division, and Head - Mahindra Research Valley (MRV). He has over 28 years of experience in the Automotive and Farm Equipment sectors where he has spearheaded research and development initiatives, technology incubation, sourcing, manufacturing, program management, vendor management, and new parts development. Know More.
- 27 February 2014Mahindra's $1 million bounty awaits desi innovators
Part of Mahindra's first edition of the $1 million 'Rise Prize'— was unveiled on Feb 28th, 2014, National Science Day—to spur breakthrough Indian innovation which captures the mainstream imagination. [Link]
- Rise Prize1. What is the Rise Prize?The Rise Prize is India’s biggest innovation challenge and is awarded to individuals or teams who come up with disruptive innovations or solutions to specific problems/challenges. A new section is being added to the Spark the Rise platform: the Rise Prize. “Challenges”, are problems, which, when solved, could potentially change the way we live, work and play. The aim is to present challenges that range across the spectrum: from transportation and renewable energy to technology, healthcare, and beyond. Individuals or teams that solve these challenges by meeting the set criteria will receive the “Rise Prize”. The two Rise Prize challenges currently on sparktherise.com have a prize money of USD $1 million on offer.2. Why is Mahindra setting up the Rise Prize?Nations develop when technology and innovation combine to add value, create jobs and improve the general standards of living. Today, despite a population of a billion+ and a favorable demographic profile, India lags behind in technology and innovation. Mahindra is confident that if an appropriate ecosystem is developed, India should be able to leap ahead and quickly achieve global standards in developing innovative solutions that solve problems, create opportunities and drive growth. It is this belief that has driven the setting up of Spark the Rise and now, the Rise Prize. The Rise Prize is a logical extension of the Mahindra brand philosophy/purpose of “challenging conventional thinking to drive positive change for all stakeholders”. Through the Rise Prize, Mahindra hopes to catalyze disruptive innovations from India.3. Does the Rise Prize have a logo? What does the logo convey?The Rise Prize logo has the word “PRIZE” presented in a “to the power of” manner against the word RISE. This conveys the exponential power of innovation to drive positive change. It also exhorts an individual to Rise to the challenge, to claim the prize.4. Who can participate in the Rise Prize?Participation is open to all Indian citizens, Indian institutions and organizations with the condition that the work done in solving the challenges is carried out within the geography of India. People can participate in teams or as individuals. Please refer to FAQs 7 to 21 for more details on the eligibility criteria.5. What are the challenges being put up at launch?There are two challenges – 1) The development of a driverless car for Indian conditions and 2) An Affordable – Small sized - DIY (Do it Yourself) Rooftop Solar kit that spurs the growth of solar power in urban and rural India6. What criteria are used to develop the challenges?There are several factors that influence the choice of a particular challenge. They are listed below. a) If solved, the solution to the challenge has the potential to greatly benefit society b) The challenge should be in the area of applied science/technology c) It must be "big", i.e. something that if solved will draw world attention d) It cannot be solved with today's technology or today's technology is impractical (too expensive, for example) e) Solving the challenge must involve an inter-disciplinary approach f) The thinking used to solve the challenge must be usable in other applications
- Eligibility7. Who can participate in the Rise Prize?Participation is open to all Indian citizens, Indian institutions and organizations with the condition that the work done in developing the technology and solving the challenge is carried out within the geography of India. Individuals who are not Indian citizens, but live and study/work in India during the duration of the challenge can also participate – as a part of teams or on their own. Teams can represent any of the three categories defined below. • An Institution (eligible individuals or teams who choose to and are authorised to officially represent the institution) • An Organization (eligible individuals or teams who choose to and are authorised to officially represent the organization) • Private (any individual or team who would like to participate in a private capacity)8. How many members can a team consist of?A team can have a maximum of 20 members. Certificates of participation and/or winning will be restricted to a maximum of 20 individuals, registered as members of the team on the day the winners are announced.9. Is there a prescribed way of structuring a team?All teams will have to nominate a Team Leader and one deputy during registration. All communication from Rise Prize will be to the Team Leader. In the absence of the Team Leader, communication will be sent to the deputy. Apart from this, there is no specification on the composition or structure of the team.10. I am not the Team Leader. Can I still register my team for the Rise Prize?No. The teams have to be registered by the Team Leader only.11. Our team is made up of members from different institutions. Can we participate?Yes, you can. You can participate as a private team.12. Can a team have members who are not Indian citizens?Yes, it can, provided that the non-Indian members are working / studying in India during the duration of the challenge13. I am not an Indian citizen, but I work in India. Can I participate?Any non-Indian residing in India, and associated with an Indian organization or institution, an Indian subsidiary of a foreign company, or Indian campuses of foreign schools or universities can participate provided that the work on the challenge is carried out within the geographical boundaries of India14. Are only Indian institutions or organizations allowed to participate?Participation is open to institutions and organizations that are located within India. This includes Indian subsidiaries of foreign companies, and Indian campuses of foreign schools or universities.15. Can an Institute have more than one team representing it?Yes. An institute or organisation can have more than one team representing it. Teams representing an institution/organization will have to submit an official letter, signed by an authorized signatory and carrying the official seal authorizing them to represent the said institution or organization.16. We are a group of Indians studying in a foreign university abroad. Can we participate?No, you cannot. The challenge is open only to individuals/teams that study/work within India17. I work for an MNC in India. Can I participate with my team?Any individual or a team working in India can participate. You can even represent your company, provided that the work on the challenge is done within the geographical boundaries of India.18. I am working for a Mahindra group company. Can I participate?Yes, you can. However, you will not be allowed to represent “Mahindra”. You can submit your application only as a “Private” entry and you will not be allowed to use any of Mahindra’s facilities/ infrastructure/funds.19. I’m 15 years of age. Can I participate?The Team Leader must be at least 18 years old. There is no age restriction for the rest of the team members.20. Is there an agreement that I have to sign to be able to participate?Yes, there is. When you submit your application, you will be asked to accept the Terms & Conditions (T&Cs) governing the Rise Prize. You will have to indicate your acceptance of the T&Cs before you submit your application. Furthermore, another agreement will be made between M&M Ltd. and the participating team post the “Live Presentation” phase.21. Are there reasons for which I can be denied participation?Mahindra & Mahindra reserves the right to limit, or restrict upon notice, participation in the competition to any person or entity at any time for any reason.
- Team Restructuring22. Can I add a team member after I have submitted the application?Yes, new team members can be added up to the “Live Presentation” phase. In order to do this, the Team Leader must submit a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. The maximum number of team members is 20.23. I have not registered at sparktherise.com. However, my Team Leader has an account. Can s/he still register me as a team member?Yes, the Team Leader can appoint team members at the time of submitting the application form. New members can be added to the team up to the “Live Presentation” phase. In order to do this, the Team Leader must submit a request to email@example.com. Our Team Leader has quit. How do we change the Team Leader?In order to do this, the outgoing Team Leader must submit a request to firstname.lastname@example.org appointing a new Team Leader.25. Our Team Leader has quit. Can we appoint a member who is not the second in command as Team Leader?Yes, you can provided the member is a part of the team. In order to do this, the outgoing Team Leader must submit a request to email@example.com. One team member has quit. Can we remove him/her from the list?Yes. A team can remove members at any point. To do this, the Team Leader must submit a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Intellectual Property (IP)27. Who will own the IP for all innovations my team generates?Your team (or the Institute/Organisation you represent) will.28. Can we use innovations generated elsewhere to build our solution?Yes, you may, provided you have the legal rights to do so. However, please note that the jury will give a disproportionate weight to “original innovations” while evaluating submissions!29. Will Mahindra have any claims on our team IP if we win the challenge?No, Mahindra has no claims whatsoever on a team’s IP.30. Will Mahindra help us procure patents for our innovations?Teams are expected to take all necessary steps to protect their IP and obtain patents. Mahindra will not play any role whatsoever in helping teams obtain patents31. Is the Rise Prize process overseen by an independent, external agency?Yes, Ernst & Young (EY) is the process advisor for the Rise Prize. EY will oversee process and the workflow over the duration of the challenge – from start to finish.32. We represent an institution. Will the IP developed belong to us or the institution?The matter of IP and who will own it rests solely on the agreement between the team(s) and the institution. Mahindra will have no say whatsoever in this matter.
- Prize33. Other than the bounty, are there any prizes / incentives?No. There are no incentives or prizes except those explicitly stated. However, there will be workshops, leadership sessions and other value-adding programs. Details of these programs will be shared on spartktherise.com34. Will payments be made in rupees or dollars?All payments in the Rise Prize will be made in Indian Rupees. The dollar denomination of the prize money is applied for communication purpose only35. What exchange rate will be applied?The exchange rate used will be the lower of Rs.61.775/USD, which was the exchange rate on 28 Feb 2014, the day the Rise Prize was announced or the INR/USD exchange rate on the date the winners are announced for this challenge.36. When will the prize money be given?The winners will be announced within 21 working days after the close of the challenge (Stage 2). The prize money will be paid within 15 working days of clearance of all legal formalities37. Will tax be deducted at source when the prize is paid out?Yes. Appropriate Central/State tax laws in force during the processing of payments will be applied and tax will be deducted at source. Please note that all liabilities on tax matters will rest on the winning teams and it is the responsibility of the teams to ensure compliance to all applicable tax laws38. We represent an institution. Will the prize be given to the team or the institution?If the winning team represents an institution, the prize money will be given to the Institution39. We are a private team. Will the payout be made to all members?No. The full & final payment of the prize money, post deduction of tax at source, will be made to the Team Leader in our records the day the prize is announced. Intra-team arrangements for a fair and equitable disbursement of the prize money is a matter for the team to work out – Mahindra will have no say whatsoever in this matter or in the matter of disbursement of the prize money between the team members40. Are there any milestone linked prizes?No. There are no milestone linked prizes.
- Application & Evaluation41. Can I apply for the Rise Prize from any other channel other than sparktherise.com?Applications for the Rise Prize can be made only on www.sparktherise.com.42. It is not possible for some of our team members to attend the Live Presentation round. Is it compulsory for all team members to be present during the presentations?It is expected that all team members be present at the time of presentation. However, in case of special circumstances, the cause of absence should be intimated to M&M in advance. It is compulsory for the Team Leader to be present under all circumstances43. Our team members are not available during the workshop. Is it mandatory to attend the same?Attending workshops or other programs which will be organized periodically is not mandatory and is at the discretion of the team. However, attendance is strongly recommended since all programs are being designed to add value to the participating teams44. Who bears the expenses for these workshops?The workshops will be organized by Mahindra. However, the costs of attending these workshops will have to be borne by the attending teams members – costs include, but are not restricted to, travel expenses, boarding & lodging and miscellaneous expenses.45. The components used by our team are not currently available. Can we get an extension for demonstrations of our prototype/final solution?The prototype/final solution round will be spread through a time period. The teams are expected to finalize their choice of components/technology by that period. No deadline extensions will be provided.46. We need to make a few changes in our prototype / final solution design due to the unavailability of components. Is that allowed?Yes. In case such changes are unavoidable, the teams can make the changes after duly informing Mahindra in writing or by email.47. In case of loss of functionality, is there an alternate option to present our concept?No. The innovation should be in a fully functional capacity at the time of presentations48. Will Mahindra disclose the evaluation parameters for the mentioned phases?M&M is not liable to disclose the evaluation parameters and their weightage. However, the challenge document contains a list of evaluation criteria for the different stages. Teams can base their work plan on the basis of these criteria.
- Communication with Mahindra49. How do I communicate with Mahindra in case I have to?Teams can communicate by sending us an email to email@example.com or they can send a written communication to Mahindra by post / courier.50. What is the address to which communication must be sent?All written communication should be addressed to: Rise Prize 1st Floor, Mahindra Towers, Dr.G.M.Bhosale Marg, Worli, Mumbai 400018 Maharashtra, India51. What is the language to be used for all official communication?All official communication is to be made in English only.
- Miscellaneous52. Will Mahindra fund teams?No. Mahindra will not fund any team.53. Will Mahindra help me commercialise my innovation?Mahindra makes no commitments whatsoever to help teams commercialise their innovations54. Can I source funding from abroad?Sourcing funds in compliance to appropriate laws is a matter left to the teams. Mahindra will have no role to play in this matter.55. Will miscellaneous expenses incurred by the team (e.g. travel) be reimbursed by Mahindra?No. Mahindra will not reimburse any expense whatsoever. All expenses towards participating in the challenge will have to be borne by the teams.56. Will I have access to Mahindra facilities as a participant?In certain cases, Mahindra may decide to provide access to its facilities/materials/other infrastructure. This decision is at the sole discretion of Mahindra and should not be treated as a commitment being made. If Mahindra decides to provide access, it will ensure that this does not in any way affect the level-playing field in the challenge – i.e. the decision does not benefit a few teams only, at the expense of other teams57. Is there a restriction on the number of mentors the team can have?No. A team can have as many mentors as it feels it needs to compete successfully.58. Can we build our prototype in a third-party facility?Yes, you can.59. What if I propose a solution even better than what is asked for in the challenge?For the purpose of this challenge, the deliverables and the evaluation criteria specified will be used to judge participating teams. A team will have to meet the defined deliverables only. However, any team’s solution that exceeds performance on the defined deliverables stands a better chance of winning!60. What if no team completes the challenge? Who wins then?The challenge can have a winner only if the defined deliverables are met and a team is judged as having completed the challenge. In the event that no team is able to complete the challenge, the jury has the right to recommend a closure to the challenge. In this case, no prize payouts will be made.61. Will the jury remain the same across stages? Or will they change from stage to stage?While all efforts will be made to ensure that the jury stays constant, Mahindra reserves the right to modify the jury during the course of the challenge.62. Will the finalists or the winners be recruited by Mahindra on successful completion of the challenge?No. Mahindra makes no commitment of any sorts to recruit individuals/teams at any stage whatsoever.