About the Program
India has an unparalleled opportunity to lead the global energy revolution through solar power. The next step to drive this revolution is making rooftop solar adaptation a reality; through an Affordable Small-Sized DIY Rooftop Solar Kit that carries the promise of making energy available and affordable to all. From providing energy access to rural India and making solar power a large-scale reality in urban India, to disrupting the way India powers itself -- the sky is the limit.
This document contains complete information on the Challenge including quantified deliverables, evaluation criteria, and timelines. Applications now open.
What's in it for you
- $300,000 to develop an Affordable Small-Sized DIY Rooftop Solar Kit for household energy needs.
- 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 proposed solution 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|
|16 September 2015||Working Prototypes (Dates are tentative. Details to be announced by Jan 16, 2015)|
|16 March 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
Chetan Singh Solanki
Chetan is currently Associate Professor in Department of Energy Science and Engineering at (IIT-Bombay. His research areas of interest are Si-nanostructures for PV applications, thin film Si solar cell, concentrated PV systems, carbon nanotubes among others. He is recipient of EMRS (European Material Research Society) young scientist award and also owns three US patents for his work on porous silicon for solar cell applications. He is the author of a book titled ”Renewable Energy Technology- A Practical Guides for Beginners”. Know More.
Ravishankar is heads the Universal Design Lab at the NID Bangalore. He has spent over 18 years in domains such as IT Mobile Technology Voice Interfaces, Product Design, Retail Design and Visual Merchandising, Design and Training in the indigenous craft sector to name a few and also consulted for Indian and multinational corporations. He was awarded the NID-Business World Design Excellence Award in 2006 and is a co-author of in the formulation of the Universal Design India Principles. Know More.
Basant is CEO of Mahindra EPC, a dominant player in India’s fast-growing renewable energy sector. His career spans over 15 years, with cross-functional experience in Business Development and Management, Financial Planning, Financial Control, Project development, Contracts and Procurement, Merger and Acquisition, Risk Management, MIS, and Budgeting. 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 applications20. 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.
- Eligibility8. 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 announced9. 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.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. 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!
- Intellectual Property (IP)27. Who will own the IP for all innovations my team generates?Your team (or the Institute/Organisation you represent) will.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. How many prizes are available? What are the amounts under each?There are four prizes in all under the Solar Challenge. The details of the 4 prizes are: Currency in USD 1st Prize 2nd Prize LEVEL 1: Solar Powered System + Inverter First prize - $60,000 Second Prize - $30,000 LEVEL 2: Solar Powered System+ Inverter + Smart meter+ Battery First Prize - $140,000 Second Prize - $70,00034. Other than what is announced, 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.com35. 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 only36. 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.37. When will the prize money be given?The winners will be announced within 21 working days after the close of the relevant phase. The prize money will be paid within 15 working days of clearance of all legal formalities38. 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 laws39. 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 Institution40. 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 members41. Are there any milestone linked prizes?No. There are no milestone linked prizes.42. Our team would like to use the prize money received at the end of Stage 1 to develop the final solution. By when will the team receive their prize amount?The winners will be announced within 21 working days after the close of the relevant phase. The prize money will be paid within 15 working days of clearance of all legal formalities. Teams can plan their requirement and utilisation of funds on the basis of these timelines.43. Our team has won a prize for Level 1. Is it necessary for us to proceed for the further rounds?It is not binding on the teams to proceed further. However, a team deciding to withdraw from participation in subsequent stages of the challenge will have to inform Mahindra by sending an email to the id email@example.com. The email must be sent from the Team Leader’s mail id.
- Application & Evaluation44. 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.45. 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 circumstances46. 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 teams47. 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.48. 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.49. 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.50. 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 presentations51. 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 Mahindra52. How do I communicate with Mahindra in case I have to?Teams can communicate by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or they can send a written communication to Mahindra by post / courier.53. 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, India54. What is the language to be used for all official communication?All official communication is to be made in English only.
- Miscellaneous55. Will Mahindra fund teams?No. Mahindra will not fund any team.56. Will Mahindra help me commercialise my innovation?Mahindra makes no commitments whatsoever to help teams commercialise their innovations57. 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.58. 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.59. 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 teams60. 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.61. Can we build our prototype in a third-party facility?Yes, you can.62. 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!63. 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.64. 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.65. 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.