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IIT Madras unveils top 25 teams for Carbon Zero Challenge 4.0, advancing sustainability startups

IIT Madras unveils top 25 teams for Carbon Zero Challenge 4.0, advancing sustainability startups

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) unveiled the top 25 teams comprising the fourth cohort of the annual Carbon Zero Challenge, a pioneering pan-Indian competition promoting startups in the sustainability sector. The announcement took place during the ‘Embarkment’ event held on the campus on April 25, 2024.

CZC 4.0, launched in January 2024, has provided funding to 100 teams, totaling over Rs. 5 crore, and served as a seedbed for 13 startups. It transformed 42 students/researchers and eight faculties into entrepreneurs. The selected top 25 teams, comprising students, early-stage startups, faculties, and researchers, showcased their sustainable and circular economy solutions in domains such as water and wastewater, renewable energy, sustainable packaging and building materials, eco-friendly cold storage and transportation, and waste management. These teams will receive up to Rs. 5 lakh and six months to develop their prototypes.

The Challenge is supported by Thales, a French multinational company, and the Aquamap Centre for Water Management at IIT Madras. CZC 4.0 received 850 applications from 25 states, from which 25 teams were shortlisted after two rounds of evaluations by 50 experts.

A.R. Rahul Nadh, Director of the Department of Environment and Climate Change, Government of Tamil Nadu, emphasized moving towards a circular economy and praised the Carbon Zero Challenge. He highlighted the Tamil Nadu government’s initiatives to tackle climate change and expressed interest in collaborating with the teams.

Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director of IIT Madras, discussed the institute’s commitment to sustainability, mentioning the School of Sustainability’s efforts in research and public policy. He expressed satisfaction with CZC’s milestone of funding 100 innovations in sustainability.

Prof. Indumathi Nambi, Principal Coordinator of the Carbon Zero Challenge, highlighted the program’s mission to reduce carbon and water footprints. Each team is expected to reduce 100 to 500 CO2 equivalents per annum, collectively addressing 12 of the 17 sustainable development goals.

As part of the Carbon Zero Challenge, a three-day in-person boot camp was conducted at IIT Madras for the top 25 teams. The Sustainability Mafia (SusMafia) served as the official knowledge partner, providing mentorship and training on essential entrepreneurial skills. Over the next few months, these mentors will offer dedicated support to the teams, covering various topics crucial for their success.



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