Hasiru Dala, TIDE and WRI India win Bangalore Innovation Challenge

The Tata Centre for Development at the University of Chicago and the Urban Development Department of the Government of Karnataka have announced winners of a crowdsourcing competition to address the most pressing energy and environment problems of Bangalore. A joint proposal from TIDE and WRI India and one from Hasiru Dala Innovations were declared as the winners.

The winners of the Bangalore Innovation Challenge together received Rs. 1.5 crores. The winning ideas will now use the funding support along with the technical guidance from experts at the University of Chicago Energy & Environment Lab, the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago’s India team (EPIC India), Social Alpha and the Karnataka Government to implement and test their projects.

The Bangalore Innovation Challenge builds on an earlier challenge in Delhi in 2015–16 in partnership with the Delhi government. In that challenge, three winners were chosen from nearly 250 ideas that aimed at reducing pollution in Delhi.

Twenty years back the population in Bangalore was 30 to 40 lakhs, spread over 200 sq.km. Today the area is 800 sq.km. Bangalore has big challenges that need to be solved immediately,” said Dr. G. Parameshwara Deputy Chief Minister, Karnataka at the award ceremony. “The fact that these brilliant ideas have come from people and organisations who know the ground realities, gives me immense hope. I am very optimistic that together with experts at the University of Chicago and guidance from our Government, the winning ideas will give some long lasting environmental solutions to Bangalore.

Selecting two winners from more than 170 creative ideas was an intense exercise for the expert review committee. These winning ideas look extremely promising and we are looking forward to work with them in not just testing their concept on the ground but also evaluating their effectiveness and their possibilities of being scaled up as policy solutions for Bangalore and other cities,” said Michael Greenstone, Director, Tata Centre for Development at UChicago and Milton Friedman Professor in Economics, the College, and the Harris School.

In effective waste management and judicious use of energy, lies key to two very important challenges that modern day cities grapple with and I am glad that the winners of this challenge are trying to deal with these two issues,” said Mahendra Jain, Additional Chief Secretary of the Urban Development Department. “The uniqueness of this challenge lies in its approach of creating evidence backed solutions and we are totally committed to work with the winners and provide answers that can make people’s life better in Bangalore.

The Winning Projects

Hasiru Dala Innovations — Waste-picker Franchisee and Variable Pricing Model for Total Waste Management services

This project leverages the innate entrepreneurial abilities of waste-pickers by empowering them to be a service provider and livelihood creator for waste pickers.

The project addresses the waste management needs of Bulk Waste Generators in the city of Bangalore by providing destination assured waste management services for all streams of segregated-at-source municipal solid waste. The differential variable pricing model incentivises better source segregation and gives an opportunity for waste picker entrepreneur to earn 4 to 5 times more than his earlier income under better working conditions

TIDE and WRI India — Empowering consumers for electricity conservation

TIDE and WRI India propose a consumer-focused demand side management initiative, VR Lite. VR Lite will facilitate a culture of energy conservation and energy efficiency through awareness, knowledge and consumer reports to save electricity. It aims to promote long-term behaviour change for reducing electricity consumption.

VR Lite will work with a large number of residential consumers in BESCOM subdivisions in Bangalore. It will provide nudges to conserve electricity in the form of regular reports. The reports will also provide recommendations for an efficient and sustainable electricity consumption template for the households. In the process, VR Lite will generate evidence on the impact of such behaviour change programs leading to sustainable consumption and low carbon cities.

TIDE and WRI India acknowledge the support and guidance from BESCOM for this program. VR Lite has evolved from Vidyut Rakshaka, a citizen engagement program running in Bangalore as a CSR program of Societe Generale Global Solution Centre (SG GSC).