The Optimist Citizen

3M-CII announces the winners of Young Innovators Challenge Award 2021

3M in collaboration with CII has successfully completed the 8th Season of the Young Innovators Challenge Award for 2021! From over 1500+ idea submissions to 49 Semi-Finalists and 19 Finalists, this season saw some excellent projects and ideas to address some of the most pressing social and environmental issues facing our country today. The ideas were evaluated by a strong team of domain experts, sector practitioners and industry leaders at every stage of the challenge. 

Against the backdrop of the pandemic for the second year in a row,  these are the Winners of  the coveted YICA 2021.



Idea Prize – Winner

BlisCare – BlisCare provides affordable digital classroom solutions for visually impaired students with a Digital Braille Display System (Braille Tablet) that can replicate, in real-time, any text, graphical diagram/map into digital braille.

Project Team Member(s): Dilip Shankar and Niharika C. S.


Impact Prize – Winner

AKIcare – Kidney failure is a common and dangerous ICU related complication often detected late in critical patients. AKICare is a novel attachment to any traditional urinary catheter system and provides a new tool to detect the onset of impending renal dysfunction by analyzing urine in real-time.

Project Team Member(s): Chinmaya Naik and Nikita Kumari


Special Recognition for IMPACT 

Canfem – Canfem is a social enterprise that provides products and services, catering to the non-medical needs of cancer warriors with an equal focus on advocacy, mental health and empowerment for a better quality of life.

Project Team Member(s): Akriti Gupta



Impact Prize – Winner

Learn and Empower – India’s first hearing impaired-friendly, digital, games-based AI-enabled, teaching-learning platform.

Project Team Member(s): Prabodh Mahajan, Amanpreet Chopra and Krishna Samudrala


No winner has been selected under the Service – Idea prize category. However, the Grand Jury has recommended mentorship for all the finalists in this category to help explore the full potential of their projects. With expert guidance, these innovators can make a stronger pitch at future forums.



Idea Prize – Winner

Venticook – Venticook is a clean biomass-burning stove that uses a treadle mechanism (similar to a sewing machine) to provide a cleaner and more efficient alternative to the conventional biomass cooking stove.

Project Team Member(s): Anup Paikaray


Impact Prize – Winner

Smart Auto Feeder For Fish/Prawns – Overfeeding or underfeeding of prawns result in a high risk of viral infections leading to huge losses to farmers in Andhra Pradesh. Smart feeders use sensors to schedule and regulate feeds, reducing wastage.

Project Team Member(s) : V. Sai Naga Lokesh


Special Recognition for IDEA 

Solar Powered Lift Irrigation – This idea leverages existing, tested technology solutions in a remote village in Zanskar, Ladakh, to provide local communities access to water and energy and with support to livelihoods.

Project Team Member(s): Nishit Sangomla and Lobzang Wongtak


All the seven winning projects will be showcased at the upcoming virtual CII India Innovation Summit scheduled on 14th September 2021. This season’s winners will join the league of 3M-CII YICA innovators in the Hall of Fame.  The Optimist Citizen congratulates all the winners, finalists, semi-finalists and shortlisted innovators of the season for their work, passion and commitment to social change.



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