AIM Launches India–Australia Circular Economy Hackathon(I-ACE), with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

On 19 February 2021, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Hon Scott Morrison MP, the Prime Minister of Australia felicitated the participants of the India Australia Circular Economy Hackathon(I-ACE) at a virtual award ceremony. Hon Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology of Australia and Prof. K. VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India also spoke at the event.

AIM Launches India–Australia Circular Economy Hackathon(I-ACE), with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

AIM (Atal Innovation Mission), in association with CSIRO, organized a two-day hackathon on the circular economy, ‘India–Australia Circular Economy Hackathon (I-ACE)’, on 7 and 8 December. To enable students and start-ups/MSMEs from both countries to present innovative solutions for the development of a circular economy across the food system value chain. The I-ACE Hackathon addressed four themes:

This February, Australian students, start-ups, and SMEs formed teams to develop, justify and present a solution to one of the four hackathon themes linked to the Circular Economy.

Mr. R. Ramanan explained the format of I-ACE and introduced four key themes for the hackathon as follows:

Theme 1: Innovation in packaging reducing packaging waste

Theme 2: Innovation in food supply chains avoiding waste

Theme 3: Creating opportunities for plastics waste reduction

Theme 4: Recycling critical energy metals and e-waste

Shortlisted students and startups/MSMEs will be called for the hackathon, where two winners (one student and one startup/MSME) per theme from each country will be announced at an award ceremony on 11 December.

I-ACE will focus on the identification and development of innovative technology solutions by bright-minded students, startups and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) of both nations for fostering sustainable circular 

economy to increase the long-term health and resilience of our planet. Mr. R. Ramanan, Mission Director Atal Innovation Mission and Additional Secretary NITI Aayog in inaugural address said that we are looking at how we can address the circular economy challenge that can create possible solutions for not only eliminating waste but also for reusing waste. Dr Paul Bertsch, Chief of the Division of Land and Water at CSIRO said, Australia and India appraised India’s and Australia’s strong productive bilateral Partnership over a decade and highlighted that there are significant potential and benefits through our collaborations across a broad range of areas. He also highlighted by coming together, we can align research and development efforts to achieve more at a very challenging time in the history of 

mankind. Adding to Dr Paul Bertsch, Dr Heinz Schandl, senior science leader at CSIRO Land and Water said, The hackathon will help both the nations advance the circular economy and in the long run a circular economy model will prove superior to businesses and will provide more jobs and higher economic growth. It will also reduce cost, drive innovation and will have various significant environmental benefits. He also said that Australia and India have everything it needs to launch a circular economy strategy that will 

address fundamental environmental issues and foster economic development. Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog highlighted the importance of Circular Economy and said, combining Australia’s Research and Development base with India’s scale and record of frugal innovations establishes the foundation of productive partnership between the two nations.He also said producing, consuming and disposing of products has started to affect the planet and our way of life. The need of the hour is to adopt a disruptive way of doing things that are based on sustainability and moving towards a circular economy. The circular economy would be a true response. Gracing this occasion, Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog said, it is a very important initiative to make our economy less resource-intensive and to ensure our economic growth is ecologically compatible and contribute to the climate change situation. As both nations build their economies, it is the right moment to make a circular and sustainable economy, the model of economic growth going forward.