On 13th December, PIC in association with the Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT), Pune, organised a lecture by Prof. Ramesh Raskar, Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston. He is also the Recipient of the Lemelson – MIT Prize 2016 and is Co-Director, Centre for Future Storytelling at MIT, Boston. This programme was chaired by Dr. V. Premnath, Founder-Director, Venture Center, Pune and himself an alumnus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston. (PhD. 1993-97)
In 2016, after receiving the prestigious Lemelson-MIT prize, Prof. Raskar decided to use the award money to launch REDX, a group platform for co-innovations that aspires to innovate for billions. REDX has formed various technology laboratories and innovator’s clubs both in the US as well as in India and other countries.
A video clip on REDX was played at the program, which introduced the audience to the innovation labs and hubs and the innovations they have been able to create, such as ‘Eye Netra’- a device that can give a prescription for the eyes with just one click.
Prof. Raskar began his talk by emphasising the importance of peer-to-peer learning and brainstorming for students, to counter the standardization of the learning process. Working on “Unknown Unknowns” as opposed to “Known Unknowns”, was one of the highlights of his talk. He then spoke about problem-solving and the established attitudes towards it.
Incremental Innovation and disruptive innovation were explained with relevant examples and social entrepreneurship through innovation and its various stages of development were elaborately explored. He also highlighted the parts of value chain of successful innovations that involve, identifying a problem, making a problem statement, developing solutions to the problem and motivating the operating agencies to deploy them. Lastly, he explained the concept of the REDX labs while actively interacting with the crowd and involving them in the talk as it happened.
In his address, Dr. Premnath said that there is a need to create an atmosphere in which the young generation will feel encouraged to innovate and develop into entrepreneurs. Dr. V. D. Karad, Founder Chairman of MIT Group of Institutes in Pune, said that science and technology have helped the human race achieve remarkable material progress and now efforts must be made to harness technology to bring peace and happiness.