Innovation advocate. Founder, Honey Bee Network Executive Vice Chair, National Innovation Foundation. Professor IIM Ahmedabad. Anil Gupta is on the hunt for the developing world's unsung inventors — indigenous entrepreneurs whose ingenuity, hidden by poverty, could change many people's lives. He shows how the Honey Bee Network helps them build the connections they need — and gain the recognition they deserve.
MEET PROF. ANIL K. GUPTA
Member, National Innovation Council, Chaired by Adviser to Prime Minister; Fellow, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Fellow, The World Academy of Art and Science, California 2001.
Looking to the poor of India, business professor Anil Gupta saw innovations and talent that were not being supported. In response, he started the Honey Bee Network and began searching the country with colleagues, often on foot, finding a myriad of inventions developed out of necessity. These discoveries are documented and often shared with the global community, just as pollen is gathered by the honeybee to the benefit of both. Since 1988, the network's database of original inventions has grown to over 12,000, and its newsletter is now published in eight languages and distributed to 75 countries.
Gupta also worked with the government of India to establish the National Innovation Foundation, which holds national competitions to encourage new inventors and helps sustain them through the National Micro Venture Innovation Fund. Through his efforts, Gupta has uncovered groundbreakingly useful devices such as a pedal-operated washing machine, a micro-windmill battery charger, a hoe powered by a bicycle, and many more.
Mission: To demonstrate the potential of knowledge rich economically poor people in taking developing societies out of the morass of mediocrity and lead these on to a path of sustainable, democratic and diversified progress.
Have been walking (around 6000 kms across India) for a week or more every summer and winter for last 17 years as a part of Shodhyatra (journey on foot) to celebrate creativity at grassroots, to learn from grassroots teachers and share creativity of communities encountered so far. Third time, I walk with students at IIMA in Himalayan region as a part of walking course.
Courses taught: Globalising and Resurgent India through Innovative Transformation (GRIT) with Bharat Ratna Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, former President of India (2008-12), Shodhyatra (learning walk in Himalayan region), Creativity, Innovation, Knowledge Network and Entrepreneurship (CINE), Strategic Management of Intellectual Property Rights (SMIPR), Indian Social and Political Environment (ISPE, 1995-2007), Design and Development of Development Organizations (DDDO, 1981-90), Economic Environment and Policy (EEP II) (1981-1994), Doctoral courses Agri Management (AM II) and Institution Building (IB). Have guided FPM (doctoral) theses on Ecological Movement, Incorporating Farmers’ Interests in Biotechnology Input Development and Endogenous Innovations for Sustainable Pest Management, besides being member of several other FPM student committees on Trade and environment, Open Innovations, organizational change, risk and uncertainty in agriculture, Gender issues in formal and informal sector, etc.
Research and Action Interests: Expanding global, national and local space for grassroots inventors and innovators to ensure recognition, respect and reward for them; protection of their Intellectual Property Rights; blending excellence in formal and informal science; ethical issues in conservation and prospecting of biodiversity; linking innovations, investments and enterprise; creating Knowledge Network at different levels for augmenting grassroots green innovations and and technological innovations by youth to build a global value chain to get the creativity its due; support to Honey Bee Network including about 185,000 ideas, innovations and examples (not all unique) of traditional knowledge from various parts of the country (nifindia.org) and rest of the world on farm and non-farm sustainable technologies, and 200,000 projects of engineering and related disciplines through techpedia.in of sristi.org
Professional Experience: Established Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI, 1993, www.sristi.org) and Grassroots Innovation Augmentation Network (GIAN, 1997,www.gian.org), two voluntary organization to support the Honey Bee Network and to scale up and convert grassroots innovations into viable products respectively. Helped set up the National Innovation Foundation (NIF, 2000, www.nifindia.org ) assisted by Department of Science and Technology, Government of India to make India innovative and creative society and a global leader in sustainable technologies. NIF has mobilized more than 200,000 innovations and traditional knowledge practices from over 545 districts of India, the largest database of its kind any where. Recently through student volunteers and without much external support, established a portal of 204,315 tech student projects at www.techpedia.sristi.org or www.techpedia.in to link the needs of informal sector and small and cottage industry with the young technology students besides increasing Innovation Quotient of the country ( by preventing students do a repetitive project).Illustrative lists of problems in search of solution and innovation in search of augmentation are also listed here. Likewise sristi.org is creating a portal for street art Culturally Alive! India and another one for opens source educational software for children. Another multi-media multi language platform for collaborative product design for augmenting green innovations and social enterprises is also being developed. A twin centre for Grassroots innovation ahs been set up in collaboration with Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, China. Similar efforts are on with other developing countries to promote grassroots to Global ( g2G) strategy for knowledge based approaches to poverty alleviation and employment generation.
Honours/distinguished lectures: Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) from Central University of Orissa, Koraput, July 29, 2012; Hermes Award received by Honey Bee Network (May 2012), European Institute for Creative Strategies and Innovation, Paris;Priyadarshini Academy Award, 19 Sep 2010; Member, National e-Governance Advisory Group, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, New Delhi, 2010; Non-official Director, Board of Indian Medicines Pharmaceutical Corporation Limited, Mohan, Dist. Almora, Uttarakhand, 2010, Visitor’s Nominee on the Selection Committee, Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas, IIT, Mumbai; Member of the Expert Group on Innovation for mid term appraisal of the 11th Five Year Plan ; Invited to be founding member of the LAUNCH - A global initiative to identify and support the innovative work poised to contribute to a sustainable future and accelerate solutions to meet urgent challenges facing our society by NASA; Member, Jury of Asian Innovation Awards by Asian Wall Street Journal/FEER (2002-2008), Jury to select 12 most promising climate Friendly Innovations in Sweden by Global Focus (2007-08); Jury for Tata Innovations Award (2008); Committee on Credit Flow of Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Government of India, 2009, Advisory Committee of World Economic Forum on Entrepreneurship Education; Thermax Innovation Council; Technical Advisory Group of Media Lab, Asia; Expert Committee for the schemes STARD, STAWS,YS, TSP and SCSP under the Science and Society Programme of Department of Science & Technology, Government of India; Advisory Committee for Recruitment and Assessment Board, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Delhi, Research Council of Advanced Materials and Processes Research Institute (AMPRI), Bhopal; Advisory Board of Innovations, MIT Press; Editorial Advisory Board of International Journal of Sustainable Development, Editorial Board of International Journal of Commons, IASCP, USA; Journal of Rural Development, National Institute of Rural Development, Hyderabad; Advisory Board of the newsletter, Business.2010, published by Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Canada; Research Council for National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS), New Delhi. Research advisory Committee of Department of Drinking Water Supply Government of India, New Delhi, etc.