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Chennai college’s pest-repellent grain bags win Accenture prize

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The team from Velammal Engineering College, Chennai, bagged the Accenture Innovation Challenge 2021 grand prize for their Agrivery bags, an alternative to plastic bags that safekeeps food grains from rodents and other pests.

Made of corn, rice, starch, glycerol, citric acid and gelatin, the Agrivery bags are infused with the smells of peppermint, tobacco, neem and garlic, which help repel rodents and other pests. The bags are also water-repellent and can be printed on both sides.

The other winners in the competition included teams from National Institute of Technology, Durgapur; Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai; Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management & Engineering, Mumbai; and Vellore Institute of Technology, Chennai.

This year saw a record number of submissions — more than 2,800 innovative ideas from over 10,000 students, of whom 40 per cent were women. The winners were chosen based on their knowledge of new technologies and creative thinking, says a release from Accenture.

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“It was inspiring to see this year’s participants apply unique and out-of-the-box thinking… in a way that brings together the best of human creativity and technology,” said Mahesh Zurale, Senior Managing Director and lead of Accenture’s Advanced Technology Centers in India. “It is also promising to see strong participation from women in this year’s challenge as we believe that diversity of perspectives drives innovation. We hope to encourage more women to build fulfilling careers in STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] through initiatives such as the Accenture Innovation Challenge.”

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The challenge was open to students from various academic backgrounds, including non-IT disciplines. For the theme ‘Combining technology with human ingenuity for a better world’, the students created solutions that used advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, automation and big data, among others.

The grand prize winners received prizes worth ₹1 lakh each. The winning teams for the categories ‘Innovate for Business’ and ‘Innovate for Society’ received prizes worth ₹75,000 each.

Additionally, eligible participants can enter a fast-track recruitment process conducted by Accenture for its Advanced Technology Centers in India (ATCI), the release said.



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