A three-member team from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and an all-women four-member team from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad won the top spots at the 2023 edition of the Accenture Innovation Challenge in the engineering and the business schools’ category, respectively. Aimed at inspiring students to develop innovative technology-led solutions for real world problems, the 3.5 month-long competition saw participation from over 182,000 students from 6600+ colleges, of which 37% were women.
In line with the 2023 Accenture Innovation Challenge theme of ‘Reinvent businesses and accelerate change with the power of technology’, the students leveraged advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, the cloud, blockchain, the internet of things and digital twins to develop and present novel solutions.
Each member of the Grand Prize-winning teams was awarded prizes worth INR 100,000. The members of the First runner up and second runner up teams received prizes worth INR 75,000 and INR 50,000 each, respectively. Additionally, all eligible participants were given the opportunity to participate in a fast-track recruitment process for Accenture’s Advanced Technology Centers in India (ATCI).
Raghavan Iyer, senior managing director and Innovation lead, Advanced Technology Centers, Accenture said, “Advanced technologies have the potential to not just solve for business challenges but also address critical challenges facing society such as climate change, clean energy, and responsible consumption. They can play a vital role in enabling equitable access to education, skilling, healthcare, and accelerate advances in agriculture, financial inclusion, and governance. Through the annual Accenture Innovation Challenge, our aim is to inspire technology-led creative thinking among young minds to address real world problems with affordable and scalable solutions.”
Given below are the details of the solutions developed by the winners of the challenge:
Engineering schools track and other academic disciplines – for those pursuing graduation:
- Grand Prize winner: Team Svar from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi developed an AI and machine learning-based mobile app that automates and personalizes speech therapy for children with speech impairments. Currently available in English and Hindi, the app plans to add more regional languages, and offers a 24×7 virtual speech therapist. It rewards points to children who pronounce words correctly, thereby motivating them to continue their therapy.
- First Runner up: Team ToKyO from International Institute of Information Technology, Naya Raipur built BreaTHE, an AI and deep learning-based diagnostic system, meant to empower healthcare workers to diagnose pulmonary disorders by listening to the audio of patients’ breathing. The affordable solution can diagnose and categorize’ the audio into respiratory conditions like Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, bronchiectasis, bronchiolitis, upper respiratory tract infections, and healthy lungs.
- Second Runner up: Team Learnhattan from B.M.S College of Engineering, Bengaluru presented a blockchain and web3 platform called ‘Learn, earn, thrive’, which aims to transform the way people learn coding or software development. While learners typically pay to learn, this solution is intended to help them monetize their learning journey instead by earning blockchain-based tokens for learning engagements. It aspires to promote a collaborative community of learners and course creators where everyone earns.
- Jury’s Choice award winner: Team Aquaman from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras presented a technology-assisted aquaponics system, which has the potential to transform agriculture by ensuring scalability, sustainability and profitability. The solution integrates the Internet of Things, cloud computing, and AI.
Business schools track – for those pursuing postgraduation
- Grand Prize winner: The all-women TARS team from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad put together a virtual stylist app that can curate fresh new looks and outfits from people’s existing wardrobe, promoting thriftiness and responsible consumption. Based on AI, machine learning and digital twin technology, it promotes a sustainable way of expanding one’s wardrobe through sharing – by mixing and matching outfits from the wardrobes of one’s friends and family. It has the potential to prevent millions of kilograms of clothes from being discarded each year.
- First Runner up: Team Sankalp from Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta used microfluidics to create a Virtual Organ Simulator which can create the digital twin of a patient’s organs to bring in more efficacy in breast cancer treatment. Doctors can test treatment methods and medicines over the virtual organ in the simulator, and accordingly devise a personalised treatment plan for the patient.
- Second Runner up: Team Case Catalyst from Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad presented a solution that leverages computer vision and AI to detect, prevent, and eliminate microplastic pollution. The solution includes an educational ‘Eco-Guard’ app that promotes eco-friendly alternatives.
- Jury’s Choice award winner: Team Tech Reinventors from Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad developed a social app called FinChat that enables first-time investors to invest in the stock market by giving them access to recommendations based on their risk profile, personalized news and market data, and related learning resources.
The winners of the Accenture Innovation Challenge 2023 presented their solutions and were mentored by a jury panel that comprised of venture capitalists, start-up founders, members of academia and senior leaders from Accenture. The winning teams were recognized for their innovation potential, proficiency in emerging technologies, creative thinking and ability to present a business case.