Team ‘Go Algae’ wins ‘CAUSE 2023’ – Global Open Innovation Challenge

CMR University

Bengaluru (India), 18th March 2023: CMR University’s Department of Common Core Curriculum concluded its annual flagship event, CMRU Design Thinking Day ‘CAUSE 2023’ at their Lakeside Campus in Bagalur on Friday, 17th March 2023. On this occasion, the ‘CAUSE 2023’ Changemaker Award winner was Team ‘Go Algae’ who pitched a solution that works towards solving the CO2 emission by creating algae tanks that convert CO2 into oxygen. Team – ‘ORU Health Shift’ won the ‘Changemaker Award – First Runner-up’, by pitching a solution in the form of a product – an MQ mirror that aids students battling with depression. The ‘Changemaker Award – Second Runner-up’ was won by Team – ‘Tech Infinity’ who developed the Patient Position Monitoring System (PPMS) to aid caregivers by preventing the formation of ulcers in bedridden patients. The ‘Changemaker Award for Inclusive Solution’ was received by the Team – ‘Brain Breakers’ who pitched their product PU Acoustics which addressed the problem of noise pollution by developing a polymer that is resistant to sound whereas is favorable for fresh air. The ‘Changemaker Award for Impactful Solution’ was received by Team – ‘Ameya’ for developing organic biodegradable idols to reduce the pollution in water bodies due to the usage of plaster of Paris while making idols. The ‘Changemaker Award for Innovative Solution’ was received by Team – ‘Fit Charge’, a service that allows people to convert human effort (AKA Kinetic energy) into electrical energy during workouts.

Mr. Ratul Narian, Founder, Bempu was awarded the first ‘CMRU Innovation Award’ for his exceptional and innovative work in the field of Health Tech that resulted in saving the lives of thousands of newborn babies across the world.

Chief Guest, Dr. David Kusuma, President, of the World Design Organization (WDO), who joined and inaugurated the Design Thinking Day ‘CAUSE 2023’ event virtually from the USA said, “It is truly an honor and a great privilege for me to be participating in CMR University’s flagship event ‘Design Thinking Day 2023.’ We are so very proud that CMRU is a member of the WDO and is playing an active role in promoting and advocating Design Thinking not only in India but on the global stage. India has a truly rich cultural heritage and a diverse manufacturing industry, which in my opinion, has helped in the development of a unique design identity. India is home to many renowned Design Institutes and Universities like CMRU, which are today producing highly-skilled and highly-talented designers. Design for a better world is the very ethos of the upcoming generation of designers, who must place human needs first and strike the right balance between people, the planet, and profit. Again, I want to congratulate CMRU for organizing such an outstanding event and CAUSE 2023.”

Shri Venkat Venugopal – R&D Site Head & Director Engineering, Schneider Electric, India, inaugurated the ‘Design Thinking Lab’, an in-house innovation lab to provide a dedicated space for students and professionals to work on their innovative projects.

Prof Uli Weinberg – President, of the Global Design Thinking Alliance (GDTA) and Professor & Director of the School of Design Thinking, Hasso Plattner Institute, Germany, was the Guest of Honour and inaugurated ‘CAUSE 2023’ and also announced CMR University’s membership with the Global Design Thinking Alliance (GDTA).

In his address to the participants of Design Thinking Day at CMRU, Prof. Uli Weinberg, President, GDTA speaking from Germany said, “I feel greatly honored to be a part of CMRU’s Cause 2023 Design Thinking Day. I am impressed with the sheer number of participants from different countries and the scale at which the university has organized this event. Design Thinking helps in developing the top 10 skills listed by the World Economic Forum and not limiting ourselves to just knowledge transfer. We must collaborate across disciplines and not compete with each other to achieve our objectives. It is important to grow the Design Thinking allies with a network of like-minded people. It is our pleasure to welcome CMR University to GDTA and with this, we have four member institutions from India and no other country in the World so far has that many institutions as members of GDTA. This is very encouraging.” He thanked CMR University and the students for all the support.

The 6 finalist teams for ‘Ground Zero were judged by ‘The Superstar Jury’ comprising Mr. Abhijit (Bobby) Bose, Former Head – of WhatsApp, India, and a Member of the Board of Directors of Navi Technologies; Ms. Sonia Manchanda, Founding Partner, Spread; Mr. C.M. Patil, CEO, Krishikalpa and Mr. Aswani Chaitanya, Vice President – Investments at Capital A.

‘ CAUSE 2023’ – A Global Open Innovation Challenge in which 750 teams from 90 institutions participated from across 10 different countries including India. At the inaugural ceremony of Dr. David Kusuma – President, of the World Design Organization (WDO) & Senior Vice President of Product Management & Innovation, Oregon Tool, USA was the Chief Guest; Prof Uli Weinberg – President, of Global Design Thinking Alliance (GDTA) and Professor & Director – School of Design Thinking, Hasso Plattner Institute, Germany and Shri Venkat Venugopal – R&D Site Head & Director Engineering, Schneider Electric, India were the Guests of Honour. Shri Jayadeep, Pro-Chancellor, CMR University presided over the function along with Dr. Tristha Ramamurthy, Provost of CMR University, and other senior members from CMR University.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Tristha Ramamurthy, Provost, CMR University and Founder of Ekya Schools said, “CMR University was intended and built to nurture creative thinkers who drive positive global change. The Department of Common Core Curriculum is spearheading this intention. We are empowering our students to create a better world using design thinking skills. We are also very excited to inaugurate the Design Thinking Lab, a space created for interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary collaborations for the students to ideate and build a better future. This is just the start of a long road ahead.”

CMRU, through its Common Core Curriculum (CCC), is India’s first University to make design thinking a mandatory credit course for all its Undergraduate and Postgraduate programs across all its School of Studies with effect from the academic year 2021-22. The Design Thinking course aims to prepare students with a design thinking mindset to solve real-life problems, using the design thinking framework. This is in line with the recent announcement made by the World Design Council to support the Karnataka Government to promote design thinking in schools and colleges.

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