Carbon Zero challenge is a renewable energy innovation competition for college students, early stage entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers. It is a pioneering initiative by the Indian Institute of Technology – Madras, in collaboration with the US Consulate General in Chennai, the Industrial Waste Management Association (IWMA) and Shaastra, to identify innovative and indigenous solutions to India’s unique energy problems.

The contest is supported by Polaris, a Virtusa Company. A unique one-of-its-kind initiative pioneered by Indian Institute of Technology – Madras, Chennai, and Shaastra 2019.

Carbon Zero Challenge 2019 invites applications from students, early stage startups, and those aspiring to be entrepreneurs from across the country. Applicants are expected to formulate innovative proof-of-concept technological solutions to pertinent energy and environmental challenges, that are practical and scalable.

In this second edition of Carbon Zero Challenge, we now offer,

  1. Entrepreneurship training and certification program
  2. Greater emphasis on commercialization of the selected idea
  3. Prototype development in collaboration with a prospective industry partner
  4. Alignment with academic calendar, curriculum & internship needs of participating student teams

    Here is how you can contribute to the Carbon Zero Challenge 2019,

    1. As a subject expert or an industry partner, you can talk to us about the existent energy and environment challenges in India that need innovative solutions. If required, we will observe strict confidentiality.
    2. You can be a Judge for any or all of the stages of Carbon Zero Challenge.
    3. You can be a mentor to any of the teams depending upon your area of expertise


    About CZeroC Organizers

    (1) Dr Indumathi M Nambi is the Principal Coordinator of CZC from IIT Madras. She spearheads the entire project and manages it strategically. Prof. Indumathi M. NambiEnvironment and Water Resources Division, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT – Madras, is the Principal Coordinator of CZeroC. She has been instrumental in visualizing this competition in September 2016, and leading this initiative since its inception. She holds a Ph. D in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Clarkson University, NY. She was a Post-doctoral Research Associate at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before joining IIT – Madras.

    (2) K. Sivaraman,  a Mechanical Engineer from IIT – Madras has an experience of over 3.5 decades (mostly with ITC Ltd’s Packaging and Printing Business) spanning engineering, maintenance, manufacturing and operations, projects, customer service, environment, health, safety and sustainability. He had voluntarily contributed to the growth of Industrial Waste Management Association (IWMA) for over a decade as an Office Bearer. Currently, he  is driving the Industry Projects initiative of IWMA as Advisor. In addition to which he also carries out consultancy in the environment field and works with select start up companies. He is a CII certified Sustainability Assessor. He also helped to create and execute Carbon Zero Challenge Competition along with IIT – Madras.

    (3) Dr. Sriram Krishnan is one of the key members of CZC Steering Committee since its inception. He also mentors and guides projects. Although located at Boston, USA, he constantly monitors the progress of Carbon Zero Challenge and provides critical inputs. He assists the team at every stage of the contest – like devising proper structure for judging applications, monitoring teams’ progress and organizing the events in a structured way.

    Dr. Sriram has held key positions in organisations such as like McKinsey, SunEdison, Photon Consulting. He currently holds the position of Director at National Grid in Greater Boston Area, USA. Dr Sriram holds a B.Tech from IIT – Madras, M.S. and Ph. D., from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA.


    About CZeroC Partners

    (1) At Virtusa, we accelerate business outcomes for our clients through our expert information technology consulting and outsourcing services. We support a wide variety of Forbes Global 2000 firms with services that span the entire spectrum of the IT services life cycle. Our industry-leading solutions transform businesses not only for a better today, but also for a better future. Virtusa’s core values are

    P- Passion To inspire our global teams to deliver extraordinary results

    I- Innovation- Apply intellectual curiosity to re-imagine better business outcomes for our clients

    R- Respect- Protect our environment, honor our diversity and treat everyone with dignity

    L- Leadership – Take personal responsibility when things go awry and always ascribe success to the team

    (2) Shaastra is the annual technical festival of IIT – Madras, currently in its 19th edition. It is the largest technical fest of its kind in India and has the distinction of being the first ISO 9001:2008 certified student-organized event in the world. Shaastra attracts participants from all over India, and seeks to provide collegiate students with a platform to showcase their scientific and engineering talent. Carbon Zero Challenge, since its inception, has been partnering and working closely with Shaastra.

    (3) Industrial Waste Management Association (IWMA) is a not-for-profit NABET accredited organization established in 2002 with an initial strength of 35 members from various industries. It has now grown to a membership of over 2500, comprising of large, medium, small, micro industries as well as few educational institutions. The membership is spread across engineering, textile, automobile, chemicals and petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and leather sectors.

    Apart from periodic review of landfill site operations, IWMA conducts seminars, training programs and provides consultancy and problem solving services to industries in the field of environment, in partnership with institutions such as IIT – Madras, CSIR-CLRI, Anna University, NEERI, NIOT. IWMA also conducts school programs such as Young Environment Scientist, Enviro and society initiatives such as E-waste collection. IWMA provides organizing support to IIT – Madras to conduct Carbon Zero Challenge.