Honeywell Hometown Solutions India Foundation (HHSIF), the philanthropic arm of Honeywell has established the Global Centre of Excellence for Affordable and Clean Energy (GCoE-ACE) at IIT Dharwad to boost research in affordable and clean energy (ACE), the backbone of the country’s development.
This multi-year project seeks to establish physical infrastructure, incubate technologies, and identify avenues for the adoption of clean energy solutions that are developed to improve the lives and livelihoods of rural communities.
“Honeywell is committed to creating solutions to help communities meet challenges in energy, water, and air. Our partnership with IIT Dharwad seeks to find affordable and sustainable technology-driven solutions in clean energy for the betterment of our rural communities. This also dovetails with the Government’s goal of meeting 50 per cent of the country’s energy requirement from renewables by 2030,” said Ashish Gaikwad, President, Honeywell India and Director, HHHSIF.
In the first phase, funding from HHSIF will be utilised to procure, install and commission various equipment required for setting up the centre to undertake R&D and fabrication. The infrastructure will be used by innovators and incubators working in the areas of affordable and clean energy. It will also be used to build capacities through training and skill development of innovators, the company said.
HHSIF and IIT Dharwad will develop an open-source platform to build an interactive database of grassroot level energy-related challenges. The platform will also be used to solicit ideas to solve these problems through technology-driven solutions.
“At IIT Dharwad, we take our scientific social responsibility seriously. The partnership with Honeywell enables us to expand our work on SDG-7 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which focuses on affordable and clean energy as a means to create a multiplier effect since energy is a key input in income and economic progress. It also enhances healthcare, education, transportation, communication facilities in remote regions, while minimising damage to the environment,” said Prof. P. Seshu, Director, IIT Dharwad.
The centre’s resources will be used to scrutinise and select problems from the database and take them through robust stages of the innovation cycle, including in-depth research, testing and prototyping, piloting and building channels for scale. The centre will also focus on incubating, designing and engineering affordable, energy-efficient, and renewable energy-powered products to enhance the life of rural communities.
This centre will leverage rural areas within a 200 km radius of IIT Dharwad as a testbed for selected start-ups and innovators. The centre will also be used to impart skills required to develop and manage ACE technologies.
Finally, the centre will be used to systematically identify various avenues for the widespread adoption of ACE to improve the lives and livelihoods of rural communities and create a socially and environmentally sustainable future for them.