ITC Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division (PSPD), a leading manufacturer of paper, paperboards, and specialty paper in the country, has collaborated with Invest India to launch the ‘ITC Sustainability Innovation Challenge,’ which would support innovative startup ideas on sustainable packaging and smart waste management solutions. This win-win partnership will enable ITC-PSPD to leverage India’s rich startup repertoire while also supporting the country’s startup ecosystem.
ITC PSPD, through the Startup India portal, is inviting responses from startups towards challenges laid out by the company to find sustainable and smart technology-based solutions that can substitute single-use plastics and automate the waste segregation process with smart technology-based solutions to improve efficiency and speed.
The startups selected for the ‘ITC Sustainability Innovation Challenge’ will be offered incentives at various stages of the program. This includes expert mentorship, paid pilot opportunity, and assistance in testing and certification at the ‘Development Stage.’ This will be followed by support to enable market expansion and capacity building through funding opportunities in the ‘Early Market Play Stage.’ Additionally, startups at the ‘Late Stage’ will get procurement opportunities and could be evaluated, on a case-to-case basis, for funding and acquisition opportunities as well. The deadline to submit proof of concept is 28 February 2022.
ITC PSPD will automate waste segregation through its innovations
Commenting on the initiative, Vadiraj Kulkarni, chief executive officer of ITC PSPD, said, “Disposal of plastic and non-biodegradable waste continues to pose the biggest challenge in solid waste management in India. The problem is further aggravated due to inefficient segregation of post-consumer waste at the source, which leads to a lot of waste ending up in landfills which are highly polluting.”
“We, at ITC, believe that businesses, both big and small, with their immense managerial and innovative capacity, can come together to contribute significantly towards finding innovative and sustainable packaging and waste management solutions leading to transformative changes in the society. This philosophy manifests in the new ‘ITC Sustainability Innovation Challenge’ which underlines our ongoing engagements with the startup ecosystem through collaboration with Invest India to crowdsource out-of-the-box ideas for phasing out single-use plastics by 2022.”
Deepak Bagla, managing director and chief executive officer, Invest India, said, “We look forward to accelerating efforts towards a more sustainable economic growth through the ITC Innovative Sustainability Challenge. Innovative startups will showcase Made-in-India solutions that propel India towards a circular economy. On behalf of Invest India, I invite startups to be part of India’s growth journey.”