RICH, Marut receive Purdue University’s Shah Family Global Innovation Lab’s seed grant


Hyderabad: Government of Telangana’s RICH (Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad), along with Marut Dronetech, a drone startup based out of Hyderabad, has received a seed grant from Purdue University’s Shah Family Global Innovation Lab for its project on “Sensor technologies for real-time monitoring of mosquito populations through heat maps in India”.

Incidents of malaria, dengue and other vector-borne diseases have been increasing at a rapid rate across India. The mosquito population has to be monitored continuously, and the current practice of using aspirators does not allow researchers to monitor adult mosquitoes precisely and is highly laborious, resulting in a high chance of disease transmission among entomologists.

“This project is envisaged to develop a sensor-based real-time monitoring device that can work with minimal human intervention. This device can be deployed across all the major cities in India and will help in reducing disease spread, first among health workers involved in mosquito control activities, and then across the population. Real-time data received from the devices can be used by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to formulate high-impact vector control programmes. Such hyperlocal mosquito control programmes can reduce the overall expenditure made by the municipal corporation. Data from these devices can also help in reducing the rate of indiscriminate use of pesticides at all the disease hot spots,” said Ajit Rangnekar, director general of RICH.

He added, “RICH will be implementing the Comprehensive Vector Control Project in the lakes of Hyderabad, under the City Knowledge and Innovation Cluster project to be funded by the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor Government of India. The consortium will work with the Shah Lab’s College of Agriculture for future funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the NSF CISE Developing an Acoustic Information Systems ($5 million proposal submitted), and RICH would obtain funding (Rs 5.45 crore; $778,571) to implement the solution in the additional lakes in the city of Hyderabad.”

The project is one of the four global seed grants awarded by the Shah Family Global Innovation Lab that works with international organisations across multiple countries to utilise Purdue’s R&D and innovation strength to help create joint solutions to the bottleneck challenges. The lab had received 38 problem statements from 12 organisations working in Nepal, Ethiopia, Kenya, India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Haiti, Zimbabwe and Laos.