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Atal Innovation Mission & UNDP host Youth Co:Lab Innovation Challenge
By TOG News Service
Jan 21, 2020

TOG NEWS SERVICE, NEW DELHI, JAN 21, 2020: ATAL Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), on Sunday hosted a three day long Youth Co Lab - national innovation challenge here in Delhi after a series of successful challenges held in past two phases across the country.

With efforts of AIM and UNDP to support young people by catalysing youth-led innovation, empowering them through Youth Co: Lab, four winning teams made it the list to represent India at the Youth Co:Lab Regional Innovation Challenge in Malaysia slated to be held in April this year.

Youth Co: Lab launched in collaboration by AIM and UNDP earlier, aims at fostering technology, promoting youth leadership and social entrepreneurship in India.

As a part of the first phase of Youth Co: Lab's national innovation challenge, a series of innovation challenges were held in four cities– Jyothy Foundation (Bengaluru), AIC - Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini Foundation (Mumbai), AIC - Prestige Inspire Foundation (Indore) and AIC - Mahamana Foundation For Innovation and Entrepreneurship - IM-BHU (Varanasi).

The event saw the participation of more than 60 teams from which top 15 winning teams contested in the National Innovation Challenge in Delhi. Another 15 teams had been chosen via the nomination method from the pool of start-ups incubated at the Atal Incubation Centres.

Following this, UNDP and Atal Innovation Mission hosted a three day Youth Co: Lab National Innovation Challenge, 17-19 January 2020 in Delhi in which 30 selected teams participated.

While the first two days focussed on equipping these young change makers with entrepreneurial and 21st century skills to refine their solutions, the final day, saw them present their innovative ideas in front of a jury comprising of key ecosystem enablers.

Sharing his views about the national innovation challenge, Mission Director AIM  R Ramanan, said, "We are proud to have partnered with UNDP for this important initiative and are proud to announce that around 300 teams have participated in Youth Co: Lab and over 30 teams in finalists have presented their solutions. Many of them will have the opportunity to avail themselves of world class incubators set up by the AIM as well as the UNDP accelerator program for them to realise their potential and convert their innovation into product that could be used by the millions."

He added that it will enable young students from all over the country and all over the world to participate in ideation and coming up with innovative solutions to many of the problems faced by the word aligned with the SDGs.

The top two teams will be fully funded, while the next two teams will be partially funded for the final summit. The four teams will also participate in the Regional Springboard Programme. Further, Top eight teams will get incubated at the Atal Incubation Centres and receive support from UNDP to enhance their impact management for a year.

While speaking on the occasion  Ms Shoko Noda, Resident Representative, UNDP India said that 'We at UNDP believe in the power of young people to be change makers in our society. Young people are a central part of the endeavour in achieving the SDGs. Youth Co:Lab is unleashing youth's creativity, potential and innovation. Through this engagement, we are seeing real impact on their lives, on the issues that matter to them and the future of our planet."

Co-created in 2017 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Citi Foundation, Youth Co:Lab aims to establish a common agenda for Asia-Pacific countries to invest in and empower youth to accelerate implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through leadership, social innovation and entrepreneurship.

By developing 21st century skills, catalysing and sustaining youth-led start-ups and social enterprises across the region, Youth Co:Lab is positioning young people front and centre in order to solve the region's most pressing challenges.

With presence in over 20 countries in Asia and the Pacific, Youth Co:Lab was launched in India last year in October, in collaboration with Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog.