OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more


Recent contributions


Contribution list


(1) View all

Recent comments

(3) View all

Thanks Nick so much for your feedback. Your comments about exploring more on the human side of the problem really resonated with us, and we spent the latter part of the Expert Feedback Phase delving deeper into the community and seeing who else our solution could benefit, and in what way. By including a group of marginalized women in the pilot--even when they had no prior biomass experience--we saw how our solution also benefited them in a significant way. This story is now recounted in our profile of Deepa Devi. This also caused us to realize that in addition to the current biomass converters in the local vicinity, our solution could also support additional cooperatives that can enter into the biomass business, without adverse competition with each other. As we move forward we will keep this in mind and design our solution accordingly. Thank you so much for your contribution.

Great question! Given the original technology was developed in the U.S. (MIT), there may understandably be perceived tension between staying local and designing something at an arm's length a world-class institute. However we don't believe that the tension is at all necessary.

First, the Delaware entity is only there to license the technology in the U.S. Currently almost 100% of the work is done in India through local subsidiary and partners.

All the MIT researchers originally involved in this work have been spending a lot of time (at least a few months every year) with rural farmers in India/Kenya. So instead of being generated from the lab, the original concept was actually borne out of the field. As we iterate the equipment, the functional requirements are also defined by the community rather than by a professor. While some initial lab-based tests at MIT have been necessary to ensure the operational safety of the equipment, once that test is passed, all subsequent testing is based in the field. Now even the iterations are being planned with local manufacture in India to accelerate the incorporation of user feedback experience, and to ensure that components compatible with local manufacturing and maintenance capabilities are being identified and used.

Thanks Brian for the detailed feedback. The bioplastics sounds really interested and is not something we have considered. We will study FullCycleBioplastics in depth and reach out to them if it makes sense.

We're also keenly aware of the difficult charcoal problem. In our iterative interactions with the rural users in India, solid fuels such as wood or charcoal also turn out to be a very common way to cook and maintain warmth. Having an alternate way of producing such charcoal without cutting down forest, at the same time maintaining quality in the cooking fuel such that it does not impact public health, are topics that we will soon make updates to our profile as this is something that we too have been thinking long and hard about. So please stay tuned!