Two student teams from Amrita Centre for Entrepreneurship (ACE) at Coimbatore recently completed a six week certification program on Breakthrough Innovation at University of California, Berkeley from March 25-May 6, 2014. The program, offered on a pilot basis, was attended by nearly 185 Indian students from 21 colleges. The course was being offered by its India partner, Foundation for Innovation and Collaborative Education (FICE), which also has a partnership with Intel.

Adopting a ‘hybrid’ model, classes included three live video sessions with UC Berkeley faculty, delivered once a week from Berkeley, CA, USA; as well as mentoring sessions and project work with Indian mentors for 12 hours spread across 3 weeks. In the final wrap-up session completed with UC Berkeley faculty on May 6, 2014, the global innovation experts, Dr. John Danner and Dr. Mark Coopersmith announced the list of the top ten projects from amongst the 27 participating teams from the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra.

Most Innovative Ideas with UC Berkeley

The most innovative project was of Amrita’s team led by Kaushik Velusamy, final-year B. Tech. student of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The team came up with a low cost Internet of Things (IOT) based innovative application to control and access all home appliances with inbuilt sensors controlled wirelessly through internet as well as through an android app. The team members included P. L. Ramumanickam (Third-year B. Tech. Student, the Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering), N. Naresh Perumal (Third-year B. Tech. Student, Department of Mechanical Engineering), J. Sri Jaswanth (Second-year B. Tech. Student, Department of Computer Science and Engineering) and M. N. Abijith (First-year B. Tech. Student, Department of Mechanical Engineering).

“Always try to implement what you are learning. Never study for getting a high GPA. Make a lot of mistakes in your project to learn more, Ask lots of questions. Take part in all extracurricular activities that fit into your long term goals. Never try to fit in when you can always stand out. Delve deeper and be passionately curious. This project helped me to get placed into Novell - the company which developed the first Network Operating System in Servers, which is a part of the attachmate group consisting of Novell, Suse Linux, NetIQ and attachmate,” shared Kaushik Velusamy.

best innovative idea with UC BerkeleyThe second best innovative project was again from Amrita, led by Rashmi Menon, final-year B. Tech. student of the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering. Their innovative idea, titled the Third Eye, was on DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) Quality Spectacles, based on improving the resolution and providing customized interface to photographic/videographic spectacles available at present. The team members included U. Vipin (Third-year B. Tech. Student, Department of Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering), J. Vignesh Karthik (Third-year B. Tech. Student, Department of Mechanical Engineering), M. R. Jayachanth (Second-year B. Tech. Student, Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering) and Ponnada Dharanidhar (First-year B. Tech. student of the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering).

“We were really inspired by the idea how engineering was approached from an innovative front. The stigmas attached to a conventional engineering student’s thought were completely changed. It taught us the important rule of creating a masterpiece: first comes ideas, then comes the scientific principles. Through our project we learned that thinking out of the box and then reverse engineering using scientific principles is the unique way of creating breakthrough models. Knowing the user, market and environment enhances the idea. I feel it was a great step taken by Amrita Center for Entrepreneurship to facilitate these Extension Classes from UCB,” shared Rashmi Menon.

On August 5, 2014, the Director of Corporate & Industry Relations (CIR), Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham Prof. C. Parameswaran distributed the certificates received from University of California Berkeley to the students. He congratulated the students for winning top two positions in the list of top 10 projects. He advised the students to work hard with dedication, focus, persevere and measured risks, so that with the help of divine grace, they would emerge successful in all ventures.

August 6, 2014
Coimbatore Campus

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