Press Release: 27. November 2012
Topics: Company

HP announces US$ 1 million Education Innovation Fund for India (EIFI) grant winners

Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad awarded the top grant of Rs 10 million

NEW DELHI, India, 27 November 2012 — HP today announced the grant winners of the Education Innovation Fund for India (EIFI), a collaborative project between the HP Sustainability & Social Innovation group and the India Council for Integral Education (ICIE), an initiative of the Sri Aurobindo Society.  The US$1million fund is designed to promote education projects that use innovative learning approaches in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), pedagogy, curriculum development and holistic learning to advance education delivery and reach in India. 

The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM, A) was awarded the top grant valued at Rs. 1 Crore (Rs.10 million). Their ready-to-scale project titled Educational Innovation Bank (EI Bank) is designed to improve the quality of education in the public school system and is based on the work of innovative school teachers.

As a decentralized peer-driven professional development network for teachers, the EI Bank identifies and validates the work of innovative teachers, and makes it accessible in usable formats to other teachers, teacher training networks and education administrators.

With the EIF grant, the project will be scaled via an online platform that will feature a searchable electronic database of innovative teacher practices and localized teacher development networks. The EI Bank will also serve as a resource for policy makers to evaluate grassroots innovations that can be implemented as best practices in other districts.

“The Educational Innovation Bank builds on the strengths of those teachers who experiment and innovate on their own in order to solve educational challenges in their immediate environment. As these challenges often need to be solved in isolation, teachers are now enabled to collaborate and exchange ideas with their peers which leads to promising solutions to  inform policy directions, said Vijaya Sherry Chand, Professor, Ravi J. Matthai Centre for Educational Innovation, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad.” “We’re delighted to receive the EIFI grant. We have been working on the idea for some time now, and the award will clearly help us to further scale the project.”

In addition, 15 winners of the Rs. 15 lakhs (Rs.1.5 million) major grants and two winners of Rs. 10 lakhs (Rs. 1 million) special grants were awarded for projects being implemented at the grassroots that are results-oriented with strong educational outcomes. These institutions include Vinyas, Centre for Environment Education, Centre for Sustainable Development, Mirambika, Dreamcatchers Foundation, Border Area Development Organisation, Tumkur University, AID India, K. C. Mahindra Education Trust, Veer Khajiya Naik Manav Vikas Pratishthan, Bharat Calling - Shri Ramesh Prakash Samajik Sanstha, Shikshantar Sansthan, Jaiprabha Mahila Vikas Kendra, Sarala Women Welfare Society, Daudnagar Organisation for Rural Development, Project Crayons, and Teach for India.

Forty smaller grants ranging from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 140,000 are also being given under EIFI Young Learners and EIFI Young Innovators categories.

“Sustainable innovation is fundamental to our business and we recognize the importance of delivering holistic education in a practical, application-oriented manner,” commented Neelam Dhawan, Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Group and Country Managing Director, HP India. “Technology offers a compelling opportunity and advantage and this fund will help deliver the vision of inclusive education to remote parts of the country.”

ICIE will collaborate with the grant recipients to administer the grants and develop ad scale their projects to the next level. The project focus areas include advances in cloud storage, mobile solutions, teaching methods suitable to India’s present realities, the use of social media, new ways of presenting curriculum, and integration of technologies and methods used globally.

“When we first announced the EIFI grants in March 2011 at the HP Global Catalyst Summit in Delhi, we were looking to reward true innovators in education  who recognize the potential of technology to improve teaching and learning outcomes", said Jeannette Weisschuh, Director Education Strategy, HP Sustainability & Social Innovation Group. “We look forward to collaborating with a committed and creative group of educators who will help transform education in India".

The call for proposals was announced in August 2011 and roughly 800 proposals were received. An eminent jury and advisory committee were constituted to select potential awardees. The selection methodology involved narrowing in on pilots, models and research projects that demonstrated excellence and were capable of being scaled up or replicated in mass education environments by using ICT.   

“Innovation in education is absolutely necessary in order to impact a nation of over one billion. This nationwide search to identify, support and nurture the most promising innovations in integral education within India has been a revelation in terms of the vast educational potential of this nation and tremendous determination of individuals and organizations to tap this potential by using innovative and transformational teaching methods,” said Vijay Poddar, Chairman, ICIE.

The Education Innovation Fund for India (EIFI) builds on the HP Catalyst initiative whose multidisciplinary, collaborative, and global approach convenes experts from various educational institutions to advance STEM education. EIFI grantees will be invited to join the global HP Catalyst network to exchange experiences with education leaders from around the world. Organizations whose programs support employment, entrepreneurship, and ICT skills development can also connect to the HP LIFE online learning and collaboration platform which has demonstrated significant impact in the areas of job creation, employability, and income generation.

The mission of HP Sustainability and Social Innovation Group is to apply HP technology and the expertise of HP employees to address some of the most significant challenges around the world in education, health, environment and community involvement.

About ICIE

Indian Council for Integral Education (ICIE) is a unit of the Sri. Aurobindo Society, an international non-profit NGO, which has been recognized by the government of India as a research institute and an institution of national importance. It has its headquarters in Pondicherry and its centres and branches are located throughout India. The ICIE is also an affiliate member of International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), a non-profit membership organization that provides leadership and service to improve teaching, learning, and school leadership by advancing the effective use of technology in PK-12 and teacher education. More information about ICIE is available at http://www.sriaurobindosociety.org.in

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