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Chennai Climathon 2016: Solutions to make Chennai Carbon friendly – 80+ Innovators hack together

[Chennai, 15th November 2016] – Participants at an event in Chennai came up with new solutions for “Building a Climate Resilient Smart city addressing: Disaster Management, Urban Transportation, Air pollution & Waste Management” as part of a 24-hour global challenge to solve climate change. University students in Chennai joined others in world cities such as Paris and Shanghai simultaneously taking part in the hackathon-style Climathon event.

The Climate-KIC Climathon brought together major cities across six continents to solve city-wide climate challenges. In Chennai, nearly 84 participants took part from 27th until 28th October 2016 and focused on solving “Building a Climate Resilient Smart city addressing: Disaster Management, Urban Transportation, Air pollution & Waste Management”. It was organised by DHI LABS Business Accelerator & Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED), Anna University, Chennai, India.

The event kicked off with inspiring speeches from Dr. G. Ravi kumar, Director, Center for Entrepreneurship Development, Anna University, Dr. A. Ramachandran, Professor Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation Research, Anna University, Mr. A. Vijaya Kumar, Founder & President, India Trust and Mr. P. Anbarasu, President, World Youth Federation. The dignitaries shared their views about the local climate change problem from their personal experiences and motivated the participants.

During the two day sessions, the participants were guided by the team of the mentors to shape their idea to a viable business solution. The participants came up with 17 innovative ideas addressing the local city climate change problem and the top 9 potential ideas were presented in front of the local jury.

The winning teams were judged based on the parameters – Climate impact, Innovativeness, Team configuration and Business feasibility. Team “Carbon to Cash” from Thiagarajar College of Engineering (TCE), Madurai won the completion follow by Team “Dronix” from the Panimalar Institute of Technology & College of Engineering, Guindy, Chennai (Runner-up 1) and Team “Waste to Wealth” from R.M.K Engineering College, Chennai (Runner-up 2). The top two winning teams were awarded with the cash prices from World Youth Federation (WYF), a local student entrepreneurship developmental body. The second runner-up is awarded with 8 week online mentorship program from DHI LABS Business Accelerator, India.

The global event, the second of its kind, was organised by Climate-KIC, the EU’s climate change innovation partnership of universities, businesses and the public sector.

Building a Climate Resilient Smart City addressing – Disaster Management; Smart Urban Transportation; Air pollution & Waste Management

On 6th December 2015, Chennai recorded its highest rainfall in 100 years and has witnessed the costliest natural disaster. Due to improper Urban planning more than 500 people were killed and over 1.8 million people displaced. After the water receded, waste was strewn all over the city causing spread of epidemics.

Addressing this issue collectively, Climathon Chennai 2016 focused on bringing out innovative solutions for Effective Disaster management, air pollution control, waste management and smart urban commute.  After an intense Climathon event, the participating teams were highly motivated and proposed innovative solutions for the given problem statement.

Climathon winning solutions – Cash to Carbon, Dronix & Waste to Wealth

After 24 non-stop hours of collaboration, excitement and solution-finding during the Climate-KIC Climathon, the best idea was selected by an expert jury consisting of Mr. Mr. Balram Nair, Vice President, Chennai Angels Network; Mr. Shyam Sekar S, Chief Mentor and Strategist, Start-up Xperts; Mr. V.D.Anandan, Deputy Director, Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Chennai and Jaydeep Halbe, Founder, Halbe Innovations. The teams Carbon to Cash, Dronix and Waste to Wealth were selected as the winning ideas from the lot.

  1. Carbon to Cash

Team members – Ganesh Bala S, Karthick Srinivas M, Lokesh S and Sam Moses S

The team of four Environmental Engineers from Thiagarajar College of Engineering (TCE), Madurai came up with an idea to capture the flue gas effluents from the thermal power plants using micro algae, thus eliminating a major threat to climate change. The food for the micro algae is the flue gas thereby achieving zero smoke discharge. The revenue streams in by selling the fully cultured micro algae to cosmetic industries (“Omega 3 – fatty acid”)/ Aquaculture franchises (“Hatcheries”) / wastewater treatment plant (“Nutrient removal”).

Ganesh Bala S (Clean-tech start-up enthusiast & Waste water treatment expertise); Karthick Srinivas M(Expertise in the field of air pollution and stack monitoring, Management and Administration guru); Lokesh S (Background in the study of environmental situations in India CSE, Delhi); Sam Moses S (Technologist with experience in field of carbon capture and storage).


Team members – Prof.Ganesh Subramanian, Ranjith Samuel S, Simeon Jebaz Asir, Arjun R and Sarath Chandra

Team Dronix from Panimalar Institute of Technology, Chennai developed a cost effective and on demand Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) based Air pollution Control. The idea is to provide a more real time data about the Ultra Fine Particles (UFP) suspended in the air through a UFP filer sensor attached to the drone. The statistics shall be more accurate due to the air bone nature and effective processing. The information will be fed to the pollution control board as well as to other research institutions to identify the exact industries and other polluting sources of UFP pollution, thereby enabling them to take appropriate remedy measures.

Prof.Ganesh Subramanian (Electronics and Communications background and P.hD – Efficient and Secure Routing Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks); Ranjith Samuel S (Drone pilot & controls professional); Simeon Jebaz Asir (Public relations officer in the team); Arjun R (Background in the Drones design and official spokes person); Sarath Chandra (IT architect and Backend  program developer for the air quality monitoring).

  1. Waste to Wealth

Team members – Kishore Kumar C, Praveen Kumar P, Keshev Kumar K, Dhananjayan M, Pragatheeswaran K.R, Kapil Raj J, Harish L and Elanchezhiyan D

The team proposed a solution to recycle the Construction & Demolition (C & D) waste produced in the city. C & D waste produced in Chennai is nearly 700 Metric Tonnes per day. Considering the enormity of C & D Waste accumulated in Chennai City, the idea is to reuse by recycling it and establishing a C & D waste processing facility to adhere by the existing regulations. The crushed recycled product is used as partial replacement of Sand (aggregate) in the concreting works of the building. This effectively reduces sand mining which is taking place at an exponential rate and neutralizing the Climate change impact caused by it.

Kishore Kumar C (Technical expertise – C & D waste steams), Praveen Kumar P (Design background – Plant equipment), Keshev Kumar K (Public relations executive), Dhananjayan M (Quality and testing), Pragatheeswaran K.R (Human Resource development), Kapil Raj J (Financial analyst), Harish L (Environmental Engineer), Elanchezhiyan D (Project planning).

Participating teams described their experiences as follows –  

 “It was a great opportunity to attend this global Climathon event. The mentors accompanied us from the beginning and helped us to organize our jumbled ideas into a meaningful order. Also the pitch competition gave us a motivation to come forth with the best idea. This event organized by DHI labs is doing a great work in encouraging all the budding entrepreneurs to help them to identify that climate change is not only a global spotlight but also an area for profitable ventures similar to other start-ups.” – Team Carbon to Cash

“It’s a perfect platform to project your innovative ideas and get recognized at a global level”- Pragatheeswaran K.R, Team Waste to Wealth

Next steps

The participating teams had a great amount of learning experience and it was first time the university talents are introduced to the intense Climate Hackathon format. The teams quickly adapted, absorbed the enormous amount of information and came up with the interesting solutions to the given problem statement.  

Dr. G. Ravi Kumar, Director, The Centre for Entrepreneurship Development, Anna University indicated the interested teams will have the access to the on-campus incubation centre for further development of their ideas.  Similarly, the Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Chennai invited the participating teams to apply for the government aided start-up funding program and pre-incubate their ideas. In addition, DHI LABS Business Accelerator has offered one month online mentoring sessions to the winning teams to refine their business models.

Mr. Veera Abhilash P, Founder, DHI LABS added in his thanking note that “The Climathon was well received by the participants and the local partners. The Climathon doesn’t end here, we will keep supporting the interested teams to take their idea further and validate their business models”.


Power Your Bread  

Power Your Bread, is a Climate-KIC Project focussing on a unique need based problem solving model which empowers local communities to get their “bread” easily thereby improving overall quality of life. The unique solar oven enables the communities to bake the bread entirely using the power of sun, thereby replacing the ovens using the fossil fuel or raw wood as the fuel. Mr. Manikandan CS currently working on Power Your Bread project got actively involved in the organization side of Climathon Chennai and had offered his mentor services on the Climathon day.

Industry ARC, India

IndustryARC is a provider of global in-depth strategic market insight reports, industry databases, data analytics and strategic consulting services. IndustryARC strategy studies primarily focuses on Cutting Edge Technologies and Newer Applications of the Market. The Custom Research Services of IndustryARC are designed to provide insights on the constant flux in the global demand-supply gap of markets. The strong analyst team enables to meet the client research needs at a very quick speed with a variety of options for your business.

With a motto of to accelerate and enable start-up growth using the Strategic data and market analysis Indsutry ARC launched “StartupFirst” for  startups, SMEs, VCs, Investment firms to get access to our data through exclusive partnerships at significantly low prices.

Industry ARC supported Climathon Chennai by delivering the workshop session on “Customer validation and marketing tools for start-ups”. The session was delivered by Mr. Ravi keerthi, Senior Analyst at IndustryARC. He guided the teams in understanding their customers and the focus market segments better.

Climate KIC

Climate-KIC is the EU’s largest public private partnership addressing climate change through innovation to build a zero carbon economy and first organised the Climathon in 2015, in the run up to the Paris climate change summit. Climate-KIC organises the Climathon to help kick-start new climate change solutions, and to inspire and empower the next generation of climate leaders.



About the Climate-KIC Climathon

Climathon is a global 24-hour climate change event which took place simultaneously in major cities around the world on 28 October 2016.

Climate-KIC’s Climathon brings together the challenges of the world’s cities with the people who have the passion and ability to solve them. Participants gathered for 24 hours to engage in a climate-related problem solving workshop. City citizens around the world get to take direct climate action in their own cities by coming up with innovative solutions to local climate change problems.

Visit  for an overview of partner organisations and the climate change challenges per city.

Explore the #Climathon hashtag and the Climate-KIC social media channels at and for an overview of how the event unfolded around the world.



DHI LABS is a knowledge and technology transfer platform focusing on creation of the open and innovative large scale networking for start-ups, mentors and investors. DHI LABS primarily focuses on the innovative technology start-ups, social impact entrepreneurs and smart city related ventures. Our services are designed to provide insights on the global start-up networks and market demand-supply gap. Our strong mentoring and market research team enables us to drive the innovation programs locally and channelize the start-up flux into the real business outcomes.

We look forward to support the start-ups to be able to better address customer needs; stay ahead in the market; become the top competitor and get real-time recommendations on business strategies and deals.

About Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED), Anna University

The Centre for Entrepreneurship Development, Anna University (CED – AU) is committed to Create, Coordinate, Foster and Develop Entrepreneurial Activities in three major areas:  

Entrepreneurship Education and Research:

The CED-AU team trains and develops potential entrepreneurs by offering best educational courses and executive programs to help them confidently face the entrepreneurial opportunities and challenges of the modern economy. 

Entrepreneurship Development Alliances:

The CED -AU facilitates business and technology partnerships by combining academic research with practical experience. The Centre co-ordinates with corporate and venture capitalists to provide entrepreneurs with people, tools, and expertise to bring new products to market successfully. 

Community Development:

The CED-AU cultivates and nourishes a network that provides an interface between academic, government, alumni and industry leaders for entrepreneurial success. These efforts build momentum for creative, innovative and enterprising endeavours.

About Climate-KIC

Climate-KIC is the EU’s largest public private partnership addressing climate change through innovation to build a zero carbon economy. We address climate change across four priority themes: urban areas, land use, production systems, and decision metrics and finance. Education is at the heart of these themes to inspire and empower the next generation of climate leaders.

Climate-KIC is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

Media Contact

Local Host, Chennai
Veera Abhilash P

Kelsey Hunter
Climathon Communications Manager
+44 7714 051530

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