Hands that help are holier than lips that pray. The Incubation Centre IIT Patna is aiding and harbouring small entrepreneurs with a vision and ideas to come up with feasible solutions for common problems.
The electronics system design and manufacturing (ESDM) industry is touted to be the world’s fastest-growing industry, with India committing to raise production to $300 billion by 2025-26. A major chunk of this growth rests on the development and encouragement of new and emerging technologies introduced by startups and entrepreneurs.
To reach this target, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has set up incubation centres in different parts of the country to aid and encourage startup growth. One such incubator, nestled in the sprawling campus of IIT Patna, is the Incubation Centre IIT Patna, commonly known as IC IITP.
In 2014, MeitY approved a project to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the ESDM industry with a special focus on medical electronics at a total estimated cost of ₹471 million, including a grant-in-aid of ₹221 million from MeitY. The state government of Bihar has agreed to contribute ₹250 million to the project.
The incubation facility aims to incubate 50 startups over five years. The incubation centre offers seed funding of up to one million rupees for each project, along with mentorship, and helps the startups get connected with potential investors. The centre has processed more than 1,000 applications since its inception and has worked with more than 60 startups in medical electronics, healthcare, IoT, automation, robotics, waste management, industrial solutions, consumer electronics, and education.
Out of the many startups under its wing, Electronics For You got in touch with three innovative startups that have managed to set a benchmark in the ESDM sector with IIT Patna’s support.
India’s portable power
With the rising demand for lithium-ion batteries, the greener alternative to the conventional lead-acid battery, a new problem of thermal runaway arose. While countries and big manufacturers around the world are racing to come up with an effective solution to make an efficient battery management system, Portable Power Technology Pvt Ltd has come up with India’s first indigenously designed battery management system for lithium-ion batteries.
Founded by Abhijeet Kumar, the product that is available in different categories has been designed in such a way as to prevent thermal runaway, hence preventing any chance of a fire. The company’s custom-designed BMS on a PCB can be used for any electric two-wheeler, three-wheeler, or four-wheeler, or even a single solar cell or an entire solar panel.
The company has designed ten different BMS systems for different types of lithium-ion batteries, ranging from lithium iron phosphate to lithium cobalt oxide. The company takes pride in being able to customise its battery management system as per a customer’s voltage and current requirements.
The company has secured a patent for their innovation. Commenting on the achievement, Founder Abhijeet Kumar says, “For every BMS to function properly, we need to control the temperature, voltage, and current. In addition to that we need to optimise the losses in the current and voltage rating. That is where we are different. Our sleeping current is very less. In ideal conditions, our sleeping current is less than 6µA.”
Incubated at IIT Patna, the founding team got together in August 2018 to build a lithium-ion battery and BMS specifically for defence applications. Supported by DRDO and IIT Kanpur, who are among its customers, the company is set to commercialise the product from March 2023.