NASSCOM Foundation, in collaboration with industry giants Mphasis and Genpact, announced the launch of the 8th edition of the NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum – a ‘Tech for Good’ platform that aims to drive technology led innovation to create sustained social impact. The annual awards, as a part of the Forum, identify, select, honour and support innovative solutions and projects that use Information & Communication Technology (ICT) to address gaps in key developmental areas and foster inclusive growth. This platform is expected to encourage the ICT based innovations and business incubations in the rural areas.
Riding on last year’s success, where the programme received interest from over a thousand innovators, NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum (NSIF) hopes to see robust participation this year as well, from a wide array of social innovators including NGOs, Social Enterprises, For-profit Enterprises, Individuals. the Foundation invites applications from NGOs, Social Enterprises, and entrepreneurs with early stage projects that use technology for good. The applications for NSIF 2016 will remain open till 30 September, 2015.
With support from Mphasis and Genpact, the Forum will award catalytic grants to the tune of Rs 60 lakhs to early stage enterprises with an impact focus that address gaps in skilling for employment, primary and secondary education, healthcare, accessibility, women’s safety and other relevant areas. The projects will also be provided with support to scale services and industry led mentoring. The focus areas have been chosen to be in line with the objectives of the Digital India Plan and the CSR efforts of the Industry.
The Forum aims to drive CSR capital into innovative projects to help them thrive and grow. Elango R, EVP, Chief Human Resources Officer and Head Emerging Geographies SBU, Mphasis, said, “Mphasis is excited by the success of NSIF and affirms its continuing support to NASSCOM Foundation in its efforts to identify, reward and nurture innovative technology based social enterprises. Being a technology company, Mphasis understands the role technology can play in addressing large scale development challenges. It is our firm belief that a platform such as this would be hugely beneficial to aspiring tech-social entrepreneurs”.
Mohit Thukral, Senior Vice President, Genpact, said, “Genpact is committed to NASSCOM Foundation’s objective of leveraging technology for social development and inclusive growth. By supporting innovators and social organisations, NSIF has the potential of significant positive impact on the development ecosystem in the country. This year, NSIF will have a focus on Skill building for Employability – a social cause very dear to us and high on the nation’s development agenda as well.”
Dr. Ganesh Natarajan, Chair, NASSCOM Foundation said, “"Through NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum, we hope to create an ecosystem which not only produces innovators but also drives inclusion." Talking about the NSIF partners this year, he added, "One of the biggest challenges for people living in underserved communities is a lack of education and skills and in partnership with Mphasis and Genpact, we wish to close this gap."
NSIF has supported innovative initiatives over the years and helped enhance developmental impact in India. In the last edition, three impactful projects received grants and a cohort of six projects is undergoing mentoring support through the Forum.