The applicant must:
- Hold a doctoral degree (PhD, DPhil, MD, DDS, DVM, etc.)
- At the time of application, hold a position as a Postdoctoral Researcher, Faculty, or Researcher/Scientist, with at least 50% full-time effort devoted to research, at an eligible institution within India
- Receive pre-approval from their institution, in the form of an Institution Approval Form. See below for more details.
Applicants may only submit one application per annual Prize cycle. Applicants may submit applications in an unlimited number of subsequent Prize cycles, however, each application must propose a different innovation.
Applicants must be employed by an eligible university, institute, or other research organization in India at the time of application. Eligible institutions may be found here.
Institutions not listed may contact TataTransformation@nyas.org to request inclusion on the list of eligible institutions.
The Tata Transformation Prize recognizes scientists and engineers developing technological innovations that address three challenges of national importance to India: Food Security, Sustainability, and Healthcare.
Applicants must propose technologies that address one of the three categories with a focus on digital and technological transformation: innovations that re-imagine traditional practices and business models, transform technological paradigms, improve public trust, and enable an open and connected world.
Innovation knows no bounds. Technologies that may address these challenges include but are not limited to:
Innovations that improve productivity and efficiency or reduce waste and resource-intensity, such as
- Food waste management
- Supply chain management
- Food storage chain
- Crop sensing
- Genetic modification
- Crop management
- Climate change-resistant agriculture practices
- Food distribution
- Food processing
Innovations that enable large-scale reduction, reuse, and recycling of resources or protection of the natural environment, such as:
- Clean energy technologies
- Battery and energy storage technologies
- Green chemistry
- Sustainable materials
- Circular economy technologies
- Environmentally-friendly infrastructure
- Recycling and waste disposal technologies
- Climate change modeling and prediction
- Technologies to mitigate the impacts of climate change
- Ecology technology & technologies for conserving biodiversity
- Electric vehicles and other energy efficient devices
- Technology solutions for water management
- Innovations to estimate, measure, and track emissions
Innovations that improve accessibility, affordability, accountability, and efficacy in healthcare, such as:
- Sensing and wearable technologies
- Health informatics
- Electronic health records
- Augmented reality
- Personalized healthcare technologies
- Medical training strategies
- Biocomputation & bioinformatics
- Public/community health infrastructure
The eligible technologies listed under each Prize category above are not meant to be exhaustive. If applicants have a question regarding whether or not a particular innovation falls into these categories, please contact the Tata Transformation Prize team at TataTransformation@nyas.org.
Proposed technologies will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- Quality: The extent to which the proposed innovation is coherent, credible and supported by scientifically rigorous design.
- Vision: The extent to which the proposed innovation will challenge existing paradigms or practices and/or pursues an original approach, and will generate measurable, lasting, and wide-scale societal changes that address national needs in India.
- Feasibility: The extent to which the proposed innovation is ready and suitable for scaling up in India, the applicant offers a realistic approach and implementation plan to achieve tangible results, and is well-positioned and capable of actioning the proposed plan.
Application Materials & Instructions
Required information includes the applicant’s name, title, terminal degree, email address, phone number, and category of submission, as well as the name, title, and contact information for the institutional leadership submitting the Institution Approval Form.
Applicants are required to submit a CV that includes:
- Applicant name, current institution(s), and position title
- Education and training, including doctoral and prior postdoctoral training, with names of previous research advisor(s)/mentor(s)
- Employment history
- Honors and awards
- Peer-reviewed publications from entire research career
- Patents and patent applications, if applicable
- Research grants where the applicant is named as Principal Investigator or Co-investigator
- Scientific leadership [e.g., any significant roles in the greater academic community. This includes major editorial responsibilities, service on external committees, conference organization, technology licensing (or company start-up), public outreach activities, and institutional administrative responsibilities (e.g., departmental or student committee].
- Invited talks and lectures
The Innovation Proposal (maximum five pages, excluding references and up to five figures) should be accessible to another scientist working in the overarching Prize category (e.g., Sustainability) and include:
Background & Significance
Describe the societal challenge the innovation seeks to address and establish the necessary context to understand what successful scale up and implementation would look like. Explain any terms or information that may not be obvious to a scientist outside of the applicant’s specialty.
Proof of Concept
Describe the technology, discovery, or innovation and preliminary work and/or results demonstrating its credibility and potential. These may constitute a prototype that has undergone testing or a small-scale proof of concept experiment. Clarify if these are already published or if they are unpublished findings and how the innovation is unique in how it addresses the corresponding societal challenge. If the innovation is a physical technology or device, include a photo of the prototype as one of the five allowed figures.
Applicants must present a clearly articulated and reasonable plan to scale up and implement the innovation. This should identify clear, significant goals and a tentative timeline by which the applicant expects to meet those goals.
The timeline should span approximately three years of implementation, depending on the nature of the innovation, over which significant progress is expected to be made. Identify any resources, such as specialized equipment, that is required for the Implementation Plan, indicate if the applicant has access and, if not, how and when it will be obtained.
Future Directions and Impact
Describe how the applicant sees the implementation and adoption of the innovation progressing beyond the timeline proposed in the Implementation Plan. Describe the anticipated impact of the technology, discovery, or innovation outlined in the Proof of Concept on society in India and beyond.
Applicants are required to nominate two (2) individuals to submit a confidential Letters of Support. Letters of Support will be electronically requested and submitted via the web portal to ensure confidentiality.
Letters of Support may come from any individuals that are able to address the applicant’s suitability to lead the scale-up and implementation of the innovation, as well as the overall quality and vision of the proposed innovation proposal. We recommend that applicants petition letters from individuals who are experts in the challenges addressed by the proposed innovation or the technologies related to the proposed innovation. Furthermore, letter writers should be intimately familiar with the applicant’s most significant and relevant accomplishments in their scientific career that prepare them for implementation.
Letter writers will also be required to answer a brief, multiple-choice questionnaire upon uploading their Letters of Support, to ensure both qualitative and quantitative assessment of each applicant.
The applicant must receive pre-approval from their institution in the form of a completed and signed Institution Approval Form. Completion of a Form verifies that the applicant is employed by the institution in an eligible research role and has informed the institution of submission of their Innovation Plan. The Letter must be signed by institutional leadership positioned at the level of Department Head or higher. The signatory must be senior to the applicant.
Applicants and institutional leadership can download the Institution Approval Form here. Applicants will be asked to submit their completed and signed and stamped (with an institution stamp, if applicable) Institution Approval Form with the rest of their Application Materials in the submission portal.