Affordable sustainable housing is a key to socio-economic development, social peace and equality. For six years Professor Siddharth Jabade and his co-inventors strived to introduce environment friendly, affordable and energy-efficient housing technology with integrated sanitation facilities. The central government has awarded their innovation titled Habitech-NivaraTantra Technology. This is the model where academia and industry have joined hands to realize the dream of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
The story goes back to Professor Jabade’s assignment as the Director of Innovation and Intellectual Property at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand (an international and intergovernmental institute of higher learning) wherein this invention was researched and developed along with other researchers. Professor Jabade developed the innovation strategy, the technology adaptation and proliferation blueprint along with the integration of Intellectual Property protection for this technology at AIT.
The aim and passion was to develop an appropriate platform and innovation value chain to enable facile movement of the invention in the AIT to reach to the masses to create a larger impact for a greater good.
India was always at the core of the research with the focus to facilitate the development of the indigenous capability to adapt and adopt technology so that it reaches the masses.
The target was to create an apt platform wherein the value chain of the invention that starts in the academia (laboratory), reaches out to the public (land) to create a larger impact (by technology proliferation through deployment and scaling).
To achieve the target, Prashak Techno Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. In India, headed by Dr Praful Naik was identified and invited and shouldered with the responsibility of enabling this technology in India and other parts of the world.
Professor Jabade, now Vice-Chancellor of Vishwakarma University , Pune is the member of Prashak’s Advisory Board, responsible for innovation, IP and commercialization aspect.
Habitech-NivaraTantra became reality because of techno-legal expertise and research by Professor Jabade, a qualified patent agent in India and who is involved in many of the ideation to impact innovation processes. His drive to take the idea from laboratory to land is gaining roots paving the way for wide-ranging collaboration between academia and industry.
The Habitech-NivaraTantra is onsite Sanitation Integrated Community Housing Technology. Compacted intermeshing blocks made from local soil are produced on-site. These blocks with novel cavities for horizontal and vertical reinforcement using steel bars requires no use of the conventional beams, columns and concrete lintel. The cavities facilitate natural air curtain against temperature, noise pollution and water penetration.
It is important to achieve techno-commercially viable technology and a product, which could find the commercialization partner. Major challenges are the cost of patenting and other IP protection and success in commercialization of the patent portfolio which is not even in double digits (it is 1 to 3%).
This scenario has always put academia in dilemma. Whether to invest in patenting and wait for the returns, or fund a few more projects? Professor Jabade, created a model wherein the IP cost is borne by the commercialization partner (and not University / AIT). It reduced the risk for academia substantially.
Society must be at the core of any invention. Habitech-NivaraTantra technology was always meant to be implemented in India. Integration of the sanitation technology (which was researched independently in AIT by Professor Thammarat) was integrated by Professor Jabade in a manner that the housing technology is all round – an eco-system for the living, healthcare and wellbeing.
Salient Features of Habitech-NivaraTantra
- Cost-Effective: Compacted intermeshing blocks make this technology cost-effective and create employment at the local level. This technology incurs 15-30% less cost than traditional construction methods.
- Green Construction: Substantially reduced amount of concrete or cement is used in these constructions.
- Calamity Resistant: Interlocking system among the blocks at the foundation protects the building from natural calamities including floods, earthquake, cyclone, landslides etc.
- Participatory Process: Dwellers are able to build their own houses as the technology is simple and intuitive – local skill is just adequate
- Green Sanitation: Anaerobic Inclined multi-baffles Reactor (AIBR) system facilitates lower particulate effluent discharge which is treated and could be used for non-drinking usage.
- Process Innovation: The machines for making the said compacted blocks are developed indigenously. The sanitation technology (which was separately used) is well integrated in the housing technology
“ This is a success story of the much-talked academia and industry interaction. This innovation and IP integrated model has enabled ideas and inventions to reach out to the society. Vishwakarma University, Pune known for the innovation ecosystem has a collaboration with Prashak to further develop and deploy this technology for the larger good. As more and more industries come to the fore and participate in such models, it will be a positive step towards realizing the mission Atmanirbhar Bharat” – Professor Siddharth Jabade.
The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs’ Affordable Sustainable Housing Accelerators (ASHA) award was given to Prashak Techno Enterprises Pvt Ltd. on January 1, 2021 at the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Former President late Pranab Mukherjee adopted this technology under the Rashtrapati Bhavan’s Inclusive Innovations initiative. Technology Innovations Demonstration Center at the President’s Estate was the first project completed successfully.
During the execution of the President’s Estate project, a novel idea – SMARTGRAM for rural regions was formulated and conceptualized by Prashak.
Rashtrapati Bhavan accepted the SMARTGRAM initiative and adopted 100 villages in the Gurugram and Nuh districts of Haryana.
Prashak extended the usage license of SMARTGRAM to Haryana government based on which the Haryana SMARTGRAM Development Authority was established. The various activities in all 100 villages adopted are now being steered by Pranab Mukherjee Foundation in collaboration with the Haryana government.
Few public building projects were sanctioned to be constructed using the technology solutions which led to Prashak’s participation in the Grand Housing Technology Challenge – India, a MoHUA initiative.
In Jan 2021, Prashak was selected in the final cohort of 10 most potential technologies for the future and subsequently selected as a winner in the post prototype category for the Affordable Sustainable Housing Accelerators (ASHA) India Award.
Compacted Intermeshing Blocks & Joist Manufacturing
To propel the innovation into the next level to enable its effective use in mass/cluster housing projects.
SMARTGRAM can be a role model for effective replication across India, particularly in rural parts.
About Professor Siddharth Jabade
Since his PhD on development of the technology for jiggery making in IIT Bombay twenty years back, Professor Jabade is passionate for the development of appropriate, affordable and accessible indigenous technologies for the marginalised, bottom billion, semi-urban and agricultural sector. Professor Milind Rane (PhD Advisor from IIT Bombay) ignited and supported Professor Jabade’s journey towards excellence.
Not surprisingly, it was in IIT that Professor Jabade attracted towards the process of innovation and patenting system (field of Intellectual Property Rights) under the guidance of by Professor Prabuddha Ganguli.
Since his IIT days Professor Jabade’s motto is – innovation to create the value for society. His focus has been to integrate the patent system and learnings from patent documents in the early stage of the invention process, to obviate the reinvention and collapse the time cycle of development.
The award-winning Habitech Nivara Tantra technology was researched and was in the development stage in AIT. This institute is an international and intergovernmental institute of higher learning, established in under South East Treaty Organisation (SEATO) in late 1950 by the cooperation of 30+ countries. Professor Jabade was appointed as the Director of Innovation and IPR.
With the central government recognizing Habitech Nivara Trantra technology, Professor Jabade’s efforts to bridge the gap between academia, industry and masses has achieved the milestone.