Building upon the Honey Bee network philosophy, the National Innovation Foundation-India (NIF), started functioning in March 2000 as India’s national initiative to strengthen the grassroots technological innovations and outstanding traditional knowledge. Its mission is to help India become a creative and knowledge based society by expanding policy and institutional space for grassroots technological innovators. NIF is committed to look for grassroots innovators who have developed technological innovations in any field of human survival without any outside help.
NIF helps them get due reward for their innovations and ensure that such innovations diffuse widely through commercial and non-commercial channels generatingincentives for them and others involved in the value chain.With major contribution from the Honey Bee Network, NIF has been able to build up a database of more than 1, 60,000 ideas, innovations and traditional knowledge practices (not all unique) from over 545 districts of the country. Through the collaborations with R&D institutions, NIF helps in getting these innovations validated and converting them into value added technologies/products.
NIF has filed over 550 patents on behalf of the innovators and outstanding traditional knowledge holders of which thirty five patents have been granted in India and four in USA. Micro Venture Innovation Fund at NIF has provided risk capital for 178 projects, which are at different stages of incubation. NIF has succeeded in commercialising products across countries in six continents apart from being successful in materialising sixty four cases of technology licensing to seventy eight licensees with the help of partner agencies.
NIF has proved that Indian innovators can match anyone in the world when it comes to solving problems creatively, where they perform better than rest is in generating greater sustainable alternatives by using local resources frugally. Those who see poor only as the consumer of cheap goods, miss the knowledge richness at grassroots level. The Grassroots to Global (G2G) model that NIF is propagating is all set to change the way the world looks at the creativity and innovations at grassroots.