Turning Grand Challenges into Grand Opportunities

May 13, 2014

A team of engineering students in the Master of Engineering and Master of Engineering Management programs participated in an independent study that explored ways to meet Grand Challenges. Read the Forbes article

"The project sought to explore how aspiring entrepreneurs can be inspired to develop market-based solutions to real world problems using cheap and accessible technologies like smartphones, the mobile internet and sensors." said Professor Vivek Wadhwa, who led the independent study. 

ideasX : Turning Grand Challenges into Grand Opportunities

ideasX is a concept for an online platform for discussing ideas for technology-based solutions that would address problems in the developing world. The hypothesis is simple - in order to be able to do this, you need to create a conducive environment for people having diverse and complementary skillsets to come together and brainstorm over a problem. The goal is to work with domain experts - people and organizations who have spent a lot of time studying specific real world problems widely categorized under the 6 'Grand Challenges' of Global Health, Food, Water, Energy, Environment and Education, to identify problems that can be solved by mobile technologies and cheap sensor-based devices interfaced with mobile phones. These problems are then used as discussion topics on the website, where people having expertise in areas such as engineering, business, design or medicine can contribute. The goal of each discussion is to generate at least one idea for solving the problem.

The team include MEng student Aditya Murthy and MEM students Samkit Shah and Pranav Deshpande.

Aditya Murthy, Samkit Shah, Pranav Deshpande