AF Trivandrum Alerts

Innovations competition: Waste in the (Smart) City, Kochi

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Date(s) - 15/01/2018
12:00 am


Innovations competition:
Waste in the (Smart) City, Kochi

A Grant for Socio-technical initiatives, inventions and innovations in Kochi
Call for application to Kochi Residents/Entrepreneurs/NGO

“Bonjour India” invites applicants for presenting socio-technical initiatives, inventions and innovations in the field of waste management in Kochi, and its metro.

Deadline for applications: 15th of January 2018
Announcement of short-listed application: 1st of February 2018
Jury and award ceremony: 17th of February 2018

The grant is aimed at supporting initiatives, inventions and innovations projects focusing on waste management and located in the public realm in Kochi.
Through the grant, Bonjour India aims to generate interest in waste management innovative projects, and initiate an open debate among associations, private entrepreneurs, local communities and the larger public to engage with waste in new ways.
On-going realisations as well as expected projects are accepted. Project at different scales, from household level to the ward level are welcome. Decentralised innovations allowing a better reduction/segregation/recycling of the waste generated will be particularly appreciated. Low cost solutions as well as inventions relying on smart technology will be both considered. A special attention will also be given to social innovations improving the conditions of waste management.
Winning proposals will be selected by a distinguished panel of judges. Recipient of the grant will receive a maximum of Rs. 50 000 for the project detailed in their application. The period of the grant is one year. Upon completion of the project, the winner will be required to submit a project report along with complete documentation, and make a final presentation at a public forum.

Urban solid waste: a global sustainable development issue

The inclusion of discussions on sustainable urban development at the Habitat III Conference reaffirmed cities’ central role in regulating major global challenges. An important aspect of sustainability includes the way in which the flow of materials and energy extracted, consumed, processed and discharged is managed within urban communities. Traditionally the poor relation of urban policy, urban waste has slowly but surely become a major urban development issue around the world. There is now a recognised need to better monitor and manage the socio-environmental impacts of the waste discharged as it generates pollution and creates environmental injustices. The effective collection, proper clean-up and treatment of this solid waste have now become strategic urban marketing tools for promoting the attractiveness of those cities driving innovation in this sector, such as the ‘zero waste’ policy employed in San Francisco.


Swacch Bharat Abhiyan: solid waste at the centre of debate in India

Although it is now a major player on the international stage and has a growth rate that is the envy of most countries in Europe, India is struggling to control the adverse effects that rapid economic development is having on its urban environment. Contributing between 60 and 65% to the country’s GDP, cities act as a showcase for the country but are literally drowning in their own solid waste. It is estimated that huge volumes of over 125,000 tonnes of solid waste are produced per day.  Nevertheless, a little over two years after the launch of the national Swacch Bhârat (‘Clean India’) programme, a large number of initiatives are being developed on various scales to help manage these immense quantities of rubbish.  Thus, residents’ associations are attempting to reduce waste at source through decentralised composting initiatives. In addition, the private sector is bursting with innovative ideas for more effectively collecting and treating solid waste including solutions that are based on European technologies, as well as more specific technical options. Public institutions have also undertaken administrative restructuring following implementation of the new ‘Solid Waste Management Rules’ in May 2016


The circular economy: a new approach to recycling and reuse

Whenever local authorities have to close down old landfills, they soon come to recognise the role played by the (organic, materials) waste recycling and reuse sectors in diverting solid waste away from the landfill sites. The people working in these sectors remove some of the waste that would otherwise have to be managed by the public authorities, meaning that the landfills fill up more slowly and resources are not wasted. Solid waste recovery provides employment for a large number of workers, whether they are involved in waste collection or sorting or in one of the many waste processing operations. This waste recovery sector thus provides a basic income for hundreds of thousands of families and ultimately supports the formal industries at the top end of the chain that produce consumer items. It is therefore necessary to look past the depressing image of a sector that, although far from perfect, tends to be open to abuse predominantly because it has been consigned to informality. Regulating and integrating recycling into the wider solid waste management sector would help ensure that social and environmental standards are progressively put in place.


What about Kochi’s initiatives? Call for Socio-technical inventions and innovations to solve the waste crisis

The City of Kochi has seen the emergence of numerous experiences in the waste management field. RWAs, NGOs, entrepreneurs, individuals have been actively involved in the development of socio-technical experiments and inventions to contribute to manage the waste of Kochi and its metro. They have produced very innovative initiatives that can rely on accessible technology, with great social impact and environmental contributions. Often realised at a decentralised ward level, through community management, or even at the household level, involving everyday practices, theses very diverse inventions are a real benefit to maintain a clean environment. The aim of this call is to document and collect such kind of solutions, to create awareness among the public about their existence, and to contribute to their diffusion in Kochi and beyond. In this framework, RWAs, NGOs, entrepreneurs and individuals are invited to present their solutions to contribute to a clean Kochi.

APPLICANT REQUIREMENTS: open to all resident(s) of Kochi

  • Individuals, enterprises or groups (RWA, NGO) may apply.
  • The applicant/s needs to be 18 years or older.
  • The applicant/s should be an Indian citizen/s, currently residing in India.

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS: contribution to waste management in Kochi

  • The project must be located in India. Location details need to be specified in the proposal.
  • The project should have the specific intention of being sited or staged in the public domain.
  • The project has to deal with the critical issues of waste management, reduction or recycling.
  • It has to be environmentally focused, and/or community-based,
  • The proposal should include as much information about the project as possible, thus enabling us to gain greater clarity about the potential and practicality of the project. Please read through the application form carefully for what is required for submission.
  • The project should be feasible in terms of costs and scale, and should meet the dates set in the timeline.

 MATERIALS TO BE SUBMITTED: before 15th of January 2018

  1. Section A – The completed application form. Download the application form here
  2. Section B – A 1000-1500 words project proposal.
  3. Section C: images documenting your project
  4. Section D – A detailed budget of the project and a timeline
  5. Section E: Resume – Current resume of applicant/s. If applicable, include a list of projects/works done so far.


  • Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Make sure all the required details are included.
  • Short-listed applicants may be asked to submit further details on their project anytime during the selection process.
  • In particular, short-listed initiatives will be invited to screen their project to the public and in front of the jury one week before the award ceremony
  • The project should be feasible in terms of costs and scale, and should meet the dates set in the timeline. Please note that Bonjour India will support it only for one year, and not for the entire duration of the project.
  • Bonjour India has the right to disqualify any proposal that it deems as offensive to cultural, social or religious sentiments, as well as projects that fall short of public safety requirements. The decision to support a project is entirely at Bonjour India’s discretion.
  • CD/DVDs/emails which do not open will not be considered a valid entry.

  • All materials should be submitted both:

–    as files on CD/DVD and send to “Alliance Française, Chavara Centre Road, Near South Railway Station, Chavara Centre Road, Ernakulam, Kerala 680011, India” Please mark on the envelope “Subject: grant application for waste innovation”;

–   and on email at :,  Please specify on the email  “Subject: grant application for waste innovation”

(deadline: 15th of January 2018)