With support from MSME, IIT Kanpur is emerging as a hub for novel educational toys


  • FIRST (Foundation of Research and Innovation in Science and Technology) IIT Kanpur has partnered with MSME to nurture toy clusters across India.

  • Five enterprises from the toy industry have received grant under the Ministry of MSME’s Design Scheme, which is facilitated by FIRST, IIT Kanpur.

  • Once of the FIRST, IIT Kanpur’s graduated company, KFPL (Phool.co), also won the MSME Design grant for the eco-friendly substitute for leather made from flower waste, also known as Fleather.

  • Fleather can be used across manufacturing of apparel, handbags, shoes, wallets, and similar products.

IIT Kanpur is emerging as the hub of innovative ideas designed to facilitate favourable educational outcomes. In a recent development, IIT Kanpur's technology business incubator, Foundation for Innovation and Research in Science and Technology (also known by the brand name, SIIC IIT Kanpur), partnered with the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India to facilitate the MSME Design Scheme and promote the creation of toy clusters.

Recently, five enterprises from FIRST IIT Kanpur have received PMAC (Project Monitoring and Advisory Committee) approval and a grant from MSME Development Institute for prototype development of sustainable educational toys. These enterprises are expected to deliver a prototype with this grant money. Among those who have received the grant Kanpur Flower Recycling Private Limited (KFPL) (https://phool.co/) – FIRST's graduated company. Phool has developed a prototype to replace the regular leather (made from animal skin) with leather made of flower waste, named "Fleather". The prototype is environmentally sustainable, free from chemicals, and does not induce animal cruelty.

Praising the developed prototype Shri V. K. Verma, Joint Director, MSME Development Institute, Kanpur, mentioned, "Fleather will positively impact the leather industry through its animal-free and environment-friendly characteristics. Such eco-friendly innovations are the need of the hour." Further, he has also expressed his willingness to support such enterprises and their innovative ideas in the future through various other schemes by the Ministry.

The Design program is a positive step towards nurturing favourable educational outcomes through engaging interventions and supporting innovative ideas for Toys and Games. Commenting on the initiative, Prof Amitabha Bandyopadhyay, Prof-In-Charge, Incubation & Innovation, IIT Kanpur, shared, "The Design program is a step towards revolutionizing education in India. We look forward to supporting such initiatives that develop a learner's critical thinking, decision-making, and allied skills and encourages learning."

In this context, it should be noted that recently IIT Kanpur’s Team Makersclan won the ‘Toycathon 2021’ for their board game 'CheMystery. The team was led by Prof. Shatarupa T. Roy, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences & Design Programme, and two students from the Design program at IIT Kanpur. Toycathon 2021 was jointly launched by the Ministry of Education, WCD Ministry, MSME Ministry, DPIIT, Textile Ministry, I&B Ministry and AICTE on 5thJanuary 2021, to support innovative toys and games ideas. Prof. Bandyopadhyay emphasized that the collaboration between FIRST IIT Kanpur and the Design Program of IIT Kanpur and financial support from MSME can truly change the modern toy industry of India which is dominated by cheap imported goods that are also highly unsustainable.

The grant has been awarded to five startups - Bio craft Innovation, Center of Digital Excellence, Mindbrics Edutech, Primary Healthtech, and Cultech Wave.

About MSME Design Scheme

Design Scheme by the Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, Government of India, is a unique scheme that provides grants to the final year UG, and PG students engaged in design development and MSMEs working in the design domain. The grant range for the students is up to Rs. 1.5 Lakh, while it ranges between Rs. 15 to 40 Lakh for the MSMEs. These funds are channelled towards prototype development for one year. Mr Ankit Saxena, Senior Manager (Projects) at FIRST IIT Kanpur, supervises the Design Scheme, currently accepting proposals.

About Start-up Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC), IIT Kanpur

Established in 2000, Start-up Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC), IIT Kanpur, is one of the oldest technology business incubators with many successes under its belt. In 2018, the leadership brought the incubator's operations under Foundation for Research & Innovation in Science & Technology (FIRST), a Section-8 company promoted by IIT Kanpur. The multifaceted, vibrant incubation ecosystem nurtured over two decades continues to fill all the gaps on the road to convert an idea into a business.



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