About the Innovation and Startup Desk in Mumbai

Intro about the Desk, its mission and activities

Innovation desk in general is an initiative by ICE aka Italian trade agency for assisting the highly innovative Italian startups in expanding its business in domestic and offshore markets.

The placement of the innovation desks is in accordance with the importance of the cities and its close vicinity to the foreign investors for attracting investments towards the Italian startups. Apart from attracting investments; the innovation desks are involved in other innovative activities towards attracting Italian investment in the host countries for most happening initiatives by the country’s respective governments.

The major sectors of focus for Innovation desk Mumbai are:

1. Indian Startup Ecosystem

2. Italian Startup Ecosystem

3. Smart Cities India

4. Open Innovation extending to Frugal Innovation

5. Research Institutes in India & Italy for Research Co‐operation


Bangalore, India

Protecting lakes from land grabbers

The capital of Karnataka State is the third most populous city in India and home to nearly 10 million people. In 2010, the city’s 450 lakes were under threat of privatisation, leading to concerns that the water would not be used sustainably.

Water from the lakes percolates down into underground aquifers, which supply neighbourhood wells across the region. If lake levels drop, the aquifers may not refill effectively and people’s wells would begin to dry up.

Workshops mobilised by the Environment Support Group (ESG) were held to build awareness about the importance of protecting the lakes for present and future generations. Local people quickly decided that privatisation was a bad idea and began to organise against it.

The ESG took the matter to Karnataka’s high court and filed a public interest writ which resulted in the prohibition of the ongoing privatisation of lakes. A committee of government agencies was also set up to protect and conserve Bangalore’s lakes for posterity.

When the 450 remaining lakes are rehabilitated, it is expected that underground aquifers will be recharged. For urban communities, this will have significant benefits: greater quantities of quality water means that surrounding communities – mostly subsistence farmers – will have better crop growth and yields. As such, the initiative won an UN award in 2012 for best water management practices.


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