Innovation That Matters

Global innovation spotlight: India

Global Innovation Spotlight

From eco-friendly sound-proofing to charcoal-free incense made from recycled temple flowers, discover exciting innovations from India

Reflecting our global Springwise readership, we explore the innovation landscape and freshest thinking from a new country each week. Ahead of independence day, we are celebrating three exciting innovations from India…

India innovation facts

Global Innovation Index ranking: 46th

Climate targets: A 45 per cent reduction in emissions intensity from the 2005 level by 2030, net zero by 2070

Sustainability issues:

Coal use – Only the US and China have higher greenhouse gas emissions than India, and the country is the world’s second-largest producer, consumer, and importer of coal. India is particularly reliant on coal for power generation, with the fossil fuel accounting for 75 per cent of annual electricity generation. 

Cooking fuelsDespite government initiatives to promote the use of liquified petroleum gas, many rural Indian’s lack access to modern, clean cooking fuels, relying instead on solid fuels. The smoke created by burning solid fuels for cooking and other household activities is the largest source of ambient air pollution in India, contributing to ill-health and early death.

Water pollution – As India’s population grows and the country becomes increasingly urban,  waterways are being put under unprecedented strain. And the situation is becoming critical with estimates suggesting that 70 per cent of the country’s surface water is not fit for human consumption.

Sector specialisms




Source: Startup Universal

Three exciting innovations from India

Photo source Pixabay


Each year, millions of tonnes of flowers are left as offerings at Indian temples. For religious reasons, these offerings can’t be thrown into landfills, so they end up in rivers. The flowers are often covered in pesticides, toxic metals, and insecticides, and once they reach the water, the chemicals wash off, creating toxic compounds that suppress oxygen levels and threaten marine life. Startup Phool is addressing this problem by turning the discarded temple flowers into incense and other products, providing hundreds of jobs for local women. Read more

Photo source Ben Wicks on Unsplash


Most of the acoustic materials that can cancel out sound are made from plastic foams that aren’t easily recycled. Moreover, current alternative options are made from plant fibres that don’t effectively dampen noise in the most useful range of sound frequencies, or are too thick or unwieldy to fabricate. Now, researchers have created a biodegradable seaweed-derived film that effectively absorbs sounds. Read more

Photo source Suleiman Merchant


Unlit, unused, dirty, and often unsafe locations are almost always easy to find in a city. Imagine, instead, how much beauty could be brought into the world if those underutilised spaces were multi-use community hubs. Mumbai architects StudioPOD, along with Dutch designers MVRDV, turned that idea into reality with the One Green Mile development directly below the Senapati Bapat Marg flyover in Mumbai. Read more

Words: Matthew Hempstead

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