This Earth Day, we are excited to announce the first two grantees of Akamai's Accelerator Program for Early-Stage Innovations in Water: the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) and the Foundation for Environmental Monitoring (ffem).
The Akamai Technologies India Corporate Social Responsibility Trust was established in 2015 and since inception has been working relentlessly in the three key areas of education, inclusion, and community development. Over the years, it has supported 9000 students, 1500 schools, 1700 teachers, and 100 persons with disabilities (PWDs) across remotest areas of Karnataka. The Accelerator Program for Early-Stage Innovations in Water is being launched by the Trust at a time when we are witnessing a rising demand for water globally, caused by exponential population growth coupled with a changing climate that is making rainfall less predictable. Akamai envisages to support early-stage solutions to solve the water crisis in Karnataka.
Together with our technical and mentoring partners, the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras (IITM) and the International Centre for Clean Water (ICCW), and our knowledge partner, Sattva Consulting, we are ready to start year one of the program. We will work to pilot and prove solutions in the areas of water quality, water conservation, the efficient use of resources, and water governance.
ATREE is building a citizen-centric platform that leverages technology to bring together communities, local bodies, and the corporations that play a crucial role in the restoration, development, and protection of lakes. Citizen groups are key to building communities and raising awareness, but they need a unified platform to actively engage and participate in a structured way for efficiency of execution on the ground. The platform will enable sharing and adopting innovative solutions that are developed successfully across various lakes. Bengaluru already has active citizen lake groups that have adopted close to 60 lakes in the city! ATREE also has an interactive platform that covers four lakes in Bangalore and provides data about the health of the lake. The solution being developed will consolidate these into a single platform and help scale to more lakes in the future.
ffem is working to develop a simple, inexpensive, and open source water test kit designed to be used by citizens. This test will use Android phones, commonly available chemical reagents, and colour cards to make colorimetric tests accessible by citizens. These kits will help citizens, environmentalists, scientists, and policy makers get crucial insights into the health of environmental water systems and the safety of drinking water systems.
Akamai has awarded grants up to INR 40,00,000 to facilitate the development of these solutions. We have also provided active mentoring and networking opportunities for the grantees with the support of IITM and the ICCW, a place to ideate and translate sustainable water technologies.
We are excited to get started. Stay tuned for more updates on the program!