The Nepali Scientific Association in Switzerland (NepSAS) in partnership with the Embassy of Switzerland in Nepal and the GATE College organized the second Swiss Nepal Technology Transfer Workshop on 3rd, 4th and 6th January 2018 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
NepSAS selected 50 participants from various backgrounds for this workshop based on their proposed startup ideas and then allocated the qualified applicants into 15 projects and working groups with similar interests and startup ideas. Each project or working group was connected to a pool of twenty seven experts for mentoring (including online mentoring). Then, each group worked together for two days to develop feasible business projects, particularly in the fields of mechanical engineering, health sciences, waste management, agriculture, nutrition, pico-satellite, biotechnology, education platform and social innovation. All these projects tried to address local challenges and opportunities with multidisciplinary perspectives, and had to propose contextualized solutions. Of these 15 projects, eight were selected who then had to present in front of the jury. The jury evaluated and ranked each project based on how they identified the problem, their proposed innovation and the business prospects of their idea and plan of action. The CareTech working group comprising of Amina Baniya, Gauri Thapa, Roshani Shrestha and Sumeena Karki won the challenge. They proposed to develop “Pregnancy Test Kit for Cattle” to help spot pregnancies among cattle at an early stage. Their product will aim to help prevent Dystocia which is an abnormal or difficulty in birth among cattle and secure farmers from any economic loss. CareTech bagged a cash prize of fifty thousand rupees (NPr) along with a year-long mentorship opportunity from NepSAS and will also join NepSAS at the Himalayan Consensus Summit to present this idea to wider audience.
The three-day mentoring workshop was held at the GATE College and the prizes for the winners were sponsored by the Siddhartha Bank, Trinity College and NepSAS. Other local partners included STEM Foundation Nepal, Biotechnology Society of Nepal (BSN), HCIIN, SBAN, Orion Space and neplopers. The keynote speech during the workshop was given by Prof. Dr. Seeram Ramakrishna, the vice president of the National University of Singapore, and a prominent name in the field of nanotechnology while Dr. Jörg Giovanni Frieden, H.E. Ambassador of Switzerland to Nepal gave the concluding remarks. H.E. Frieden emphasized the possibilities of scientific cooperation between Switzerland and Nepal, and the viable impact that such initiative from NepSAS initiative could have.