Virtual Forest Partners with Infineon for Solar Pump Motor Drive Design Challenge 2021

Bangalore-based start up Virtual Forest has entered into partnership with semiconductors specialist Infineon Technologies for its “Infineon Solar Pump Motor Drive Design Challenge 2021”, which has been announced, in collaboration with Startup India, AGNIi – housed under Invest India.

February 22, 2021. By Manu Tayal

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Bangalore-based start up Virtual Forest has entered into partnership with semiconductors specialist Infineon Technologies for its “Infineon Solar Pump Motor Drive Design Challenge 2021”, which has been announced, in collaboration with Startup India, AGNIi – housed under Invest India. 

Under this challenge, stakeholders from industry, SMEs and startups can participate and compete for the best motor drive solution for solar pumps.

The winners of the competition, with support from Virtual Forest, will get a chance to see their ideas developed into working prototypes, thus getting access to the fast growing Pump drive market for further development and manufacturing of their working solution or/and collaborate with an industry player / manufacturer to integrate their solution with an ongoing working pump project.

Virtual Forest will help in productionizing the winning designs, enabling innovators to overcome the major hurdle of turning a concept to product that prevents innovative ideas from seeing the light of day.

Commenting on the partnership, Omer Basith, Founding Director and CEO of Virtual Forest, said that “the Design Challenge fits well with the goal of Virtual Forest to become a virtual lab for Indian appliance manufacturers looking to turn their concepts into reality in a cost effective and efficient manner. As we are a start-up as well, it is extremely exciting to be supporting other start-ups jumpstart commercialization of their concepts.”

India’s vibrant pump manufacturing industry is able to meet most of the domestic market demand. However, electronics is still in infancy for this industry and most manufacturers rely on overseas suppliers for drives for these pumps. This leads to high outgo of Forex and results in a weak supply chain with dependency on other countries for the supply of drives. India has the potential to become a global lead in the solar pump industry once a complete ecosystem is in place.

Infineon launched the challenge to encourage affordable and reliable solar powered irrigation systems for farmers – designed and manufactured locally.

This challenge is open to Individuals, Startups and SMEs who are keen to design innovative solutions for Motor Drives for Solar Pumps, production of which is presently of the order of Rs 3,500 crore (USD 750 million), with over one million pumps produced every year. This creates a high volume local demand for drives for solar pumps and overall pump market for energy efficient operation. This Challenge also supports the Make in India, Atmanirbhar Bharat and Pradhan Mantri-Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan (PM-KUSUM) initiatives; wherein PM-KUSUM is aimed at farming system development through innovation and technology that is homegrown.

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