The world of Tata Steel is one without boundaries - growing, changing and challenging, a world that embraces different skills, continuous innovation, sustainable growth and a better quality of life.
Tata Steel’s sustainable growth and technology leadership aspirations are driven by innovation in multiple areas primary among them being in the domain of New Materials beyond Iron and Steel. At Tata Steel, we are actively pursuing research in Advanced Materials.
Tata Steel Advanced Materials Research Centres (TSAMRC) have also been established to achieve this aspiration, one at Chennai in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM), and the other at Bengaluru, in collaboration with the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS). The objective of these Centres is to work closely with academia and other centres of expertise to strengthen the portfolio of advanced material research and its applications.
With ever emerging needs, requiring new generation of materials or technologies around the world, Open Innovation approaches are gaining importance and are being increasingly adopted by organizations to feed their innovation funnels to address the problems/challenges identified.
MaterialNEXT, an Open Innovation event hosted by TSAMRC is an effort to increase the richness factor of the innovative ideas in advanced materials domain. Explore Design Innovate with Tata Steel MaterialNEXT.
MaterialNEXT is a flagship event by Tata Steel across Pan-India and is based on key themes/challenges already pre-identified by Tata Steel.
MaterialNEXT 3.0 (2022)
MaterialNEXT 3.0 has 2 parallel tracks for participation:
MaterialNEXT 3.0 also has 4 Challenge/Theme Areas open to both tracks.
This year, the themes are around innovation in sustainability and materials domain. There are two areas each in these two-broad domains. Further, multiple sub-areas have been identified in each area from current and future industry relevance.
Ideas and proposals are invited in these sub-areas through research or start-up track after registration. Please refer the eligibility and rules below, before registering in applicable track.
The event would consist of 3 Major Phases: Selection, Performance and Finale. After registration by teams, the Selection Phase is a 2-stage process of an online screening followed by discussion-cum-evaluation stage, conducted by subject matter experts. The selected entries will progress to Performance Phase. Performance Phase ends with an evaluation (Pre-Finale) round.
The Selected entries from this phase qualify for the Finale Phase and will be called for the Gala Grand Finale to decide winner and runner-up. Please refer the depiction below on event details and timelines.
Winner and runner-up teams from both the track gets awarded with cash prizes. Also, post-event mentorship and grants for next level of development will be provided, if applicable.
MaterialNEXT 2.0 (2021)
With encouraging responses during first edition, second edition was launched on December 28, 2020, coinciding with the birthday of Mr. Ratan N Tata, Chairman Tata Trusts and Chairman Emeritus Tata Sons. The second edition of the initiative was launched across pan-India as a flagship event of Tata Steel on four key themes/challenges: Fiber Reinforced Composites, Novel Coatings, Urban Mining and Medical Materials.
MaterialNEXT 2.0 had two tracks: first one for aspiring registered PG and Ph.D. students & research scholars from academia/research centres and second one for the incubated start-ups in seed or series A funding level. Teams competed for the cash prizes, mentorship, and grants for next level of idea developments.
The program received registrations from 250 teams with final 91 active ideas (68 in Research track and 23 in Startup track). After the two-stage selection process, 15 top ideas (13 in Research track and 2 in Startup track) were onboarded for a guided idea development for 2-3 months. During the idea development/performance phase, all teams received interactive mentoring sessions from the industry specialists cum challenge area owners from Tata Steel and subject matter experts from IITs, NITs and IISc. The teams were also supported with small revenue expenditure funds as per activity estimates.
The grand finale was held as an online event on July 9, 2021. The grand finale jury comprised Dr. Tata Narasinga Rao, Director, ARCI Hyderabad; Dr. Debashish Bhattacharjee, Vice President, Technology & New Material Business, Tata Steel; Mr. Ravi Arora, Vice President, Innovation Program, Tata Sons.
Team Titans from VIT, Vellore won the MaterialNEXT 2.0 for developing a prototype of a Titanium alloy implant for the reconstruction of bone defects. Team Changemakers from IISc, Bangalore was declared as the runner-up for creating prototypes of biodegradable & deployable gastrointestinal stents using shape memory polymer composites. The remaining three teams in the top 5 was, Team Biomaterials from IISc Bangalore, Team 7 from IIT Guwahati, Team Collaborative Research from IIT Guwahati and IIT Gandhinagar.
MaterialNEXT 1.0 (2019)
The 1st edition of MaterialNEXT was conducted in 2019 in collaboration with the Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Madras. The event offered a chance to the budding researchers, technology developers and enthusiasts in the field of advanced materials, to propose, produce and present their solution model to experts for the 4 different industrial challenges posed.
The first edition, involving three phases, received a registration of a total of 32 teams and 11 teams were selected. In the second phase, teams were given eight weeks to work on their preliminary proposals. The top five teams, selected at the end of second phase, moved to the third and final phase of grand finale. The grand finale was held on May 15, 2019 in Chennai.
Team BION from IIT Madras, which created an innovative solution and prototype using Graphene Oxide (GO)-based flexible sweat sensors, won the first edition of the MaterialNEXT.
Team BION, comprising Dr. V.T. Fidal Kumar, Dr. Chithra Lekha P, Dr. S Balamurugan and Ms. Desika Prabhakar, was mentored by Prof. T S Chandra from IIT Madras and Dr. Chandrani Pramanik from Tata Steel
Novel recovery & recycling process for waste materials. The treatment method must be scalable and easy to implement.
✓ Recycling of GFRP and CFRP composites
✓ Coating (Sn, Zn, Pb, Al etc.) removal from loose and baled scrap
✓ Automated Mechanical Sorting of Ferrous Scrap based on surface coating, shapes & size: Optical Sorting, Density Sorting etc. for segregation of various types of ferrous scrap
✓ Process design for recovery of rare earth metals (Cerium, Neodymium, Europium etc.) from various E-waste (Hard Disks, Screens, Permanent Magnets etc.): Hydrometallurgy / Pyrometallurgical / Electrorefining / Filtration / Bio-leaching etc.
✓ Process flow sheet for Platinum Group Metals (PGM) & Sliver refining from metal concentrates (sponge): Efficient recovery of individual metals (pure metal form) from concentrates of PGM & Sliver obtained post electrorefining of E-waste
✓ Separation of Tin, Flourides, Chlorides & Bromides from E-Waste: Removal of Flourides, Chlorides & Bromides from organic material of E-waste
✓ Mechanical sorting of E-waste: Commercially viable sorting techniques (optical, density, eddy current etc.) for separation of various metallic and non-metallic streams of dismantled & depopulated E-Waste (mixture of plastics, copper, aluminium, ferrous, components such as capacitors, transistors, resistors, etc.)
✓ Process Design for recycling of Li-Ion batteries: Recovery & refining of Nickel & Cobalt from Li-Ion batteries
Novel process for efficient utilization. The process must be better than current state-of-the arts in terms of efficiency and energy consumption.
✓ Process of separation H2 from a H2 & N2 mixture
✓ Method of converting CO2 to CO
✓ Process of separation CO from a CO & N2 mixture
✓ Efficient process of Green H2 generation
✓ Efficient Process of H2 storage and/or transportation
Using New & Alternate methods and materials.
✓ As Binder/Cement
✓ As Aggregate/ Concrete
✓ Additive Manufacturing process
✓ Coating (Low VOC/Anti-scratch/ Dent Resistant/ Self cleaning/ color changing/ Hydrophobic)
✓ Dynamic glazing (Smart glass)
✓ Novel Construction Technologies (Additive Manufacturing, Prefabrication, FRP Rebar etc.)
✓ Unique Design & Materials for Façade – easy to install, good ventilation, noise cancellation, temperature insulation
Innovative application of nano materials.
✓ Application of Graphene/2D Materials as
✓ Battery/ Supercapacitor/ Fuel cell
✓ Water Remediation
1. Participants must first register their team on event portal (https://materialnext.tatasteel.com/) to create login credentials. Teams of 2-4 people should be formed to participate in the event.
2. All correspondences between the organiser and the team will happen through the registered email-ids of the team. All submissions in this event portal must be done through the unique login credentials generated and shared with teams during registration.
3. Participants must login (https://materialnext.tatasteel.com/) and submit the idea as per prescribed format in any one Challenge/Theme area under any-one track (Research/ Start-up).
4. In the event of selection of submitted idea, participants would be notified for subsequent stage guidelines for submission, evaluation rounds etc. along with deadlines.
5. In the event of idea being dropped at any stage of the event, Participants would be notified and their login credentials would be blocked.
Winner and 1st runner-up teams from both the track gets awarded with cash prizes and mentorship, grants for next level of developments, if applicable.
Research Track: Registered PhD, Research Scholar, Post Doc, PG & UG* from academic institute and research centre. At least one team member must be a PG or PhD.
Start-up Track: Incubated Start-ups in Seed and/or series a funding level.