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 4.0 (2023)
MaterialNEXT 4.0 has 2 parallel tracks for participation:
MaterialNEXT 4.0 also has 4 Technology Theme Areas open to both tracks.
As the world around us is touching new heights in technical advancements, this year we focus on themes for discovering break-through materials & their applications for current/future technology. 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 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 3.0 (2022)
With encouraging responses during first edition & second edition, third edition was launched on December 16th, 2021. The third edition of the initiative was launched across pan-India as a flagship event of Tata Steel on four key themes/challenges: Material Recycle & Recovery, Hydrogen & CO2, Alternate Construction Materials & Nano Materials
MaterialNEXT 3.0 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 278 teams with final 166 active ideas (151 in Research track and 15 in Startup track). After the two-stage selection process, 25 top ideas were onboarded for a guided idea development for 2 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. All top projects were evaluated and among them 8 pre-finalist teams were selected to participate in grand finale.
The grand finale event was held physically at Beldih Club, Jamshedpur on 1st June 2022. The finale jury comprised of Mr. Indranil Chattoraj, Director, CSIR-NML, Jamshedpur; Mr. Ashish Anupam, Managing Director, Tata Steel Long Products; Dr. Debashish Bhattacharjee, Vice President, Technology & New Material Business, Tata Steel; Mr. Peeyush Gupta – Vice President, Supply Chain Tata Steel.
Team “Nano Tribe” from IIT, Hyderabad won the MaterialNEXT 3.0 for developing a prototype of “Self-powering sensor to detect pre-diabetes in human breadth”. Team “Materials Engineering Lab” from IACS, Kolkata was declared as the 1st runner-up for developing “Facile, high yield & room temperature synthesis process for 2D materials. Team “TCN-IITRPR” of IIT Ropar bagged 2nd runner-up position for showcasing the solution titled “Recovery of pure hydrogen from H2S by greener electrochemical approach”.
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
Sub-Area : Super Hydrophobic Surface
Challenge : Develop strategies to form surface with hierarchical structures that will give super-hydrophobicity
Sub-Area : Air Pollution Control
Challenge : Novel sensing technologies for pollutants detection at lower concentrations; clean up air contaminants via adsorption, oxidation and filtration techniques
Sub-Area : Catalysts
Challenge : Development of efficient and selective catalysts
Sub-Area : CO2 Harvester
Challenge : Designing low-cost process, using high-availability nanomaterials for CO2 harvesting
Sub-Area : Supercapacitors
Challenge : Enhancing the electrochemical performance of electrode materials to improve the overall performance of a supercapacitor device through novel structure, composition and synthesis method
Sub-Area : Efficient Sodium Ion batteries
Challenge : Designing commercially feasible, efficient cathode & anode materials for state-of-the-art sodium ion batteries
Sub-Area : Solid State Batteries
Challenge : Develop full solid-state battery that meets the performance, cost, and manufacturability, necessary for an electric vehicle
Sub-Area : Metal-Air Batteries
Challenge : Develop suitable cathode, anode and electrolyte for high performing metal air batteries
Sub-Area : Metal Sulphur Batteries
Challenge : Develop low-cost cathode and anode materials for high performing metal-sulfur batteries
Sub-Area : Thermoplastic Composites for Automotive applications
Challenge : Develop cost effective, high performance, high temperature application, thermoplastic polymer composite for automotive application
Sub-Area : Pressure Vessels for H2 Storage
Challenge : Develop cost effective, novel composite pressure vessel / cylinder for H2 storage and transportation
Sub-Area : Advanced Multi-functional Composites
Challenge : Develop novel composites for
Sub-Area : Recyclable Polymer / Vitrimer based Composites
Challenge : Develop novel polymer amenable to undergo multiple reshaping / reprocessing at desired temperature range
Sub-Area : Efficient Thermal Management
Challenge : Develop scalable, cost-effective novel materials / technologies for efficient thermal management of rural and urban infrastructures
Sub-Area : Graphene/ Carbon Fibre Reinforced Concrete
Challenge : Develop novel technologies for preparation of master batch for uniform dispersion of Graphene/ C- fibre in concrete
Sub-Area : Sustainable material for 3D printing
Challenge : Develop novel cost-effective materials and process design for 3D printing with high performance and light weight
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.