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Tata Steel announces the winners of its flagship open innovation programme ‘MaterialNEXT’ 5.0

Jamshedpur, May 07, 2024

~ Winning team presented the solution - ‘Eco-friendly Flexible Strain Sensor’ ~

~ 1st Runner-up team showcased the solution - ‘Phonon-Glass electron-crystal like thermoelectric materials’

~ 2nd Runner-up team demonstrated the solution - ‘Sweat-Free PPE Jacket’ ~

~ 186 innovative ideas from 54 institutions were registered in the fifth edition of MaterialNEXT ~

Team ‘Karotimam Innovations Pvt. Ltd.’, a woman-led start-up nurtured by Virginia Tech. India from IIT Madras Research Park and incubated at IIITDM Kancheepuram, was declared the winner of the fifth edition of 'Tata Steel MaterialNEXT’ at the finale held in Jamshedpur on May 3, 2024. The winning team comprising Dr. Sanal K Mohanan and Mr. Dinesh Kumar was mentored by Dr. Chithra Lekha P. The team presented the solution ‘Eco-friendly Flexible Strain Sensor’ for which they were awarded a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh

Further, Team ‘PGEC Thermoelectrics’ from JNCASR, Bengaluru which showcased ‘Phonon-Glass electron-crystal-like thermoelectric materials’ secured the 1st runner-up position. The team members Ms. Vaishali Taneja and Mr. Riddhimoy Pathak were mentored by Dr. Kanishka Biswas, and received a cash prize of Rs. 2.5 lakh. Team ‘Miner’ from IIT Madras which presented ‘Sweat-Free PPE Jacket’ bagged the 2nd runner-up place and received a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh

The grand jury comprised Dr Debashish Bhattacharjee, Vice President, Technology and R&D, Tata Steel, Peeyush Gupta, Vice President, TQM, Group Strategic Procurement and Supply Chain, Tata Steel, Uttam Singh, Vice President, Iron Making, Tata Steel, Prof. Goutam Sutradhar, Director, NIT Jamshedpur, Prof. Suddhasatwa Basu, IIT Delhi, and Prof. Suman Chakraborty, IIT Kharagpur. Prof. Anil Kumar Gupta (Padma Shri awardee, CSIR Bhatnagar Fellow, Founder - Honey Bee Network, National Innovation Foundation, and from IIM Ahmedabad delivered a lecture on ‘Harnessing open innovations for sustainable industrial growth: diversity for disruption’.

The fifth edition of MaterialNEXT received 186 innovative ideas from 54 institutions across India. The proposals were invited in four technology theme areas - Energy Materials, Sustainable Materials, Advanced Composites, and Functional Materials, through the ‘Research’ or ‘Start-up’ tracks. The best 18 ideas were selected after 2 rounds of evaluation and accelerated for 2 months with mentoring as well as small revenue expense support to develop a proof of concept. Through the pre-finale round, the top-8 team was selected further culminating into the Grand Finale on May 3, 2024.

About Tata Steel MaterialNEXT

‘Tata Steel MaterialNEXT’, a flagship open innovation programme organised by Tata Steel Advanced Materials Research Centre, offers a chance to budding researchers, technology developers and enthusiasts in the field of advanced materials, to explore ideas to design and innovate applications and use of advanced materials in emerging areas. From the past four editions, twelve such ideas have been onboarded for collaborative development targeting commercial applications in the areas of nanomaterials, bio-composites, materials recycling and medical materials. These ideas are currently in various stages of development from lab scale optimisation to the piloting stage before further commercial exploration by relevant business verticals of the Company. For more details, visit


Statements in this press release describing the Company’s performance may be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable securities laws and regulations. Actual results may differ materially from those directly or indirectly expressed, inferred or implied. Important factors that could make a difference to the Company’s operations include, among others, economic conditions affecting demand/ supply and price conditions in the domestic and overseas markets in which the Company operates, changes in or due to the environment, Government regulations, laws, statutes, judicial pronouncements and/ or other incidental factors.

For queries and information

Sarvesh Kumar,
Chief Corporate Communications, Tata Steel,
E-mail :

About Tata Steel

  • Tata Steel group is among the top global steel companies with an annual crude steel capacity of 35 million tonnes per annum.
  • It is one of the world's most geographically diversified steel producers, with operations and commercial presence across the world.
  • The group recorded a consolidated turnover of ~US$30.3 billion in the financial year ending March 31, 2023.
  • A Great Place to Work-CertifiedTM organisation, Tata Steel Limited, together with its subsidiaries, associates, and joint ventures, is spread across five continents with an employee base of over 77,000.
  • Tata Steel has announced its major sustainability objectives including Net Zero Carbon by 2045.
  • The Company has been on a multi-year digital-enabled business transformation journey intending to be the leader in ‘Digital Steel making by 2025’. The Company has received the World Economic Forum’s Global Lighthouse recognition for its Jamshedpur, Kalinganagar and IJmuiden Plants.
  • Tata Steel aspires to have 25% diverse workforce by 2025. The Company has been recognised with the World Economic Forum’s Global Diversity Equity & Inclusion Lighthouse 2023.
  • The Company has been a part of the DJSI Emerging Markets Index since 2012 and has been consistently ranked amongst top 10 steel companies in the DJSI Corporate Sustainability Assessment since 2016.
  • Tata Steel’s Jamshedpur Plant is India’s first site to receive ResponsibleSteelTM Subsequently, its Kalinganagar and Meramandali plants have also received the certification. In India, Tata Steel now has more than 90% of its steel production from ResponsibleSteelTM certified sites.
  • Received Prime Minister’s Trophy for the best performing integrated steel plant for 2016-17, 2023 Steel Sustainability Champion recognition from worldsteel for six years in a row, 2022 ‘Supplier Engagement Leader’ recognition by CDP, Top performer in Iron and Steel sector in Dun & Bradstreet's India's top 500 companies 2022, Ranked as the 2023 most valuable Mining and Metals brand in India by Brand Finance, ‘Most Ethical Company’ award 2021 from Ethisphere Institute, and ‘Best Corporate for Promotion of Sports’ recognition at the Sportstar Aces Awards 2024.
  • Received 2023 ERM (Enterprise Risk Management) Award of Distinction at the RIMS ERM Conference 2023, ‘Masters of Risk’ - Metals & Mining Sector recognition at The India Risk Management Awards for the seventh consecutive year, and Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting FY20 from ICAI, among several others.


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