3M-CII Young Innovators Challenge Awards

Ideas that Inspire Hope for a Resurgent India

Submissions for the 3M-CII Young Innovators Challenge Awards 2021 are now closed.


Ideas that Inspire Hope for a Resurgent India

History has repeatedly shown that a crisis necessitates innovation. While the pandemic has disrupted our society globally forcing the world to rethink, reimagine and adapt, science and sustainability have forged new opportunities across sectors. In 2020, the Challenge recognized ideas for a resilient India. Innovation helps us venture into the unknown. 3M-CII Young Innovators Challenge Awards 2021 searched for “Ideas that inspire hope for a resurgent India” and have the potential to restore and reshape society as we emerge from the pandemic. The selected winners of the season certainly depict that face of the Challenge Theme for 2021.

Award Categories


Product innovation offers a tangible end result with the creation or introduction of a good or service that generates unique value to its audience. Product Invention, New technical specification or qualitative improvement impacts the functioning of the solution offered.


A service product or service process is based on some technology or systematic method. Use of technology for delivery of service or other intangible innovations in this category clearly showcases the impact it creates in the distribution or application process.


This category is the most inclusive in nature and specifically addresses rural remote and underserved communities and/or regions. Spread across a wide array, innovations in this category showcases solutions that adds new economic or social values to communities in need.

Award Offers

The award bestows a wide variety of support and opportunities to the winners every year

Prizes of Rs. 18,00,000

7 winners awarded with a total “prize” fund of Rs. 18,00,000 under categories, Idea, Impact, and Special Recognition

Strong Alumni Network

Knowledge Series offered to all participants and alumni to support innovators in their journey of change-making 

Media Opportunities

Media opportunities for all the winning innovations of the season

Virtual Showcase at the CII India Innovation Summit 2021

The winning entries virtually showcase their innovations at the India Innovation Summit 2021.

Feedback Opportunities

Access to “Virtual Sessions with domain experts and 3M panelists” to receive feedback on the business scope of selected ideas.

Storytelling Opportunities

Exclusive storytelling with dedicated online media partner

What Do Our Previous Winners Say About The Award

"3M is a worldwide brand and has a great brand image, so an award with 3M also gave us prestige and exposure to help us grow faster"

Kristen KagetsuCo-Founder, Saathi Pads, Winner - 2016

3M Young Innovators Challenge Award has opened many doorways for us in terms of raising awareness regarding challenges encountered by visually impaired people.

Ankita GulatiCo-Founder, TouchVision, Winner - 2018

The award did indeed put up the cause of rural and tribal education at a big stage. The amount of outreach the product has got due to 3M was unimaginable. The funding made sure that the project was sustainable.

Annu Shree GulatiFounder, Panchayat Shikshan Kendra, Winner - 2018