3M-CII Young Innovators Challenge Awards

Ideas that Inspire Hope for a Resurgent India

3M-CII Young Innovators Challenge Awards 2021 is looking for innovative ideas that mirror the hope of a resurgent India and have the potential to restore and reshape society as we emerge out of the pandemic.

Deadline Extended – 25 July 2021

Calling for 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  is calling for “Ideas that inspire hope for a resurgent India” and have the potential to restore and reshape society as we emerge out of the pandemic.

Important Dates to Remember

  • Submissions Opening: 1st July 2021
  • Season’s First Knowledge Session: 24th July 2021
  • Submissions Closing: 25th July 2021
  • Potential Semi-Finalists Announcement: 27th July 
  • Announcement of Semi-Finalists: 9th August
  • 3M India Panel for selecting Finalists: 17th to 19th August 2021 (tentatively)
  • Finalists Announcement: 20th August 2021 (tentatively)
  • Grand Jury for selection of Winners: 27th August 2021. (tentatively)
  • Winners Announcement: 31st August 2021 (tentatively)
  • Winners Felicitation at the CII Innovation Summit: 14th September to 18th September 2021

How to choose your category?


The creation or introduction of a good or service that generates unique value to its audience. Product innovation must offer a tangible end result. E.g. product invention, new technical specification or qualitative improvement that impacts the functioning of the solution offered.


A service product or service process that is based on some technology or systematic method. E.g Distribution process, use of technology for delivery of service etc. Though the innovation itself could be intangible, however, the impact it creates should have a clear definition.


The most inclusive in nature and spread across almost everything but should specifically address rural and remote communities and/or regions. The ideas under this category are expected to add new economic or social value to rural life.

What Does The Award Offer?

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

Prizes of Rs. 18,00,000

6 winners will be awarded with a total “prize” fund of Rs. 18,00,000. There are two prizes under each category, each worth Rs.3,00,00: Impact Prize and Idea Prize

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 would be able to virtually showcase their innovation 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

Apply for 3M-CII YICA 2021