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Discovery Channel breaks the science fiction barrier with 'Beyond Tomorrow'

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Discovery Channel will showcase several such dream innovations that are destined to change human lives forever in its new and engaging programme BEYOND TOMORROW. The programme travels around the world for information on and demonstrations of far-reaching breakthroughs in a diverse range of fields - medicine, aviation, computers, space research, agriculture, transport, architecture, energy, environment, leisure and adventure.

In an endeavour to bring the world's attention to India's untapped and abundant talent, Discovery Channel, in association with National Innovation Foundation, has juxtaposed Indian grassroots innovations along with the global technological breakthroughs and scientific advancements. So while the programme BEYOND TOMORROW will present stories on products like the Aquada, the next generation amphibian car from New Zealand which is as sleek on land as on water; the channel has produced a short film on Indian grassroots innovations like an amphibious bicycle, created by Mohammad Saidullah from Bihar - a conventional bicycle that can be modified to cross ponds and other water bodies and is extremely useful during floods.

To showcase the immense talent present in the interiors of India like Motihari in Bihar, Kutch in Gujarat, Malappuram in Kerala, Discovery Channel has produced short films on the Indian grassroots innovators which it will air on the channel during the three-month long series.



To generate a discussion on the progress, pace and potential of Indian science and innovations in the backdrop of the global examples, Discovery Channel will showcase the global and Indian innovations through a nationwide roadshow which will include a special address by some of India's most eminent scientists and experts including: former UGC Chairman and Padmabhushan Prof. Yash Pal; Padmabhushan Dr. R A Mashelkar, Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the largest chain of publicly funded industrial research and development institutions in the world; Dr. A P Mitra, Honorary Scientist of Eminence, National Physical Laboratory and former Director General, CSIR; Prof. S Mohan, Chief Executive - Society for Innovation and Development, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; Bakul Dholakia, Director, IIM-Ahmedabad and Prof. Anil Gupta, Executive Vice Chairperson, National Innovation Foundation.

"I have always believed that 'I' in India should stand for Innovation. What is most gratifying for us is to see the extraordinary blend of innovations not only in high tech sectors, where CSIR is in the forefront, but also at the grassroots level, where Honey Bee Network and National Innovation Foundation (NIF) are the pioneers. Where else in the world, would an organization like NIF would exist, which has mobilized about 50,000 traditional knowledge practices and grassroot innovations from over 400 districts of the country? I have no doubt that India is poised to be a global leader in sustainable technologies, which will provide better living conditions not only for our people in India but also the people worldwide," said Dr. R A Mashelkar, Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Chairman, National Innovation Foundation.

Mr. Deepak Shourie, Managing Director, Discovery Networks India, said, "BEYOND TOMORROW breaks the science fiction barrier and looks further into the future to see what is now within the realms of possibility. The series is packed with amazing technological innovations and breakthrough scientific advancements destined to change the way we live. We will, for the first time ever, showcase the Indian potential providing them an ideal platform to communicate with the world. These grassroots innovators have no or little academic qualification or formal training but through their single-minded focus, unmatched passion and above all the 'need' have created unique products and solutions. Discovery Channel salutes their spirit of innovation."

IIM-A Prof. Anil Gupta and the Executive Vice Chairperson, National Innovation Foundation, said, "One resource in which economically poor people may be rich is their knowledge and innovative potential. Honey Bee Network started more than 17 years ago has created a new benchmark in the field of scouting, documentation, dissemination, value addition, protection of IPR and benefit sharing. SRISTI (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions, GIAN (Grassroots Innovation Augmentation Network) and NIF (National Innovation Foundation) with help of other Honey Bee Network collaborators such as SEVA (Sustainable-agriculture & Environmental Voluntary Action), PRITVI (People Rewarding Initiatives in Technology, Value and Institutions), etc., have mobilised thousands of green grassroots innovations and traditional knowledge from around the country. Many of the innovators have got patent in US and also in India. The technologies have been commercialised not only within the country but also internationally. Journey from the grassroots to global is bound to provide model for India to become a creative, collaborative, and compassionate society sharing its innovations with disadvantaged people in the rest of the world."

BEYOND TOMORROW, an 18-episode series features more than 130 stories on the latest product and service innovations that are shaping the 21st century will premiere on Discovery Channel every day in the first week from February 20th to February 24th at 8 pm and thereafter will air once a week every Friday at 10 pm. The Indian innovations will be presented on the channel during the series and even beyond that.

Some of the innovations included in BEYOND TOMORROW*

Aquada: A next generation amphibian! Neither a boat nor a car, the Aquada is as sleek in the water as it is on land, combining the best principles of on-road design with streamlined aquatic performance.

BIS Monitor: Being awake during an operation sounds like a scene from a horror film, but it's a terrifying reality for victims of anesthesia awareness. This new device, for the first time, enables doctors to monitor a patient's brainwaves during surgery and accurately determine the level of a patient's consciousness under anesthesia.

Future Shopping: The store uses pay-as-you-walk technology to tick off items as you put them in your computerised trolley. The trolley also acts as an in-store GPS, guiding you to products. It can even suggest recipes and then lead you to the ingredients!

Hand Held Translator: The biggest difficulty for a traveller to a foreign country is to communicate in the local language. Whether it be reading a menu in Thailand, getting directions in Italy, or doing business in Paris, that headache can now be a thing of the past with the help of this technology which makes you multilingual.



*more examples mentioned in the fact sheet

Some of the Indian grassroots innovations that will be aired on the channel*

Pedal Operated Washing Machine: This washing machine follows a "tumble wash" system which can be operated using a pedal system that has been developed using parts of a conventional bicycle. In rural areas, this electricity free washing machine can have enormous applications and simplify the lives of many. Ms. Remya Jose from Kerala.

Amphibious Bicycle: A conventional cycle retrofitted to cross rivers, ponds and other water bodies. Now, you will have no obstacles in commuting during floods and in areas having high proportion of water coverage like the Kerala backwaters. Innovator: Mohammad Saidullah from Bihar.

Scooter for the Handicapped: The innovator of this product, Dhanjibhai, is physically challenged. He has modified an existing scooter making it possible for the physically challenged to ride it. The scooter has the potential to become a treasured possession for the physically challenged. Innovator: Dhanjibhai Kerai from Gujarat.

Tree Climber: A device which makes climbing high trunk trees like palm and coconut very simple and safe. Has a direct use in the maintenance of electric poles, street lights, etc. Innovator: Appachan from Kerala. *more examples mentioned in the fact sheet.

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