Kerala to host “cool jacket” designing contest

By Sanu George, IANS,

Thiruvananthapuram : The Kerala government will soon organise a contest to design and produce a “cool jacket” that can protect a person from sun burn and heat stroke.

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T. Balakrishnan, head of the state industries department, said the initiative was part of the government’s efforts for foster innovation and entrepreneurship.

The department had earlier hosted a contest that saw eight people developing a coconut plucking equipment.

“Lakhs of Keralites as well as people from other states of India are employed in the Middle East who are victims of heat stroke. It would be a great relief for such workers and other people living in hot climate zones if a suitable jacket is designed to maintain their body temperature below the ambient temperature, just like the woollen jacket that protects us from cold,” said an official of the department.

Experts say materials like dry ice or a special fabric can be used to produce the cool jacket. The source of energy, if needed, can either be solar or rechargeable battery, or any special substance which could ensure refrigeration.

At the first stage of the “cool jacket” contest, proposals for design, production idea and concept will be invited.

An expert committee will then select 10 proposals after interviewing the persons who come up with ideas. They would be given lakh each to produce the jacket.

At the second stage, these 10 innovators have to demonstrate their product before the committee.

All other interested persons, either participants in the first round or not, are also eligible to demonstrate their products made without any assistance from the government.

Based on the overall performance of these products, the committee will select three best innovators who will be provided with Rs.10 lakh each for the commercial production of the product.

The entire process of this contest shall be completed within six months.