The Garwood Center at UC Berkeley was commissioned by the Government of India, State of Andhra Pradesh to create the first scalable smart village prototype in Mori. Over 24 firms are involved in prototyping, including many prominent Silicon Valley firms. Professor Solomon Darwin and Professor Henry Chesbrough have taken on this project to further develop their reasearch in Open Innovation and Business Models to empower the bottom of the pyramid. Current field research looks at how to better understand rural economies in the Smart Village context. This is an exciting time for India, as it is the first project of this scale to be fully funded by the government. “Efforts from all parties have been astounding, and commitment to this initiative has begun from the top,” says Solomon Darwin.
The Smart Village team, together with the Andhra Pradesh government is conducting research of the co-innovation process in the village of Mori. Research engages technology firms and villagers on the ground to produce a scalable smart village model. The model offers multinational companies the opportunity to generate profits for themselves as they scale their business models derived from their co-innovation efforts to the rest of the 38,000 villages. India as a whole will benefit as the firms extend their models to the rest of India’s 650,000 villages.