Ideation & Incubation Unit

The Ideation & Incubation Unit is responsible for identifying problems, imagining solutions, and critically analyzing impact potential, feasibility, and scalability of new opportunities, to pick the most promising ideas for incubation.

“Wadhwani AI was founded to build AI for social good for the developing world. One of the first challenges we encountered was how to decide which problems to solve and what solutions to build. Through trial and error and working with external stakeholders, we developed an initial framework called the Seven Questions Framework to identify problems worth solving, determine if AI can solve them, check if they can be scaled and whether stakeholders will adopt them. This process helped us develop six AI solutions in the health and agriculture domains. Our Ideation and Incubation unit was set up to apply what we have learnt so far to find the most high-potential AI opportunities across domains.”

– Amrita Mahale, Chief of Staff

In the ideation phase, we work closely with stakeholders, users, and other ecosystem players to identify problems, imagine solutions, and critically evaluate the impact potential, feasibility and scalability of these opportunities. In the incubation phase, we aim to validate technical and programmatic feasibility through prototypes and experiments. This allows us to invest in full-scale development and deployment efforts only for the solutions that are most likely to create impact at scale. With the hype surrounding AI, we see this as a critical need to ensure the appropriate use of valuable resources in the development sector.

There are 2 kinds of AI opportunities we are pursuing through the unit and are in the process of defining possible use cases for further development.

  • New problem areas in existing domains: Opportunities adjacent to our existing solutions, where AI can have greater impact on the same beneficiaries, through a different ecosystem of stakeholders.
    1. Water management for farming: Help farming communities efficiently monitor their water usage and plan crop irrigation.
    2. Livestock: Support livestock owners in maintaining the health of their animals.

  • New domains: Brand new areas and industries beyond agriculture and health, that are highly amenable to AI solutions.
    1. Education: Personalised learning through automated assessments and screening for learning disabilities.
    2. Livelihoods & Skilling: Career advancement through upskilling and improved job matching.
    3. Financial Inclusion: Increase access to tech-enabled services that support financial stability.
    4. Climate change & Environment: Help communities effectively plan for natural disasters such as flood and drought.

We are engaging with key organisations that actively work in or that support AI-enabled solutions in each of these domains.

Connect with us at partnerships@wadhwaniai.org