The NIC – National Innovation Center, located inside the Tribhuvan University, the largest and the oldest University in Kathmandu Nepal, is a very interesting place. The University area was so huge that it took me a while following all the NIC signs eventually leading me to the center. I am very grateful for the opportunity I had visiting the center and receiving a tour from Mahabir.
I found the center to be very different from the traditional innovation centers one would imagine. There were not many hard rules one had to follow while in there, nor I saw a definite structured way of doing things creating restrictions. The whole environment seemed to have been created simply to welcome anyone who wants to innovate and ponder on their innovative ideas in a relaxing environment. Groups as well as individual innovators could be seen working on their ideas in different rooms. It was nice to see them at work. The center stored lots of donated used furnitures and equipments too. There was a kitchen and a dining hall. Anyone present in the center could go and get a plate of daal-bhat, a traditional Nepali meal at no cost. It was nice that those innovators could save time and money just by eating a simple meal right there. Another interesting thing is that a group of guys were working on a very very old Mercedes Benz car that was supposedly thrown away as junk by the local government office. Mahabir and his team are aiming to revive the car back to life and give it back to the government office as a present to them.
With the progress being made and the environment being created, Mahabir mentioned to me that in a couple of years there would come an opportunity where financial investors will be able to invest in the ready-to-be-marketed innovations and operate them as a business for profit. This would boost the Nepal economy which is the ultimate vision of the NIC.
Towards the end of the visit, Mahabir expressed his gratitude towards HEF and all its board members for all the help and support he receives. He mentioned to me that the help from HEF to him and the Himanchal school is very crucial and that he is dependent on it. I told him we will do everything we can to keep the ongoing support.
With Regards, Ajay Rai.