Apart from the core function of Incubation, RTBI also continually works to understand the thrust areas such as Agriculture, Education, Financial Inclusion, Health and Livelihood through its in-house domain research team. This is of significant value to RTBI's ecosystem as it gives a firsthand account of what are the needs and how technology innovation can address those needs and aid in transformation eventually. Not just limiting to research, but also through various field trials and pilots, RTBI has gained greater insights into some of the needs of rural and other under-served societal segments and how ICT based solutions can address the same. The end goal is to scale such work into sustainable business models following sufficient validations through field trials.
One of the major challenges in the present Indian agricultural scenario is to bridge the gaps that exist between farmer' needs and suppliers (including input dealers, farm machinery rental providers, market intermediaries and information sources such as extension workers and agricultural scientists). RTBI aims to harness the present day ICT platforms and use them innovatively, to build sustainable tools that will help effectively bridge these gaps.
RTBI is leveraging the reach, experience and support of many organizations to deliver the same.
The past decade has seen rapid development with respect to the reach of education with increasing enrollment of students. But, given the large expanse of the country and the fact that availability of infrastructure and resource is not uniform across, there is a need to think innovatively in order to ensure quality education to the gradually expanding learning community. RTBI along with IITM and Telecom Centre of Excellence (TCoE) as a part of a national agenda is exploring how Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can be leveraged to strengthen the quality of education and ensure its reach to all students across the country
The current efforts at financial inclusion in India are being hampered mainly by the high costs of running separate financial activities. The rationale of keeping these activities separate has been to prevent mingling of funds (in a mainly cash-dependent scenario) and also, to avoid pressure on customers to buy unnecessary financial products. However, this has resulted in making each of these activities financially fragile and prevented them from scaling, thereby affecting the rural customers the most. RTBI has been leading the efforts to leverage mobile technologies for real-time payments and monitoring & guiding field agents. For this it has partnered with IIT Madras and Qarth Technologies (one of RTBI's most recent incubatees).
There are several challenges that impede optimal healthcare delivery in India especially in rural areas. Of which creating awareness to effective management of health conditions is an important one to address, RTBI aspires to address this challenges through the innovative use of technology. ICT has been leveraged to provide simple patient-centric applications and healthcare management solutions that can be customized to address complex issues threatening maternal and child health, treatment adherence and disease notification, to name a few.
The focus of the Livelihood domain is to enable sustainable livelihood for the under privileged sections of the society using ICT as a tool. As part of “Village on Web” initiative under this domain, we have developed a rural e-commerce portal with an objective to provide an ICT based platform to rural SHGs/producers that will help reduce the need for middle men, give fair trade opportunities and widen client reach.