19-year-old Param Jaggi believes green technologies hold the answer to most of the world’s problems
Age is a just a number, believes 19-year-old Param Jaggi, founder and CEO of Ecoviate, a company whose ultimate goal is to “create technologies that never have to be plugged to the wall.” The young American of Indian origin was one of the INK speakers in the city at the recently concluded INK 2013 conference.
Back to his roots
Happy to be in India, from where his parents hail, Param wishes to bring his inventions here sooner than later. “I will expand here first,” says the focussed teenager, whose creations have received awards and honours. “I have this constant competitiveness. I am always looking for the next best step to improve, to make new technologies,” says Param about his restless bent of mind.
Param’s scientific temper was clear when as a young boy he began dismantling toys and piecing them together. He did so with his first computer. This was noticed by his parents who encouraged him in pursuing science in school. Working “hands on” and converting his room into lab space came naturally to him.
“I was curious about things. I realised that a lot of research will answer my curiosity,” he says. Param began pursuing projects related to environment and world problems created by human behaviour, things that interested him.
Green technologies held a special fascination for his young mind. His first experiment with bio-fuel was as a 13-year-old. At 14 he designed an algae-based bio-reactor that reduces pollutants using household materials. At 15 he was exploring alternative energy sources and the following year he began working in a lab at the University of Texas, Dallas. Here he ventured into electronics and circuitry that helped him in his endeavour.
Simultaneously he began working in a patent law office and gathered practical know-how on marketing a product, sure that he would be filing for patents for his products soon. “It was important that I get exposed to all areas of business development,” says the self-assured youngster who has a clear-cut business strategy for his future projects.
In the beginning, Param never understood the impact his invention could have till his professors at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee pointed it out. “Along with my parents, they showed me that what I was working on was bigger than what I thought,” he says modestly.
The underlying philosophy at Ecoviate is to invent inexpensive and efficient solutions to the problems faced by the world, “to create products that people use everyday.”
Hence Param’s one invention is a device that fits on the tail pipe of a car and reduces carbon-dioxide emissions. He is also working on a smart watch that is powered by human body heat. “There is a lot of wasted energy in the environment. I am working on tapping that,” he says disclosing about an online platform which will empower the youth to pursue crazy science and technology ideas. “We are giving the youth the power to create. So if a child has a crazy idea he can send it to us and we will develop it,” he says adding that the young will be motivated more by other youngsters, like him.
His future projects are on solar energy, water treatment and waste management. Like any other youngster, away from serious preoccupations, Param enjoys playing basket ball and practising martial arts. He appreciates music and art but says: “If I sing people will leave the room. My designs for my products are the closest I come to art.”