Research Initiative for Real Time River Water and Air Quality Monitoring

Access to clean water and air is indispensable to human life. Yet, managing this access in an efficient and effective manner is an immensely complex challenge. With this background, the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India (DST) and Intel® have collaborated to initiate a research program titled “Research Initiative for Real-time River Water and Air Quality Monitoring”. The program will be administered by the binational Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF).

The aim of this initiative is to develop key technologies for sensing, communication and analysis of large-scale data collected from autonomous networks of perpetual/long-lived sensor nodes, followed by integration and deployment for water and air quality monitoring in real-time. The overall objective is to develop tools and constituent blocks that will enable end to end water and air quality monitoring systems on smart, networked, low cost, low power sensor nodes with large scale cloud based data analysis.

The intent of the program is to support two fully integrated projects with interdisciplinary teams - one for river water and another for air quality monitoring. 

Eligibility Criteria

  • National Laboratories, Academic Institutions and autonomous Research Organizations in India are eligible to apply for the Grant-in-aid.
  • The participation of at least one U.S. entity is mandatory. Partnership of users and other stakeholders is desirable.

Note: Indian research groups are encouraged to collaborate with academic counterparts in U.S./EU. They are urged to leverage and integrate intellectual resources/skillset of a highly specialized nature from U.S./European Institutions into the proposal(s) with a clear indication of value enhancement, such that approximately 75% of the total grant is spent in India. The cost of international travel and user charges for sophisticated facilities/services to leverage international linkages can be factored into the overall budget of the proposal.

Priority Areas:

Four Research Vectors (RV) have been identified-

  1. Sensing and Sense making at the Edge- To develop novel low cost, low power sensor platforms for selective and sensitive detection of multiple water quality features.
    • Development of novel small form factor, low cost sensing technologies
    • Sense making and data analytics at low power edge devices
  2. Novel energy harvesting technologies- To develop novel technologies for energy harvesting that are especially suited for the deployment scenario exploiting solar, water, wind, wave motion etc and also combine more than one energy harvesting mode.
  3. Ultra low power wireless networking- To explore a range of different wireless networking related challenges as applicable to a sensor network for water quality monitoring over a large geographic scale.
    • Physical layer and RF circuits
    • MAC and networking layer
    • Joint sensing and communication for low power optimization for sensors
  4. Distributed analytics and sense making- To develop analytics capabilities (edge, gateway and cloud based) to enable an intelligent, low power, long lifetime/ perpetual operation for water quality monitoring wireless sensor network.

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DST and Intel expect to award Research, Development and Demonstration Projects addressing multiple Research Vectors, integrated in a manner to develop complete technological solution(s) that can be demonstrated first through test-bed in controlled conditions, and subsequently in real-time deployment. Both these milestones have to be completed during the tenure of the project. Such projects would normally be supported for a maximum duration of 5 years and at a total cost ceiling of about INR 15 Crore.

Application Guidelines

  1. The Proposal should be submitted in the prescribed format.
  2. Proposal should not be more than 25 pages maximum including CVs.
  3. Incomplete applications and applications received after the stipulated date will not be considered.


 List of Shortlisted Proposals for Stage III/Invite for in-person Presentation

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Completed Proposals should be submitted electronically as a single word/PDF document to

For immediate answers to your queries, please contact us at 91-11- 42691716 or write in to us at