Millions of people are continuously exposed to toxic air in India, indicating the need to create pathways for wider adoption of clean air technologies, demonstrate their value proposition for government and industry, and mobilise a supportive ecosystem to facilitate scale.

With this rationale, the India Clean Air Challenge was launched by ACT Grants and Social Alpha in partnership with the Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, City Innovation Exchange, Green Artha, Air Pollution Action Group, and the Environmental Defense Fund.

Through the program, Social Alpha facilitated the implementation of the Early-stage Innovation Track of the India Clean Air Challenge, supporting start-ups with pilot grants up to INR 20 lakhs, while enabling support across marketing, design for manufacturing, and technical consultations with experts.


The India Clean Air Challenge’s Early-stage Innovation Track concluded in June 2023. The key learnings from the program, including the experiences of the cohort, have been included in our report. Some of the key highlights include:

  • The criticality of multi-stakeholder collaborations to create an ecosystem that enables deployment of various innovations.
  • The need for regulatory mechanisms (particularly for indoor air purification and low-cost monitoring) that can support the adoption of technologies to address air pollution.
  • Facilitation of pilots in Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, and Gurugram for monitoring (Airveda), purification (Panjurli Labs, Ubreathe), and mitigation (Takachar) technologies.