Center for Innovation for the Poor

Center for Innovation for the Poor (CIP) is a think-tank that comprises research and development Labs working on sustainable solutions for under-served communities to tackle issues of energy access, poverty alleviation and climate change. Context-driven solutions that include socio-cultural, financial and environmental aspects are developed with a focus on local empowerment, replication and ethical scaling. Thought processes, learning and methodologies that drive innovation are documented, cross-referenced for projects and shared across labs. Read More about CIP. Click on the verticals below to learn more about each entity:

Focus Labs

Ecosystem Support

Community Labs

  • Education

    By combining energy interventions with appropriate content and delivery in rural schools, colleges and vocational institutes, we improve learning around sustainability, energy and innovation.

  • Livelihoods

    Building appropriate ecosystem design to improve under-served livelihoods with efforts on value addition, market linkage, energy efficiency and entrepreneurship.

  • Vulnerability

    Marginalized communities ridden with extreme insecurity and social and financial exclusion require alternative approaches to bring about long-term, inclusive impact.

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  • Rural

    Issues specific to energy for agriculture, productive utilization and clean cooking are addressed through an integrated, bottom-up approach in rural settlements.

  • Urban

    We explore inter-linked areas of energy access, water, and built-environment in urban contexts through an interdisciplinary, collaborative approach.

  • Tribal

    The unique needs of remote tribal communities revolve around the lack of basic energy access for health, education and livelihoods.


Under-served communities represent a wide spectrum of impoverished or underprivileged segments of the world’s population. The Community Labs design solutions that consider the needs of varied segments–from migrant labourers in urban areas and small scale farmers in rural regions, to tribal communities in remote regions and disadvantaged groups across these contexts.

Through a dynamic and complementary structure the Focus Labs prioritize the issues of Education, Livelihood and Vulnerability through impactful interventions.

Ecosystem Catalysts provide a foundation for effective support, scale and implementation of solutions across the social sector. Various aspects are considered ranging from identification and development of appropriate technology for specific communities and issues; incubation and capacity building; and leveraging the practitioner’s perspective in energy and social enterprise related policies.

CIP knits these efforts together by establishing a focus on processes followed under each programme and their replication.