SRISTI (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions www.sristi.org), which means creation, was born in 1993, essentially to support the activities of the Honey Bee Network to recognize, respect and reward creativity at the grassroots. The objectives were: systematic documentation, dissemination of, and value addition in grassroots green innovations, providing them intellectual property rights protection and risk capital support besides helping in the in situ and ex situ conservation of local biodiversity and associated knowledge system. SRISTI is devoted to empowering the knowledge rich but economically poor people by adding value in their contemporary creativity as well as traditional knowledge. Linking formal and informal science was one of the major objectives. It has helped to establish GIAN( www.gian.org), NIF(www.nifindia.org), MVIF and AASTIIK in support of innovators and their innovations. SRISTI created the Honey Bee database of innovations, and supports the publication of the Network’s newsletter in nine languages. These are: Honey bee (honeybee.org English), Gujarati (Loksarvani), Hindi (Sujh-Bujh, Aas Paas Ki), Tamil (Nam Vazhi Velanmai), Kannada (Hittalagida), Telugu (Palle Srujana), Malayalam (Ini Karshakan Samsarikkatte ), Oriya (Aama Akha Pakha) and Marathi (Mrudgandh).
SRISTI is now focusing in more concerted ways on hitherto neglected domains like women’s knowledge systems, value addition through a Sadbhav-sristi-sanshodhan, a natural product laboratory, and innovations in education, culture and institutions. However, ethical fulcrum of its activities can be captured by eight E’s ( Ethics, empathy, equity, efficiency, excellence, environment, education and entrepreneurship) –the values that are central to the existence of Honey Bee Network. SRISTI organises Shodh Yatra (Journey of Exploration) twice a year, Traditional food festival, Recipe competition, Biodiversity competition and maintains the database of Innovations and Traditional Knowledge. SRISTI has been advocating for the last twenty five years [protecting knowledge right of creative communities and individuals. SRISTI had organised several consultative sessions with the private sector, scientists, activists and development workers for discussing various issues related to the access to bio-diversity and associated knowledge rights. It has also organised worldwide contest for scouting and rewarding innovations at Grassroots with IFAD, Rome. Techpedia.in, another initiative of SRISTI, aims at putting the problems of micro, small and medium enterprises, informal sector, grassroots innovators and other social sectors on the agenda of the young technology students across the country. SRISTI is providing a platform for the industry and academic institutions to collaborate, co-create and foster distributed innovations and promote horizontal learning and sharing. To promote a culture of innovation among the young minds of the country, SRISTI has established three categories of national awards for innovative student/ faculty projects in engineering, pharmacy, biotechnology, basic science and other applied technologies in the form of Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award (GYTI) since 2012. SRISTI Samman is given periodically to outstanding social change agents. SRISTI is trying to build an online Sanctuary of social, technological and institutional Innovations through blend of open innovation, collaborative design, crowd-funding, incubation, e-commerce and challenge awards.