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 About Saturn F-1

Saturn F-1  is a world-leading digital innovation centre, a wholly owned subsidiary of global tyre manufacturer Apollo Tyres Ltd. The innovation centre follows a design thinking approach focusing on finding innovative ways and disruptive ideas such as AI, Digital Twin, IIoT, RPA, AR/VR etc. for not only fine-tuning and optimizing the way they make tyres but to make breakthroughs and establish principles that can be applied across all kinds of different disciplines and business units.

T-Hub and Apollo Tyres have joined hands in a pioneering collaboration through the Saturn F-1 initiative. This partnership is dedicated to sculpting a robust innovation framework that seamlessly aligns with Apollo Tyres’ growth strategy.

As a beacon of sustainable innovation, Saturn F-1 not only symbolizes a commitment to continuous improvement but also strives to instil a culture of creativity within the organization. This strategic alliance marks a pivotal moment in reshaping the future, where innovation becomes synonymous with success.

 Program at a Glance

Apollo Tyres, in collaboration with T-Hub, aims to launch its first Open Innovation Challenge and invites startups to address groundbreaking challenges in the automotive sector, specifically revolutionizing the automobile experience, particularly with tyres. T-Hub plans to conduct a 100-day sprint where startups in defined focus areas will apply, undergoing three levels of screening.

This global initiative aims not only to scout diverse solutions but also to give Apollo Tyres an edge in exploring unprecedented ideas in tyre manufacturing and the automotive sector, fostering innovation. This approach underscores Apollo Tyres’ commitment to pushing boundaries and fostering innovation in the automotive industry.

 Focus Areas

Asset Sweating,
Utilization & Optimization

Enhancing Machine Efficiency and Predictive Maintenance

Inviting startups specializing in advanced analytics and IoT solutions to develop predictive models for tyre-building machine breakdowns, minimize downtimes, enhance production efficiency, and ensure seamless operations.

Automating the Tyre Production Process

Seeking innovative approaches in automating critical stages of tyre production such as curing and final finishing. Startups with expertise in robotics, AI-driven automation, and digital process optimization are encouraged to apply.

  Automating Precision &
Process Optimization

Innovating Tyre Building with Robotics and AI

Seeking startups with expertise in robotics, AI, and computer vision to automate the tyre-building process. The goal is to replace manual splicing in component alignment with automated systems, ensuring precise, consistent, and efficient operations.

Enhanced Quality and Efficiency through Automation

Inviting solutions that focus on automating the adjustment phase in tyre building, particularly in Belt and Tread applications. The aim is to reduce scrap in cured tyres and achieve uniformity in production.

Reducing Scrap with Predictive Analytics

Predictive Analysis in Tyre Curing Process

Inviting startups with expertise in AI, ML, and IoT for predictive maintenance to tackle the challenge of Tyre Curing Bladder Failure. Solutions should focus on predicting potential failures, moving beyond fixed lifespan replacement.

Enhancing Green Tyre Uniformity and Digital MTC Maintenance

Seeking startups specializing in Predictive Analytics and Digital Twin technology for early-stage tyre uniformity prediction and Machine Tolerance Check (MTC) disturbance tracking. The goal is to identify uniformity issues in green tyres and implement real-time corrective measures, coupled with an online system to monitor and alert for MTC value changes.

 The process of the Open Innovation Challenge

Application Phase

An opportunity to execute a paid PoC with apollo tyres with the global leaders of the automotive industry


Applications undergo the screening with   T-Hub & Apollo Tyres based on predefined criteria

Comprehensive Evaluation

Shortlisted startups undergo a thorough assessment of technical, operational, and strategic aspects

Demo Day Preparation

Finalists are notified and prepared for the live pitch presentation

Demo Day

Startups pitch their solutions to Apollo Tyres' key stakeholders

Winner Announcement

The judging panel deliberates, and winning startups are officially announced, opening doors to potential support, funding, or collaboration opportunities


An opportunity to execute a paid PoC with apollo tyres with the global leaders of the automotive industry

Get curated mentorship and intensive learning sessions from the leading domain experts at Apollo Tyres through to the final pitch day

Gain exclusive access to state-of-the-art design and product development resources

Get a chance to pitch to the Apollo Tyres leadership network and gain visibility within the automobile ecosystem


An opportunity to execute a paid PoC with Apollo tyres, a global leaders of the automotive industry

Get curated mentorship and intensive learning sessions from the leading domain experts at Apollo Tyres through to the final pitch day

Gain exclusive access to state-of-the-art design and product development resources

Get a chance to pitch transformative ideas to Apollo Tyres leadership network and gain visibility within the automotive ecosystem


Growth-stage startups, from across India, innovating with new-age tech solutions that impact the automotive sector

Start-ups working on a product or technology that is novel in nature and is available off-the-shelf and addresses the problem statement are eligible to apply

The product or technology which startup is offering for consideration should represent original ideas wholly-owned with the freedom to use or is licensed by the team

Off-the-shelf ideas and ideas generated during scouting belong to the start-up and OEMs will have the opportunity to license them. Whereas ideas generated during the PoC stage after OEM collaboration belong to Apollo Tyres

Application Timeline

02 February 2024
Application Open
30 April 2024
Application Close
07 May 2024
Demo Day
21 May 2024
Winner Announcement

To apply, navigate to the “Apply Now” section on the portal, fill in the required information, and submit your innovative solution.

Initial screening criteria include factors such as relevance to the challenge, feasibility, and potential impact. Check the guidelines for specific details.

  • If your startup advances to the next round, you will receive a notification via email with further instructions for the subsequent screening process.

The comprehensive evaluation assesses various aspects, including technical feasibility, alignment with Apollo Tyres’ goals, and the overall viability of your solution.

The challenge is a 100-day sprint, with 8 weeks allocated for the opening and closing of applications, followed by startup selection and 12 weeks for Proof of Concept (PoC) building and demo.

Finalists will receive communication regarding Demo Day preparations, including guidance on refining pitches and key details for the live presentation.

Typically, travel expenses are the responsibility of the participating startups.

Winning startups may receive support, funding, or collaboration opportunities with Apollo Tyres. Details of the rewards will be communicated upon the announcement of winners.

Once an application is submitted, editing may be restricted. Ensure all information is accurate before finalizing your submission.

No, duplicate submissions will be removed. If a startup addresses multiple focus areas, please mention them in the form.

Read More FAQs

No, this programme is for Indian start-ups only.

This programme is not designed for idea-stage or early-stage start-ups. We encourage you to explore other suitable programs at

No. RNTBCI also supports complementing startups with technologies, solutions and services that might be used in the mobility & automobile space. Please mention your application and how you think your startup could contribute to this sector.

Yes, you can apply for more than one focus area.

It is free of cost. The programme is fully sponsored by Renault -Nissan Technology and Business Centre India and T-Hub.

The grant is being given to selected start-ups with potential solutions on the focus areas. This grant money should be used for dedicated POC (RNTBCI finalized use case) with Renault-Nissan.

Proposed POCs will be evaluated by the senior expert panel of Renault Nissan Technology and Business Centre India and will get a chance for GTM with Renault and Nissan.

Sure, but to improve your chances of selection, do highlight any additional information of your progress since your previous application with specifics on how your idea can be applied to the Automobile and Mobility sector.

The IP remains with RNTBCI if the idea is generated during the POC collaboration. If existing services of the startup are availed for the POC then the IP will be owned by the startup

Apply Now