Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Intel issues challenge to boost technology ecosystem in India

Steve Rogerson
April 30, 2015
Intel has introduced a challenge to help India create a local technology ecosystem as part of the government’s Digital India vision. The Innovate for Digital India Challenge will focus on the creation of products to increase technology adoption in India that will eventually result in the creation of a local technology ecosystem.
Technologies will include biometric sensing, peripherals using other sensors, user interfaces, gesture recognition, multilingual support, voice support and e-governance services on mobile platforms.
It will be open to aspiring and existing entrepreneurs, innovators, academia, designers, engineers and manufacturers from diverse backgrounds. Participants will be provided mentoring by industry stalwarts and Intel experts, assistance in terms of technical know-how, access to product kits and infrastructure, and commercialisation opportunities. They will also be offered market linkages and access to funds at various stages to help make their ideas a reality.
The challenge was designed in collaboration with India’s Department of Science & Technology (DST), with support from the Department for Electronics & Information Technology (Deity) and MyGov. It will be managed by IIM Ahmedabad's Centre for Innovation Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE).
"We are delighted to see industry leaders like Intel contributing to nation building and joining forces with the government in its journey to transforming India into a knowledge economy,” said Shri Ram Sewak Sharma, secretary of the Deity. “With this challenge, we expect to see breakthrough ideas and ingenious innovations that will solve some of India's key challenges."
The challenge aims to encourage the creation of intuitive, easy-to-use products that can increase access to critical services imperative for development. Eventually the best ideas will get help for commercialisation leading to the creation of a local technology ecosystem furthering the government's Make in India vision. The challenge will encourage the application of the principles of frugal innovation and a strong understanding of Indian lifestyles.
"The MyGov platform is designed to link government and citizens," said Gaurav Dwivedi, CEO for MyGov. "We are proud to support this challenge by connecting the government with entrepreneurs and innovators to come forward with solutions made in India, for India."
The challenget will focus on innovation in two broad areas. The first is innovation to create the ideal citizen's device platform, including biometric sensing capabilities, peripherals using other sensors, intuitive user interface, gesture recognition, multilingual support and voice support. The second area is innovation to deliver eKranti and MyGov applications to accelerate delivery of e-governance services on a mobile platform.
"Innovation always leads the way to finding the most creative solutions to societal challenges,” said Shri HK Mittal, member secretary of the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board. “Generating innovation is not the job of the government alone. Therefore it gives me great optimism to have Intel come forward – through public private partnerships – to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship in India."
Debjani Ghosh, managing director of Intel South Asia, added: "Innovation is part of Intel's DNA. This challenge will combine Intel's history of game-changing innovation and world-class technology with the government's bold Digital India vision and the immense entrepreneurship talent in the country to create a sustainable tech ecosystem that is innovating for India. We are excited to collaborate with DST to launch the Innovate for Digital India Challenge to champion new solutions to make technology more effective in India as a channel to drive real ground-up development. Through this challenge, we aim to bring to market tangible products and solutions that will help make Digital India a reality."
Speaking about the role of CIIE, chairperson Rakesh Basant said, "Incubation centres play a critical role in helping entrepreneurs scale up and are an essential part of the Indian ecosystem to build a digitally empowered country. We are excited to collaborate with the government and Intel to create a platform for young innovators across the nation to showcase their ideas and support them in their journey from ideas to products."
Intel has been fostering innovation for more than two decades in India from school level to higher education, including PhD fellowships. More than 180 Indian school students have participated in the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair to date, with 18 Indian winners who have minor planets named after them.
The Intel higher education programme bridges the gap between academia and industry standards to promote innovation and entrepreneurship and has reached more than 235,000 students and 4500 faculty members across 550 institutions to date. Last year, Intel India announced the Intel PhD sponsorship programme to boost quality research and enhance PhD programmes across the country.