Transition to renewable energy poses an identity crisis for the oil and gas industry that is currently facing new challenges in efficiency and profitability in the new normal. Entities across the oil and gas value chain spectrum – exploration, production, midstream operators, wholesale, downstream distribution, trading and even retail operations – face entirely new and uncertain realities. These include ever-changing global hydrocarbon market prices, increased pressure from authorities on the environment and a fluctuating investment climate due to global uncertainty driven by dynamic and uncontrollable external forces.
To deliver a high level of profitability that is required to underpin hydrocarbon-based economies, particularly in Indonesia, both oil and gas companies and government bodies are seeking much higher operational efficiency rather than increased output. Transforming operation across the value chain through digital technology investment is increasingly gaining traction.
Companies that are prepared to leverage cutting-edge technologies will have a far more optimistic outlook. Investing in cloud computing infrastructure, sensor networks, IoT, edge computing, streaming messaging, open architectures, open standards and API’s are all on the cards. Open-source along with massive advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have the power to enhance oil field processes digitally.
These technologies will help companies make data-driven decisions on critical issues with tighter processes and information integration across the entire oil and gas value chain. The opportunity for fully integrated groups from oil and gas companies addressing the whole value chain in this scenario is promising.
AI has been utilised across industries to predict trends, manage stock levels and handle massive amounts of data. The energy industry has only started to harness the power of AI to automate processes, predict trends, improve performance and generally make their operations more efficient and cost-effective. Other non-conventional ways that AI can be deployed are in resources exploration by mapping and identifying petroleum deposits beneath the earth or detecting equipment failure or gas leaks.
The sector has to deal with continuous change, even as they endeavour to increase profitability, operational efficiency and reduce costs. The sector must embrace the inevitable realities of energy market transition, decarbonisation and lower hydrocarbon prices with both lower upstream output and leaner trading margins.
Breakthrough innovations are the need of the hour that can only be had by leveraging advanced technologies. This was the focal point of the OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight held on 10 June 2021 which was sponsored by Red Hat and Intel.
The session aimed at imparting knowledge on how tech can make a significant impact on oil and gas businesses and help drive operational efficiency and profitability whilst reducing the cost and implementing digital oilfield 2.0 innovation.
This session served as a great peer-to-peer learning platform to gain insights and practical solutions to integrate cutting-edge tools and technologies for public sector communication and to scale these, as necessary.
How Oil and Gas Industries Benefit From Digital Transformation
To kickstart the session, Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief at OpenGov Asia delivered his opening address.
Mohit acknowledged that the oil and gas industry is one of the leading sectors that generate huge income. However, this industry has been negatively impacted over the last decade due to supply-demand factors and, more recently, the pandemic. While there are some uncontrollable factors, Mohit emphasised, there are others that companies can control, and they can control them effectively to achieve the desired goals.
The current use of technologies to mitigate the pandemic is not actual digital transformation as agencies have been deploying band-aid solutions and ad-hoc platforms to stay afloat. Digital transformation is more intentional, with strategy. It involves processes, technologies and people that facilitate business objectives of revenue, operational efficiency and cost containment.
Nevertheless, the core of transformation is people – the challenge Is how to get organisational culture on the same page with industry.
Digital transformation can bring a plethora of benefits to oil and gas industries such as improving operational efficiency, providing real-time data, increasing revenue, giving real-time analytics and report, increasing safety and decreasing risks.
Mohit encouraged the delegates to rethink how they harness the power of technology. This drive has to come from every unit, not just a few departments.
To effectively utilise technologies, partnerships are paramount to assist agencies in their digital transformation journey. Having competent partners is one of the keys to drive positive, effective, sustainable change.
Utilising Red Hat’s Technologies
Rully Moulany, Country Manager at Red Hat Indonesia was the next speaker who elaborated on the various technologies that Red Hat offers.
Red Hat Indonesia has been operational for seven years but globally it has been operating for over 20 years. The company is the biggest software enterprise in the world that focuses on open source technology.
Several Indonesian companies have been using Red Hat’s technologies particularly the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system. This system is the foundation on which agencies can scale existing apps and roll out emerging technologies across all types of cloud environments.
It provides a versatile environment and the necessary tools needed to deliver services and workloads faster for any application. It reduces deployment friction and costs while speeding time to value for critical workloads, enabling development and operations teams to innovate together in any environment.
The company also has multiple other technologies and currently focuses on open hybrid cloud, infrastructure automation and cloud-native application development and platform.
The company also has multiple other technologies and currently focuses on open hybrid cloud. The greatest benefit of a hybrid cloud strategy is the ability to choose the optimal solution for each task or workload. It can become a necessity for many organisations as they grow. To fully enable the capability to adapt to change without costly rebuilding, a hybrid cloud should be built on a consistent foundation of open source code. Other technologies that Red Hat focuses on are infrastructure automation and cloud–native application development and platform.
Rully was confident that delegates would gain valuable knowledge from the speakers about open source technology. He was eagerly looking forward to a robust discussion, highly interactive, productive, and beneficial to everyone.
Driving Real Digital Success In Oil and Gas
David Forden, Director – Application Development Solutions at Red Hat Asia, was the next speaker who discussed how to use Red Hat and open source technology to drive digital success in the oil and gas sector.
According to David, oil and gas companies have mistakenly assumed that an engineering-savvy company can easily benefit from digital solutions. However, there is a prerequisite change that must happen to drive digital success.
In the current context, the sector has been dealing with uncontrollable external forces, such as the pandemic, the continued volatility of the oil prices and the impending transition to renewable energy sources apart from a host of regulatory, legal and financial hurdles.
As a result, smaller companies are forced to focus on short-term initiatives to survive while larger companies and fully integrated companies have an unprecedented opportunity to get to the next level on costs, efficiency and adaptability. Digital transformation is crucial to create a sustainable future but at the same time, it has been overhyped.
On the bright, research indicates a digital programme that implements narrow, deep, high-impact initiatives results in 2%-10% improvement and reduces costs by 10%-30%. This research suggests that digital inputs play a key role in generating more profits and increasing efficiency.
David believes that the major stumbling block for digital success is embedded notions and norms. Information technology already has existing culture and processes that are hard to change. The IT division has not been ready to address digital transformation problems. Hence, both cultural and technological changes are required to achieve digital success.
Nonetheless, there are various ways to accelerate cultural change such as team rotations, lighthouse service/team, embedded Minimum Viable Skills (MVS) resources, hackathons, MVS alignment and progression, communication/user groups, integration of culture, people and technology, communities of practice and design pattern.
It is also crucial to differentiate between sustaining innovation from disruptive innovation. Sustaining innovation means improving existing legacy systems to be more efficient whereas disruptive innovation implies a complete change in how to conduct businesses for higher advantages.
Chief Information Officers (CIOs) must separate sustaining innovation and disruptive innovation deliveries and address them both very differently. Be this the treatment of people, skills, processes, organisation structure, technology or centricity. These are the differences in characteristics between sustaining innovation and disruptive innovation:
Sustaining innovation: Cost-sensitive, reliability-centric, monolithic, ticket-centric, outsourced, minimal change, specialised based on function, upgraded in place, manual of functionally automated, technology-centric, incremental improvement in stability and performance, commodity-centric.
Disruptive innovation: Customer-sensitive, niche and/or unproven, distributed, independent, segmented, feedback-centric, collaborative expertise, rapid change, specialised based on service, rebuilt continually, service automation, user-centric, improved features with acceptable stability, new-capability-centric.
Hierarchical traditional practices are unsuitable for disruptive innovation, according to David. The focus must be on innovation, collaboration and guarding a coalition type model. They need to experiment with new and unproven technologies, but the potential of disruptive innovation outweighs the risks.
Open source is a disruptive innovation as it has permanently altered the way that business is conducted. Thousands of other open-source software projects completely dominate the enterprise software landscape. Such software is now the engine that is used to power a dominant share of the worlds digital transformation initiatives across all industries.
Technology in the oil field such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) has been around for a long time and is used for many metering and control use cases. The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), sensors and edge computing is the next generation of SCADA. It holds unique advantages and opportunities for data collection, processing, AI/ML and real-time analysis that equate to efficiencies and profitability. Edge computing is a natural ally for the rollout of IoT as it brings the processing closer to the source for distributed applications architectures leveraging IoT.
In closing, David pointed out that Red Hat not only offers a digital transformation in oil and gas but also has strong thought leadership in technology transition. They have a deep understanding of solution needs and offer extensive professional services to help ensure companies’ digital transformation. David invited delegates to partner with Red Hat and engage in more discussions and open dialogue.
Digital Transformation in Oil and Gas Industry
He explained why digital transformation is necessary for the oil and gas industries, what areas that benefit from this transformation and how companies can successfully undergo digital transformation. Undoubtedly, profitability is the main factor that drives digital transformation in the sector and current statistics reveal the volatility of the industries’ profit.
As a consequence of price dips, the pandemic, climate change initiatives and global energy transition, prices will remain volatile for the foreseeable future. Digital transformation is the primary method to increase cost-efficiency to survive this unstable situation.
According to PwC Indonesia’s survey on digital transformation, the five most popular technologies used in oil and gas companies include Manufacturing Execution System (MES), cloud computing, energy analytics, connectivity or IoT and ML. These technologies are applied to areas such as predictive maintenance, digital process optimization, smart energy, transportation risk management and integrated planning. These areas have the biggest potential to yield huge benefits.
Research showed that the industry leaders expect a 10% revenue increase and an 8.5% cost reduction from digitalisation. Nevertheless, well over a third of respondents said that they are still digital novices and digital followers. Only a fifth are confident that they are digital innovators and digital champions. To achieve the goals, companies need to be digital innovators or digital champions.
Widita went on to explore ways to implement a digital transformation framework. Companies need to determine their business priorities and what areas to focus on for digitalisation. Five typical areas for oil and gas companies to focus on are subsurface evaluation, development or engineering, production operation and maintenance excellence, connected supply chain and smart health, safety, security and environment.
Digitalisation must be driven by businesses not technologies. As such, companies need foundational capabilities that include technology architecture, digital talent, data management and governance, as well as partnerships.
Widita ended his presentation by stressing the importance of agile culture. Digital transformation does not usually happen by building a grand plan and taking actions later on. It has inherent agility in which companies experiment with potential technologies and either repeat or discard the effort. With every iteration comes a learning experience for companies.
After the informative presentations, delegates participated in interactive discussions facilitated by polling questions. This activity is designed to provide live-audience interaction, promote engagement, hear real-life experiences and impart professional learning and development for participants.
The first question in the opening poll was about the criticality of digital oil field transformation to the company’s near term success in the oil and gas value chain. Three quarters (75%) of the delegates agreed that digital transformation in the oil field is extremely critical while a quarter (25%) felt that it is somewhat critical.
The next question focused on how delegates characterise the current stage of digital oil field transformation in their company. The delegates were equally divided between pilot projects already rolled out (40%) and that their companies have already applied full-scale implementation of more than one project (40%). Just a fifth (20%) said that their companies have been planning the transformation but they have no implementation.
Mohit added that transformation can be bite-sized pieces in a form of a quick fix of a particular problem, it does not always have to be a grand gesture.
Asked if delegates view edge computing as part and parcel of their digital oil field transformation strategy, half (50%) felt it is somewhat critical and almost half (44%) said that the technology is supercritical. Only 6% thought that edge computing is marginally critical.
Inquiring about the percentage of their overall IT investment to digital oil field transformation strategy over the next 3 years, a little over a third (38%) said that the IT division gets less than 50%. A quarter (19%) said their IT team gets 30% of overall investment. More than one-fifth (12%) said the IT division gets less than 20%. Only 6% said their IT investment is over 50%.
The last question was on the role that open-source software plays in their companies. Half (50%) said that open source plays a somewhat critical role while a little over a quarter (26%) felt the technology is marginally critical. Interestingly, more than one-fifth (13%)thought open source plays a key role, the same number (13%) believed that open source is not critical at all
The Virtual Breakfast Insight ended with the closing remarks from David. After hearing the interactive discussion from the delegates, he was looking forward to working with them. He stressed the importance of edge computing and urged everyone to think more deeply about the strategy that needs to be in place. He encouraged people to lobby the group to get a better profile of investment for the IT division in digital transformation.
Before bringing the session to an end, Rully thanked everyone for their active participation. He encouraged the delegates to exchange ideas and gain more information about open source.
A tech firm operating under the Hong Kong Smart Government Innovation Lab announced that it has launched a new solution that is now ready to be acquired by companies and institutions.
SOLUTION – DIGITAL BUSINESS PORTAL
The Digital Business Portal (“the Portal”) is an integrated knowledge solution designed to be used in tax, legal, and compliance matters. The platform can act as an online one-stop solution for internal knowledge sharing and support the daily operational needs of different departments within the HKSAR government.
There are three modules in the Portal, and the Learning Module is one of them. Through this module, users can access online learning videos that cover various professional business topics such as tax and legal updates to keep the staff and relevant individuals with up-to-date business knowledge.
A customised, secured training program can also be tailor-made for every Government department’s specific request and be provided via the Portal.
In addition to the Learning Module, there are two other modules in the solution that are commonly used by the users and could also be used by the government for their daily work. These include:
- Compliance Tool Module – provides Hong Kong tax compliance, company secretarial, and legal templates for general business use or to support staff with day-to-day operations.
- Business Information Module – provides useful information for Government departments that regularly interact with corporations
The solution was developed to be applied in the areas of Broadcasting, City Management, Climate and Weather, Commerce and Industry, Development, Education, Employment and Labour, Environment, Finance, Food, Health, Housing, Infrastructure, Law and Security, Population, Recreation and Culture, Social Welfare as well as Transport.
The solution uses the latest in Low Code Development Platform.
The Portal’s learning module was used to successfully deliver an end-to-end training programme equipped with online video playback and FAQ to facilitate the relevant business users in conducting their daily work and receive updated professional training materials.
To facilitate staff’s daily work, the company has developed a set of FAQs and the FAQs will be uploaded to the Portal. It enables the staff to locate the right answers much faster and much easier for them to refer to the answers prepared.
The Portal’s virtual training facility is particularly useful as employees may be under flexible work arrangements and stationed in multiple locations. It can also be used for further use and revision. This could largely increase the efficiency of their daily work.
It is crucial to keep the knowledge up to date. The company has provided comprehensive onsite and online training to the staff, offering business and professional knowledge-sharing over a wide range of topics including legal, tax, cybersecurity, industry updates, etc.
The firm believes that their professional knowledge can also be shared with other Government departments via the Portal. The company offer both tailor-made training courses for a particular topic and general courses available on the Portal.
About the Smart Government Innovation Lab
In 2018, the Government established the Smart Government Innovation Lab to explore hi-tech products such as AI and relevant technologies, including machine learning, big data analytics, cognitive systems and intelligent agent, as well as blockchain and robotics from firms, especially local start-ups.
The Lab is always on the lookout for innovation and technology (I&T) solutions that are conducive to enhancing public services or their operational effectiveness. I&T suppliers are encouraged to regularly visit the Lab’s website to check on the current business and operational needs in public service delivery and propose innovative solutions or product suggestions to address them.
The global economic impact has driven entrepreneurship with many women launching home-based businesses. That being said, the difficult economic environment and social distancing restrictions have had a negative impact on sales. Without a doubt, more tech skills are an entrepreneur’s best tool to develop their business to survive and thrive in these uncertain times.
An Indonesia-UK Tech Hub collaborated with a digital supply chain platform for Crafts Small Medium Enterprises (SME) and the Indonesian Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection to launch a women-based programme. The programme is designed to provide digital literacy and entrepreneurship training to support women-owned ultra-micro and micro businesses. The programme also serves as COVID-19 crisis response support for women and under-represented groups who were disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
Of the 370 applicants, 102 were chosen to participate in the training programme, which was delivered from November 2020 to this year, including launch and graduation events. To ensure that as many marginalised women as possible were empowered, 56 women were kept on a reserve list to allow for any dropouts, and all of them were eventually fully included in the training programme, bringing the total number to 158.
Training was delivered virtually, with the support of local facilitators in each of Indonesia’s 6 targeted districts namely, Central Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara, Rembang and Kendal in Central Java, Central Bangka in Bangka Belitung, Cilegon in Banten and Palembang in South Sumatra.
The women-based programme consisted of 8 training modules that addressed supply chain, digital literacy, digital marketing, the use of apps, market access in partnership with local marketplace, and financial literacy (in partnership with BTPN Syariah Bank) among other topics.
The United Kingdom government collaboration could share its experience and expertise in the digital and technology sector as England is the home to more than 600,000 digital start-ups and also the birth of some of the most successful and famous unicorns in the world.
OpenGov Asia reported in an article that the Ministry of Communication and Informatics is targeting digital literacy to reach all districts and cities in Indonesia by 2024. The Directorate General of Informatics Applications of the Ministry of Communication and Information is working with related partners.
“By 2024, the ministry and its partners will carry out digital literacy in all 514 districts/cities in Indonesia,” explained Plt. Director of Informatics Empowerment of the Ministry of Communication and Information, Mariam Fatimah Barata in the Digital Literacy Webinar Towards Indonesia Digital Nation.
Mariam acknowledged that the use of the internet is currently so massive that it cannot be separated from everyday life. Therefore, digital literacy plays an important role in the journey towards the Indonesia Digital Nation. In terms of the number, the goal is to have 50 million literate Indonesians. Going in a phase-wise manner, they plan to reach the first 12.5 million people by 2021.
Women have played a prominent role in the digital era, as evidenced by the growing number of female entrepreneurs in the past 3 years. According to IWAPI (Ikatan Wanita Pengusaha – Indonesia’s premier association of women’s enterprises), in 2015, women represented 60% of the total 49.9m entrepreneurs in Indonesia – that number continues to grow by 20% annually.
Therefore, personal initiative skills development is important for women. Nevertheless, exposure to male-dominated industries is also important. Another article said that implementing this provides an opportunity to find women in growth sectors and tell their stories, allowing women to see themselves in those shoes.
Focusing on these sectors also limits financial opportunities, as banks see these businesses as less of a risk to invest in. Grown explained that SMEs were particularly important because they play a significant role in job creation in all economies around the world. Thus, encouraging more women to own SMEs increases job prospects.
Taiwan government has taken steps to improve gender inequality in Taiwan, but progress in increasing women’s participation is still slow. According to recent research entitled “Digital Media: Empowerment and Equality”, digital media empowers female users and fosters gender equality in Taiwan. The study investigated the use of digital media, specifically social media, in the workplace in Taiwan.
The data for this study were collected through an online survey. Participants both female and male employees responded to questions asking whether social technologies could be a source of empowerment, leading to equality. The research discovered that both genders use social media platforms for business support, experience benefits, and believe that these technologies could provide empowerment for success.
Moreover, the finding revealed that the differences between women and men using social media were significant. Women in Taiwan have a higher awareness of the benefits of social technologies for business support and empowerment. Digital technologies can support female empowerment for tasks such as creating awareness, marketing, or building relationships. Women experience huge benefits from using these digital technologies, however, education was deemed to be a key factor for success in this area.
While digital platforms offer huge opportunities and benefits, women would benefit even more if they have access to education to help them be successful on social media. For example, the Taiwan Women Up program has helped middle-aged and older women learn information and communication technology to support their organisations and empower themselves.
Furthermore, social media has the power to increase female empowerment through political involvement. Hashtag activism gives women the ability to make a public issue a global issue and pressure lawmakers. Social media also offers a platform for gendered violence stories and holds communities in multiple countries accountable for gender equality. Unfortunately, women sometimes have barriers to using this powerful tool, including limited access to technology, language barriers and censorship.
Digital fluency helps countries grow closer to equality in the workplace. The digital fluency model reveals that countries with better digital fluency rates among women have higher rates of gender equality in the workplace. Women with better digital fluency also have more employment opportunities and flexibility. They can work from home and use technology to access more job opportunities.
The findings from this study apply to the Taiwanese respondents specifically, but can be used to help empower women across the world. Women must take responsibility to use the tools and information to find their voice, create a network, and help others enjoy empowerment, success, and economic equality. Achieving gender equality is a challenge around the world, but Taiwan’s efforts to close the gap between men and women push the country in the right direction while adapting to the digital world.
Taiwan has also created an environment for female entrepreneurship as the number of female entrepreneurs continues to rise. Increased access to technology, education and disposable income are the main factors that have led women to lead more independent, empowered lives. Taiwan launched a programme that aligns with calls for diversity in technology and opportunities for women to develop entrepreneurial and leadership expertise by supporting female technology entrepreneurship worldwide.
According to an article, the new models of working from home, and greater access to technology and the internet may point to how the gender divide can be bridged. Technological advances are helping level the playing field for young women. More and more young women and men are looking into e-participation and co-creation across sectors to create their own initiatives.
As global society will face new norms after the pandemic, there will be an opportunity to build different economic models through the internet or community models and create new ways for women to participate equally.
Researchers at the University of South Australia have designed a digital tool to help the police, defence industry – and now child protection services – translate complex data into a visual story, saving hundreds of hours of time.
The narrative visualisation tool, developed by Dr Andrew Cunningham, Dr James Walsh, and Prof Bruce Thomas, has already allowed the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to create snapshots of crime by distilling mountains of case notes and briefs into image-based stories. The software helps prosecutors, lawyers and juries get up to speed in the courtroom so they can more easily understand complex facts, saving hours of admin and time.
Dr Walsh, a postdoctoral researcher at UniSA STEM, says the software identifies key events of a criminal case, selecting the most relevant data from case notes and presenting it in an easy-to-grasp snapshot, whilst still being able to dig into the details.
Another domain that has expressed interest is child protection. For each child coming into foster and emergency care, government departments are having to plough through years of their history. The tool can help to build a narrative of each child by identifying key dates, events, and an overall summary of their life.
The narrative combines text with images, video, scans, and voiceovers to present a snapshot that filters out the most critical information. It was noted that the tool is a marriage of computer science, statistics, graphs, artificial intelligence, artistic design and storytelling. For digital systems, the team is collecting more data, whether that’s from notes, automated sensors, spreadsheets, video, audio and even x-rays. The researchers have worked on the tool to integrate with data from different domains.
A new project with BAE Systems is also examining other narrative visualisation concepts to map the life cycles of defence machinery, tracking the operational and service histories of warships, combat vehicles and aircraft. The tool is useful wherever there is huge complexity – in logistics, transport, healthcare, and finance, for example – and need to summarise the most important elements.
“The beauty of it is that we can create specific models for each domain. For criminal cases, we can focus on pulling out information that relates to charges. For loan applications, we can identify a person’s financial history. Basically, we can rank the material to prioritise the information we care about and then present it in a visual form,” Dr Walsh says.
Dynamic graphics and interactive news stories have been part of the online media landscape for several years now, as a response to waning attention spans, the slow death of print, and a global embrace of digital media.
This trend is now spreading beyond the confines of newsrooms and becoming part of the fabric of many industries, the researchers say. The tool has been acquired by a Melbourne-based software company for commercialisation.
According to recent market research, the global data visualisation tools market is projected to grow from US$5.9 billion in 2021 to US$10.2 billion by 2026, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.6% during the forecast period.
Various factors such as the growing demand for an interactive view of data for faster business decisions and increasing developments in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to enable the interaction of companies with data in 3D formats are expected to drive the demand for data visualisation tools.
The data visualisation tools market has witnessed several advancements in terms of tools offered by the industry players. Verticals such as manufacturing, retail, and energy and utilities have witnessed a moderate slowdown, whereas BFSI, government, and healthcare and life sciences verticals have witnessed a minimal impact.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to the increased use of line charts, bar charts, and choropleth maps in the news. Simple data visualisations have become the key to communicating vital information about the coronavirus pandemic to the public.
While these terms might not be familiar to all, the visualisations themselves certainly are. One of the most interesting developments due to the current COVID-19 crisis is that organisations that excel at the developments of dashboards centralise analytics and decision-making approaches and scale them exponentially across all connected channels.
India is likely to have 330 million 5G users by the end of 2026. According to a recent report, by the end of 2021, the total 5G mobile users globally could be 580 million. About 1 million people are buying a new 5G smartphone every day.
The report projects that by 2026, 5G subscriptions will reach 3.5 billion, accounting for around 40% of all mobile subscriptions. India has the biggest rise in the intention to upgrade, with 67% of users expressing an intention to take up 5G once it is available- an increase of 14 percentage points over 2019.
About 26% of the mobile subscriptions in India by 2026-end would be 5G. Further, 4G subscriptions are expected to grow at a CAGR of 3%, going from 680 million in 2020 to 830 million by 2026. Currently, India ranks second in the average data usage in the world. The average data usage in India was 13 GB per month till the year 2019, which increased to 14.6 GB in the year 2020. By 2026, the average data consumption in India is expected to be 40 GB per month.
The report further stated that the country could witness an increase in smartphone subscriptions at a CAGR of 7%, going from 810 million in 2020 to more than 1.2 billion by the end of 2026. Smartphone subscriptions accounted for 72% of total mobile subscriptions in 2020 and are projected to constitute over 98% in 2026, driven by rapid smartphone adoption in the country.
An industry expert noted that 42% of users living in mega or metro cities of India who use 4G as the only home internet connection are interested in using 5G fixed wireless access connection. 50% of consumers in the country are willing to pay 50% more for 5G with bundled digital services compared to just a 10% premium for 5G connectivity. 40 million users could take up 5G in the first year when it is made available.
The report has increased forecasts for Southeast Asia and Oceania, as well as for India. India will remain a region with one of the highest monthly usages per smartphone rates, at around 15 GB at the end of 2020. Competitive pricing by service providers for subscription packages, affordable smartphones, and increased time spent online are factors that contribute to monthly usage growth in the region. Total mobile data traffic in India has grown from 6.9 exabytes (EB) per month to 9.5 EB per month in 2020 and is projected to increase by more than four times to reach 41 EB per month in 2026.
As OpenGov Asia reported, in May, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) announced it would allow telecommunication service providers (TSPs) to conduct trials for the use and applications of 5G technology for six months. The six-month trial period includes a two-month period to procure and set up the equipment. 5G trial spectrum allocations have been made in the 700MHz, 3.5GHz, and 26GHz bands. After this allocation, a private telecom provider began its mid-band 5G trial network in the Gurgaon Cyber Hub. Another provider also began its own trial network using indigenous 5G gear.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced a new competition for awards to support industry-driven consortia in developing technology roadmaps. The roadmaps must address high-priority research challenges to grow the advanced manufacturing sector in the U.S.
NIST’s Manufacturing USA Technology Roadmaps (MfgTech) program anticipates awarding up to eight awards with a period of performance of up to 18 months each, with individual awards of up to $300,000 and no cost-share requirement. The competition is open to all nonfederal U.S. entities, including accredited institutions of higher education; nonprofit organisations; for-profit organisations incorporated in the U.S. (including U.S. territories); and state, local, territorial and tribal governments.
Technology roadmaps are proven, strategic tools to identify barriers and related development steps to achieve grand challenges. Prior roadmap activities have been instrumental in establishing productive consortia and initiatives, including foundational planning for future Manufacturing USA institutes. Benefits of technology roadmaps include:
- Addressing major technological barriers that inhibit the growth of advanced manufacturing in the U.S. that no single organisation could tackle on its own;
- Identifying and prioritising research projects supporting long-term industrial research needs including but not limited to those identified in the Strategy for American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing;
- Creating new or updating broadly available industry-driven, shared-vision technology roadmaps to support strategic and long-range planning; and
- Catalysing development and supporting the maintenance of technology infrastructure and American excellence in advanced manufacturing, including identifying technology areas appropriate for potential new Manufacturing USA institutes.
The Manufacturing USA institutes have demonstrated that consortia can play a key role in developing and transitioning new manufacturing technologies critical to America’s future competitiveness. These roadmaps can help ensure that they have a clear vision of what challenges are before us to ensure U.S. manufacturing is competitive.
Organisations that submit MfgTech proposals are encouraged to develop partnerships across an industry ecosystem to bring together expertise in facilities, supply chain, or specialised goods and services to produce a valuable roadmap that takes all of these elements into consideration. Proposals are due by Aug. 16, 2021. Details about the competition, including eligibility, selection criteria, legal requirements and the mechanism for submitting proposals are found in the Notice of Federal Funding Opportunity posted at Grants.gov
The Manufacturing USA institutes and their sponsors — the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Defense or Energy — connect more than 2,000 organisations across hundreds of major projects to quickly move technology from laboratory prototypes to industrial capabilities and provide thousands of people with advanced manufacturing knowledge and skills. NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve quality of life
Developing technology roadmaps is important to pinpoint the direction of sci-tech development. As reported by OpenGov Asia, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) created Task Force to write the roadmap for Artificial Intelligence (AI). The roadmap aims to expand access to critical resources and educational tools that will spur AI innovation and economic prosperity nationwide.
As directed by Congress in the National AI Initiative Act of 2020, the Task Force will serve as a Federal advisory committee to help create and implement a blueprint for the National AI Research Resource (NAIRR) – a shared research infrastructure providing AI researchers and students across all scientific disciplines with access to computational resources, high-quality data, educational tools, and user support.
America’s economic prosperity hinges on foundational investments in technological leadership. NAIRR will expand access to the resources and tools that fuel AI research and development, opening opportunities for bright minds from across America to pursue the next breakthroughs in science and technology.
To provide an understanding of the patent landscape of artificial intelligence in India, the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) Research and INDIAai unveiled a special report titled ‘AI Patents – Driving Emergence of India as an AI Innovation Hub’.
The report provided a broad outlook of the techno-legal field of AI patents and included the key trends across several patents, assignees, and application areas. The report uncovered insights about the active AI patent landscape driven by the growing awareness to protect intellectual property.
From a vertical perspective, consumer electronics, personal computing devices, and healthcare lead the AI patent filings in India, as per the report. With a 93% share, machine learning is the most popular AI technique while computer vision is the leading functional area with a share of 36%. Moreover, 63% of all granted patents belong to multinational corporations.
According to the report, India is ranked 8th in the world for AI patent filing and 4th in terms of AI research papers. AI patent filing in India will maintain an upward trajectory as the country is emerging as a key destination for AI innovation. The government has identified AI identified as one of the most potent weapons to fight against the multiple challenges that the country is facing. Some of the noticeable examples are tools like the MyGov Corona Helpdesk, Aarogya Setu, and CoWin that the government is leveraging to combat the ongoing pandemic.
However, to stay ahead and build a strong AI-ready future, innovation must be fostered, the report said. Patents are considered as one of the primary ways of measuring innovation and efforts must be channelised to encourage and empower AI innovators in the country. In 2020, the government increased the outlay for Digital India to US$477 million to boost AI, IoT, big data, cybersecurity, machine learning, and robotics. India’s flagship digital initiative aims to make the internet more accessible, promoting e-governance, e-banking, e-education, and e-health.
More than 70% of the technology patents filed in India relate to one or more emerging technology domains. At an international level, patent filing grew by 4% in the year 2020. Interestingly, AI accounts for 6% of all emerging tech patents in India. Further, over 5,000 AI patents were filed over the last decade in India, out of which 94% of them were filed in the last five years.
The report also highlighted some of the successful AI patents in India that have been applied to the industries. The most notable ones being Niramai Health Analytx and Grahaa Space. Niramai Health Analytx has been granted four patents in India and ten in the United States.
The major patent NIRAMAI was developed based on technology for detecting early-stage breast cancer in a radiation-free manner through an AI-based analysis of thermal images. Grahaa Space has done a provisional filing of its system and method to stream high-resolution videos from low earth orbit. The proposed system consists of a cluster of earth observation nanosatellites that is capable of streaming high-resolution videos of client-defined areas of interest.
NASSCOM Research is the in-house research and analytics arm of NASSCOM – the industry association for the IT-BPM sector in India. INDIAai is the national artificial intelligence portal of India set up by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.