January 24, 2021

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India launches AI and Robotics Park in Bengaluru

An Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Technologies Park (ARTPARK), set up in Bengaluru, will promote technology innovations in AI and robotics.

The government expects it will lead to a positive societal impact by executing ambitious mission-mode research and development (R&D) projects in healthcare, education, mobility, infrastructure, agriculture, retail, and cybersecurity, focusing on problems specific to India.

ARTPARK, is a not-for-profit foundation established by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru with support from AI Foundry in a public-private model. With seed funding of US$ 22 million from the Department of Science & Technology (DST), under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS), it will bring about a collaborative consortium of partners from industry, academia, and government bodies. This will lead to cutting-edge innovations in technologies, standards, products, services, and intellectual properties.

According to a press release, ARTPARK will develop AI and robotics facilities to support technology innovations and capacity building through the advanced skills training of students and professionals in these areas. Some of these facilities will be key enablers for whole new sets of technologies, products, and services. It will develop DataSetu, which will enable confidentiality and a privacy-preserving framework to share data and run analytics spurring the data-sharing ecosystem and create a data marketplace, boosting AI applications and solutions.

Another service will be BhashaSetu, which will enable real-time Indic language translation, of both speech-to-speech and speech-to-text. This will further unlock the economic potential of the country, allowing all Indian citizens to equitably participate in the economic progress, regardless of their language, the press release claimed.

Professor Ashutosh Sharma, DST Secretary, said, “The National Mission ICPS with its 25 Hubs has a unique architecture that envisages a strong collaboration and co-ownership among the triple helix of industry, academia, and government with full flexibility. Generous additional support of the Government of Karnataka to the ARTPARK Hub brings extraordinary value in increasing its effectiveness, reach, and use. It also sets a template of centre-state partnership in the frontier areas of technology– a theme which will receive focus in the soon to be released Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy 2020.”

“Indian academia has been carrying out cutting edge technology research in various domains. However, we have had systemic issues in moving the results of this research from university laboratories into the outside world. ARTPARK would go a long way in establishing a template for addressing this need,” Professor Govindan Rangarajan, Director IISc pointed out.

Robin Sukhia, Secretary-General, and President of the Sweden India Business Council pointed out how the not-for-profit organisation will enable international co-creation at a higher and deeper level to help solve today’s and tomorrow’s challenges using technology in a unique way.

ARTPARK will also run a novel ARTPARK Venture Studio that will mentor technopreneurs who will take the outputs of the mission-mode projects to launch new startups.

As OpenGov Asia reported earlier, India is home to the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem, elite science and technology institutions like the IITs, robust and ubiquitous digital infrastructure, and millions of newly-minted STEM graduates every year.

India is well-positioned to become a global leader in the development of artificial intelligence. Industry analysts predict that AI could add up to US$ 957 billion to India’s economy by 2035. India hopes to stand out in the international community not just as a leader in the Artificial Intelligence field, but also as a model to show the world how to responsibly direct AI for social empowerment. The nation has robust plans to leverage AI for inclusive development, representing the country’s ‘AI for All’ strategy.

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