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India Launches Technology Innovation Platforms to Aid Manufacturing

Image credit: Department of Heavy Industry

The government recently launched six technology innovation platforms to create global manufacturing champions in the country and attract firms exploring a plus one strategy for production. The Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises noted that the move will bring the country’s technical resources and the concerned industry together to kick-start and facilitate identifying and crowdsourcing solutions for technology problems faced by the domestic industry. Over 39,000 students, experts, institutes, industries, and labs have already registered on these platforms.

The Minister further stated that this will facilitate the indigenous development of key manufacturing technologies through grand challenges on the platforms. This would help achieve Aatmanirbhar Bharat (a self-reliant India) and create a globally competitive manufacturing sector. According to a news report, the technology platforms have been developed by the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras (IIT-Madras), the Central Manufacturing Technology Institute (CMTI), the International Centre for Automotive Technology(iCAT), the Automotive Research Association of India(ARAI), BHEL, and HMT in association with the Indian Institute of Science in Banglore.

These platforms will focus on the development of technologies for the globally competitive manufacturing in India, the Ministry of Heavy Industries And Public Enterprises said in a statement. The launch comes in the backdrop of production linked incentive (PLI) schemes launched last year that seek to create global manufacturing majors in India by removing sectoral disabilities and creating economies of scale to develop complete component eco-systems in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February invited global firms to take advantage of the PLI schemes for 13 sectors and expand their manufacturing in India.

These platforms will facilitate industry, including OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), Tier 1, 2, and 3 companies, and raw material manufacturers. Also, start-ups, domain experts and professionals, and research and development institutions and academia (colleges and universities). The platforms will offer technology solutions, suggestions, and expert opinions to these sectors on issues involving manufacturing technologies. Further, it will facilitate the exchange of knowledge regarding research and development and other technological aspects, the statement added.

The country recently India selected four global firms to boost IT products manufacturing. The companies are part of India’s US$1 billion incentive plan to produce and boost exports of laptops, tablets, and personal computers. Ten domestic companies were also selected, the government said in a statement.

Under the plan, manufacturers get cashback of 1% to 4% of additional sales of locally made goods over four years, with 2019-2020 as the base year. In the next four years, these companies are expected to produce IN 1.61 lakh crore ($21.59 billion) of IT hardware and create more than 36,000 jobs, the government said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policy push in the electronics sector has prompted electronics suppliers to expand in India. The government’s strategy, coupled with a huge market, has helped turn the country into the world’s second-biggest mobile maker after China, according to a news report. New Delhi wants to replicate the success of smartphone manufacturing with other electronics in a bid to cut imports.

Technology transitions such as the rollout of 5G networks and IoT are driving the accelerated adoption of electronics products. Initiatives such as Digital India and the Smart City Mission projects have raised the demand for IoT in the market and brought in a new era for electronic products manufacturing. The Indian electronics manufacturing service (EMS) industry is expected to reach US$152 billion by 2025.

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