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GIC: Leveraging Academia

The Ecosystem players support has been the major driver for the growth of GICs (Global Innovation Centers) in India. Apart from technology startups, GICs are getting impeccable support from Academic Institutes as well. India, being the house for premier institutes has been leapfrogging in Innovation initiatives from Academic institutes. With most of the premier institutes having  the innovation labs being setup in partnership with technology GICs, the fresh innovative ideas continue to flow and implemented across the institutes. The GICs too benefit from the academic support in terms of young and fresh talent who already grooved in their innovation theme and also gets a boost in their journey of innovation. The collaboration helps in non-linear growth prospects with respect to Innovation. The premiere institutes have pioneered in Innovation also foster the entrepreneurship model to encourage the student community to innovate and implement bright ideas. India has over 90 academic incubators according to report from NASSCOM. IIT Madras has incubated 148 startups till date. IIT Delhi has filed over 600 patents till date and IIT Madras has filed 126 patents in 2016-17 alone (as per the NASSCOM Report Innovation Academia Nurturing Indian Start-up Story).

The trend in recent past shows lot of GICs have partners with Premier academic institutes to innovate on a specific use case and these innovations bearing the fruit. The top technology focus for innovation has been Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. From Business domain perspective, Smart Energy, Digital Health are top vertical solutions. Most recent Collaboration is ABB (India Limited) planning to collaborate with Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee to construct an operational Smart Electricity Distribution network and management system (SDNMS) in its campus.This agreement will serve as a pilot project for the Government of India’s ‘Smart Cities’ Mission. The plan also includes joint R&D facilities in the field of efficient power generation and distribution with a focus on clean energy over the next five years.

 GICs and Academics are joining hands in other technology areas also. Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson launched the country’s first “Centre of Excellence (CoE) and Innovation Lab” for 5G at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. The 5G innovation lab is an open platform and aims to help the industry and the academia to leverage the 5G technology to develop new 5G-based apps and business models. US-based tech giant Cisco is setting up a network of ‘Cisco thingQbator’ labs in five academic institutions in India, aimed at enhancing digital skills development and entrepreneurship among the student community. Global Game automation company Ubisoft, to set up the unit that will use AI, machine learning for research work at IIT-B’s research park. Indian Academic institutes are also collaborating with foreign institutes to do innovation. IIIT-Hyderabad partners with Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative. IIT Kharagpur and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) collaborates to set up an Indo-German Collaborative Research Centre on Intelligent Transportation Systems. Besides, the premiere institutes are ding innovations, which could potentially be of interest to any GICs. IIT Madras is geared to test 5G tech for remote monitoring, IIT Roorkee is developing drones to make train journeys safer and IIT-Kharagpur develops prototype using battery-less sensor nodes to monitor soil health. 

 With the Win-Win support for each other, both GIC and Academic Institutes are bound to grow with growing need for Global Innovations.

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