IIT Kharagpur has announced setting up an innovation hub on artificial intelligence and machine learning — IIT Kharagpur AI4ICPS I Hub Foundation, to translate academic researches to industrially scalable products and processes, focused on AI interventions to Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). To facilitate this, IIT Kharagpur received a grant of ₹170 crores from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India under the NM-ICPS.
According to the official release, the institute is setting up this innovation hub — IIT Kharagpur AI4ICPS I Hub Foundation — to transform India’s industrial sector with scalable application of AI and ML in CPS under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS).
Explaining better, the release stated — The hub will transition research from technology readiness level 3 to level 7, which, in turn, will translate academic research and pre-/prototypes of AI&ML innovations to scalable industry products.
Dr Debdoot Sheet, the assistant professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence, stated to the media that, while AI and ML have been increasing in terms of research for decades, graduating innovation to technology readiness for industrial production is crucial. And that’s why the hub has been established “to undertake a diverse spectrum of activities linking academic research to the industry through an inclusive co-working partnership.
The AI and ML-based innovation hub will further develop India’s critical infrastructure, AI Cloud for CPS, a National Knowledge Portal for training human resources on the future-ready AI technology for CPS, stated by the release.
The hub aims to encourage fundamental academic research and promote scaling production “for their off-shelf market availability.”
Some of the critical technologies that would be developed at the hub are — tractors and farm machines, 3D printing technology, structural health and road traffic, wastewater engineering, energy-efficient buildings, next-gen wireless communication, human physiology and in-silico disease models.
Another assistant professor from the Department of Electrical Engineering, Dr Ashish Ranjan Hota further stated to the media that the research and development work would span over algorithms, methods, enabling technologies like machine vision, speech, natural language processing (NLP), text analytics, technology for the internet of things, and application of AI and ML technologies in a diverse range of industry verticals.
The establishment of this hub will create a “multidimensional ecosystem to promote and scale innovation and commercialisation of AI and ML interventions” along with the creation of new knowledge, upskilling talent and creation of more jobs,” stated by the director, Prof Virendra K Tewari. The hub will be led by some of the best minds of the institute from diverse disciplines. Further, the hub will have a partnership with 50 companies and PSUs for R&D work, and scouting for potential technologies, stated by the release.