India Became The New Hub For AI Centres Of Excellence And Labs In 2018

Image for representation purpose only.

As artificial intelligence gathers momentum in India, enterprises across the globe view India as a prime market for AI. As we saw, in 2018, AI proved its practical applications across the domain and industry leaders and tech giants, looking to capitalise on India’s vast talent pool and startup ecosystem are setting up Centres of Excellence and AI-focused labs. In fact, India’s vibrant startup ecosystem and a robust offshoring industry offer companies a cost-competitive advantage to open CoEs in India.

A recent review by the World Economic Forum pointed out how after the US and China, India is the top country to have an edge in AI skills. By 2022, India is likely to see a development in AI and machine learning industry by 75%. According to reports, AI can add $957 billion to the current gross value of the country by 2035. There has been a surge in AI and data science Centres of Excellence (CoE) facilities being set up in data science and AI.


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In this article, we list down the top Centres of Excellence set up in 2018:


The latest in the line of CoE announcements, Tech-Mahindra in conjunction with California-based announced the establishment of a Centre of Excellence for AI and ML solutions for enterprise customers across the globe. In other words, Tech Mahindra will help expand’s global reach by bringing H2O Driverless AI to multiple industries and verticals. According to Sri Ambati, CEO and founder at, “ is democratising AI, making it faster, cheaper and easier for enterprises with our next generation AI platforms. Our partnership with Tech Mahindra and their incredibly visionary leader, CP Gurnani will bring AI to businesses worldwide and help them in the last mile of AI implementation”.


NVIDIA and CSIR-CEERI signed an MoU to set up a Centre of Excellence for the development of intelligent systems. This MoU is the outcome of a deal which CSIR made with US-based chip designer, Nvidia Corp. The goal is to set up a CoE in India for researchers and industry to advance AI system development. A Nvidia official said, “ The CoE will be powered by a five-petaflop AI supercomputer, India’s first AI supercomputer at CEERI, Delhi campus.” The AI-innovation centre will help change the design and implementation in the tech-based ecosystem and also promote a better AI-based application.

NITI Aayog

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), a software-trade corporation has set up a CoE in Bangalore this October. A collaboration between NITI Ayog and NASSCOM, the CoE has been set up with the help of the state government of Karnataka. It is established on a Public-Private-Partner (PPP) relationship. As a part of the Digital India initiative, this is one of the first initiatives taken by the government in the AI sector. The coalition works for innovators, user enterprises, solution providers and academia. To improve industry-related research, proliferate data-driven decision making and provide better talent and skills in data science and AI to meet requirements in the industry.


Tata Consultancy Services, a global consulting, IT services and business solutions organisation in collaboration with Intel has set up an advanced computing centre in Pune. The centre will use High-Performance Computing (HPC), High-Performance Data Analytics (HPDA) and AI to provide solutions to costumers. The facility aims to provide business and technology solutions to customers from America, Europe, China and the Asia Pacific. “This collaboration will bring advanced analytical and data processing tools to researchers and solution providers, who can perform extreme data processing”, said Lisa Davis, the VP of Intel Datacenter Group.


The leading big data storage supplier, Data Direct Networks (DDN) has joined hands with prominent education institutes CSIR-CEERI. The collaboration will cater to CSI-CEERI customers to provide a complete infrastructure of AI as a Service (AIaaS) in India. The objective of the organisation is to design, test and execute computation and storage solutions for AI, machine learning and deep learning assignment. The DDN servers have been set up in Naraina centre in Delhi. The companies aspire to do produce joint research, solution blueprints and AI intellectual properties. The AIaaS will be available in Indian market from January 2019.


US-based enterprise Adobe announced in February 2018 about their plans to open an AI lab in Hyderabad. The announcement was made after Telangana IT minister, KT Rama Rao met Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen at a leadership forum by NASSCOM. The lab will work towards giving enterprise experience software solutions and develop innovative products using AI systems. “The abundance of tech talent in Hyderabad, coupled with the pro-business stance makes this an exciting initiative for growth for Adobe,” said Narayen.


Swedish tech behemoth announced their Global AI Accelerator (GAIA) in Bangalore in December. The technology hub will focus on automation and AI systems. Ericsson announced to open a second AI centre in Chennai. The main focus of the company is to introduce 5G in India and manage mobile data traffic which is set to increase by five times by 2024. “With the advent of 5G and IoT, we expect to see an explosion in the number of potential ways in which we will use the networks of the future. AI/ML driven automation will manage these networks”, said Sanjeev Tyagi, Head of R&D, Ericsson.

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Jignasa Sinha
Jignasa pursued her bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology and is currently a trainee journalist at IIJNM. Her mind is usually preoccupied with art, music, food and travel.

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