NASSCOM Centre of Excellence IoT & AI, an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), and the Gujarat government organised a Manufacturing Innovation Challenge 2020 (MIC2020) from 15th July 2020 to 21st August 2020. MIC2020 received overwhelming response as 88 matured startups from across the country registered for the challenges and they went through a rigorous screening process of four rounds.
The objective of this challenge was to build a first of a kind platform for enterprise and start-up collaboration to solve key challenges manufacturing industry is facing today. In an online award ceremony, the three startups– AirVlabs, Alluvium, Chistats were announced as winners of the three challenges. The winners will now get an opportunity to work on a remunerative Proof of Concept with companies who nominated their use cases. In addition, start-ups will also get one-year membership to the NASSCOM CoE Acceleration Program.
The NASSCOM Center of Excellence is the largest collaborative innovation platform in the emerging technologies of IoT, Analytics, AI/ML, AR/VR and Robotics for Digital Transformation. It is part of the Digital India Initiative to jumpstart and drive the emerging technologies ecosystem in India, by leveraging India’s IT strengths and assist the country attain a leadership role in the convergent area of hardware and software. The main objective of the CoE is to help Indian Deep-Tech Startups& Companies leverage cutting edge technologies to build market-ready products. Through the Startups Program, CoE aims to build industry capable talent in an entrepreneurial ecosystem by facilitating Incubation, Funding, Acceleration, Industry Connect and Mentoring.
NASSCOM CoE in conjunction with JK Lakshmi Cements Ltd, Bayer Corpscience, and Tata Chemicals Ltd nominated three use cases i.e.Workers Health and Safety, Solution to Promote Safety of Workers in Large Plants; Predictive maintenance of high-value assets; and 360° Virtual Tour of plant for which startups were encouraged to solve any of the challenges by submitting a proposal. IIT Gandhinagar was the Research Partner and Gujarat Electronics & Software Industries Association (GESIA) was the Outreach partner. Twelve top startups presented to Jury that had representation from senior leaders from industry, academia and government.
Speaking on the occasion, Saurabh Gaur, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, said, “In current times, the significance of self-reliance is at an all-time high. Even the Government of India is cognizant of this and made the clarion call for an AatmaNirbharBharat. India has high calibre potential to drive incremental change using technology, and the time is now to build capabilities that will bolster self-reliance and innovation. This requires a collaborative effort – of enterprises, startups, policy makers – to identify the right problems and solution providers. The Manufacturing Innovation Challenge 2020 is a perfect example of this cross collaboration to further innovation & build self-reliance.”
Platforms like MIC can be a great potential to accelerate to kick-start a Digital Transformation journey in the country’s formidable industries. In current situation when companies are doing best to maximize the capacity utilization, such initiatives can be of great support for them to embrace digital technologies to increase productivity, efficiency and create a safe work environment for workers.
“NASSCOM CoE is building an ecosystem for manufacturing companies to work with technology companies and innovative start-ups to drive adoption of Industry 4.0 solutions. MIC2020 was launched to accelerate this mission and received exceptional response. This challenge created value for everyone as it helped enterprises find the best solution partner and start-ups got an opportunity to work with their dream companies. Success of this program has motivated us to run these challenges every quarter and we look forward to getting similar support in all our future initiatives”, said Amit Saluja, Sr. Director & Vertical Head, Manufacturing, Gandhinagar, NASSCOM CoE.
Vinita Singhania, Managing Director, JK Lakshmi Cement said, “We are delighted to be a part of such an initiative from NASSCOM CoE. Manufacturing Innovation Challenge has helped us connect with top class start-ups who can be of big help in creating our future innovations. We encourage other manufacturing companies also to leverage this platform as a means to make your plant smarter and safer with digital. We believe that the use of digital technology like AI, IoT, AR etc for manufacturing processes optimize sustainable development i.e. productive maintenance, reduced cost and saves time.”
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Vishal Chawla is a senior tech journalist at Analytics India Magazine and writes about AI, data analytics, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and blockchain. Vishal also hosts AIM's video podcast called Simulated Reality- featuring tech leaders, AI experts, and innovative startups of India.