The UK government has launched a £4 million fund, which is about ₹37 crores, in India to support collaborative research into emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, big data, and other. This initiative is a part of the India-UK Technology Partnership, which was established in April 2018.
Innovation Challenge Fund will encourage industry and academia to collaborate and develop tech solutions for social, economic and environmental challenges in India, a statement said.
The initiative is focused on two major tech clusters: artificial intelligence/ data in Karnataka and future mobility in Maharashtra. The successful bidders will likely have international partners, including from the UK, the statement said.
The challenge fund is looking for proposals in areas of safety and convenience, technology leaps, like energy storage tech, temperature-controlled transport, and drone mobility. The funding will also help in projects being developed for improving connectivity, and recycling and upgrading, and smart mobility.
British Deputy High Commissioner to India Jan Thompson said: “The UK technology sector is a huge success story and its products have an incredible power to improve people’s lives.”
“I am delighted to announce the launch of this important fund which shows the UK and India are working together as a force for good to address the key challenges facing India today. The UK and India are leaders in the development and use of digital tech, and there is a huge amount we can learn from each other and big opportunities to join forces.”
The partnership was aimed to identify and pair businesses, venture capital, and universities from various regions in the UK with states in India.
One of the initial projects under this partnership was ‘The Future of Mobility’ aimed at focusing on developing battery storage, vehicle light-weighting, low emission and autonomous vehicles and others.
UK firms will work with their Indian counterparts, in Bangalore, to work on augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and advanced materials.
Karen McLuskie, who headed the UK-India Tech Partnership said, “We make good on the instructions of the Indian and UK Prime Ministers to ‘bring together some of the best minds on tech’ to address the global challenges that affect us all and realise the potential of innovation to drive growth for the benefit of everyone.”
“When we bring our different strengths and perspectives together, we become a powerful force for good in the world,” concluded Karen.