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“Technology’s Role Shall Be More Important In The Coming Months”: NASSCOM

Talking to Express Computer's Gairika Mitra, Sanjeev Malhotra, CEO, NASSCOM Center of Excellence gives us deeper insights into the Center of Excellence division of NASSCOM, and how is it aided by technology that's helping startups.

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Nasscom CoE- The Center of Excellence is the deep-tech innovation ecosystem in India comprising startups, innovators, enterprises, and the government. It focusses on solving real-world challenges utilising technologies like IoT, AI, Data Science, Big Data, AR/VR, Machine Learning, Robotics, through extensive academic research. They are structured to accelerate the implementation of solutions.

The Centre of Excellence for IoT was announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July 2015 as a part of the Digital India Initiative to jump start the IoT ecosystem taking advantage of India’s IT strengths and help the country attain a leadership role in the convergent area of hardware and software.

Here’s more about the CoE and how is it aiding startups.

Please give us a deep insight into the NASSCOM CoE and how is it backed by technology?

NASSCOM Center of Excellence – IoT & AI is part of the Digital Indian initiative by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) and is the largest ecosystem for technology innovation in the areas of IoT, AI / ML, AR/VR, Robotics etc. CoE has set up/is setting up the state of art labs supported by MeitY and State Governments (Karnataka, Haryana, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh) and has brought together the largest network of technology companies from NASSCOM to bring up the new innovations in the country. It is helping early-stage startups develop their products and is providing opportunities to grow startups for pilots and industry engagement and visibility. We curate the best of the innovations and that can make a difference in various segments of the industry.

How are you deploying IoT, AI, DL and other forms of technology in daily operations?

These advantages of the new technologies are already understood and are being exploited by different industries. People are using sensors and data for predicting failures in their industry and reducing downtime, tracking employees for their safety, using computer vision for quality control. One of the best examples in this technology in daily life is the cab service of Ola and Uber which is based on location sensor, GPS technology and optimizes the service with the data collected for traffic and all the cab locations.

How many startups do you have aboard at present? Are they all tech-based?

We are connected with over 1000 deep tech startups all over the country and benefit them in some way or the other. Over 100 of them benefit from the hardware labs we have set up. Our focus is mainly on digital technologies that can make an impact on the industry or on the lives of the common man.

How is Nasscom CoE coming to the aid of startups to help develop and combat challenges with regard to the pandemic?

There are a lot of technologies that can ease the pain inflicted by the pandemic. These technologies include contactless tracing, diagnosis methods, hygiene enforcement etc.  We spent a lot of effort in picking the best of the technologies and how they can make the impact and then choose the best implementation for it. We have taken these solutions to the Industry wanting to use their solutions and the Government departments finding effective ways to deal with the situation.  Examples like the Touchless biometric like facial recognition, temperature measurement in a group using thermal cameras are on their way for large adoption.

What about reaching out to Tier 2 and 3 cities? Are enough innovations coming in from there?

We have few success stories from tier2 and 3 cities like Belgavi and Hubli etc where the Government is also helping with their initiatives. One of the tasks we do is to provide the platform and connect to the ecosystem in Bangalore, NCR, etc for these startups in partnership. Innovation can come from anywhere but for it to grow it needs a channel to get visibility and support from other parts of the ecosystem which we constantly strive to do.

What do you think would a post COVID world look like?

We expect the role of technology to be more important than ever in the coming months. Healthcare will be a priority as technology can bridge the gap for access to a large population. Many point of care solutions and telemedicine are beginning to see a rise in adoption. We are focusing on bringing affordable tech solutions for manufacturing to improve their efficiencies and quality that will make them globally competitive and  help contribute and realize ‘Make in India’ mission.

If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]


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