Intel in India reinforced its commitment to the Government of India’s Digital India vision with the announcement of the Intel and DST “Innovate for Digital India Challenge”, which will focus on the creation of products to increase technology adoption in India that will eventually result in the creation of a local technology ecosystem. It will be open to aspiring and existing entrepreneurs, innovators, academia, designers, engineers and makers from diverse backgrounds. Participants will be provided mentoring by industry stalwarts and Intel experts, assistance in terms of technical know-how, access to product kits and infrastructure, and commercialization opportunities. They will also be offered market linkages and access to funds at various stages to help make their ideas a reality.
The challenge was designed in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology* (DST), with support from the Department for Electronics and Information Technology*, MyGov.in* and will be managed by IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship*(CIIE). Shri R S Sharma, Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India, led the launch event together with Shri H K Mittal, Member Secretary, National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB); Shri Gaurav Dwivedi, CEO, MyGov.in; Professor Rakesh Basant, chairperson, CIIE; Vikas Jain, co-founder, Micromax Informatics; and Ms. Debjani Ghosh, vice president, Sales and Marketing Group and managing director, Intel South Asia.
Speaking at the event, Shri Ram Sewak Sharma, Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India, said, “We are delighted to see industry leaders like Intel contributing to nation building and joining forces with the government in its journey to transforming India into a knowledge economy. With this challenge, we expect to see breakthrough ideas and ingenious innovations that will solve some of India’s key challenges.”
The challenge aims to encourage the creation of intuitive, easy-to-use solutions that can increase access to critical services imperative for development. Eventually the best ideas will get help for commercialization leading to the creation of a local technology ecosystem furthering the government’s Make in India vision. The challenge will encourage the application of the principles of frugal innovation and a strong understanding of Indian lifestyles. It will focus on innovation in two broad areas. The first is innovation to create the ideal citizen’s device platform, including biometric sensing capabilities, peripherals using other sensors, intuitive user interface, gesture recognition, multilingual support and voice support. The second area is innovation to deliver eKranti*/MyGov applications to accelerate delivery of e-governance services on a mobile platform.
Shri H K Mittal, Member Secretary, National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), said, “Innovation always leads the way to finding the most creative solutions to societal challenges. Generating innovation is not the job of the government alone. Therefore it gives me great optimism to have Intel come forward – through Public Private Partnerships – to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship in India.”
“Innovation is part of Intel’s DNA,” said Ms. Ghosh. “This challenge will combine Intel’s history of game-changing innovation and world-class technology with the government’s bold Digital India vision and the immense entrepreneurship talent in the country to create a sustainable tech ecosystem that is innovating for India. We are excited to collaborate with DST to launch the Innovate for Digital India Challenge to champion new solutions to make technology more effective in India as a channel to drive real ground-up development. Through this challenge, we aim to bring to market tangible products and solutions that will help make Digital India a reality.”
Intel recently celebrated 50 years of Moore’s Law. It remains Intel’s driving force that will enable an emerging generation of inventors, entrepreneurs and leaders to reimagine the future. Moore’s Law doesn’t just drive technological change; it also creates huge economic value and drives social advancement. Launching this challenge in the same week as the 50-year celebration of Moore’s Law reemphasizes Intel’s commitment to innovation.
Intel has been fostering innovation for more than two decades in India from school level to higher education, including Ph.D. Fellowships. More than 180 Indian school students have participated in the Intel® International Science and Engineering Fair to date, with 18 Indian winners, who have minor planets named after them. The Intel® Higher Education Program bridges the gap between academia and industry standards to promote innovation and entrepreneurship and has reached more than 235,000 students and 4,500 faculty members across 550 institutions to date. Last year, Intel India announced the Intel® Ph.D. Sponsorship Program to boost quality research and enhance Ph.D. programs across the country.
The Intel Innovate for Digital India Challenge in association with the Department of Science and Technology is a bold attempt from Intel to foster grassroots level innovation that will help bring technology to every household in India.
“The MyGov platform is designed to link government and citizens,” said Mr. Gaurav Dwivedi, CEO, MyGov. “We are proud to support this challenge by connecting the government with entrepreneurs and innovators to come forward with solutions made in India, for India.”
Speaking about the role of CIIE-IIMA, Professor Rakesh Basant said, “Incubation centers play a critical role in helping entrepreneurs scale up and are an essential part of the Indian ecosystem to build a digitally empowered country. We are excited to collaborate with the government and Intel to create a platform for young innovators across the nation to showcase their ideas and support them in their journey from ideas to products.”