Intel and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) have launched the “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 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). 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 H K Mittal, Member Secretary, National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB); Gaurav Dwivedi, CEO, MyGov.in; Professor Rakesh Basant, chairperson, CIIE; Vikas Jain, co-founder, Micromax Informatics; and Debjani Ghosh, Vice President, Sales and Marketing Group and Managing Director, Intel South Asia.
Speaking at the event, 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 commercialisation 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.
H K Mittal 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 Debjani 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.”