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IoT Startups Gets a Big Push as NASSCOM Launches India’s 1st IoT Centre of Excellence

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In an effort to promote new innovations and sustain the entrepreneurship spirit, The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) paved way to the country’s first Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Internet of Things (IoT) at the NASSCOM Startup Warehouse on July 7th, 2016.

This initiative is a joint effort of Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) and Education and Research Network (ERNET) with NASSCOM being the biggest driving force for this initiative.

The roadmap ahead for CoE would be to handpick IoT based firms for incubation. The centre will be based out of Bangalore and will run in a Public-private partnership operation mode.

The government will provide seed funds to these startups and the private sector companies that have signed up as supporting partners are established tech giants like Accenture, Cisco Systems, TCS, L&T Technology Services, EMC, Qualcomm, HCL Technologies, Robert Bosch, Cyient and VM Ware. While IBM, Amazon Web Services, Digital Ocean and Microsoft will play infrastructure partners.

The CoE provides startups with office infrastructure, internet, labs, basic amenities for enhancing the corporate work environment. As of now 40 startups can be incubated and the selection process is happening as we speak. NASCOMM had estimated that Indian IoT market increased by 28% in a year (Year ended 31st March, 2016). Currently there are 120 companies which provide IoT services and is estimated to create a $15billion market by 2020. “With the growing number of IoT-based SMEs/startups in the Indian market, it becomes imperative to create an enabling ecosystem”, said Neena Pahuja, director general of the central government’s Education and Research Network.

R Chandrashekhar, president, NASCOMM said, “The CoE will also function as an enabler of funding, accelerating, mentoring and enterprise for the key emerging IoT startups selected for incubation, after a rigorous process.” The main objective of CoE is to use homegrown tech startups to facilitate development of the various sectors in the country, like agriculture, biotechnology etc. The role of CoE in this endeavor would be to help the IoT based startups in mentoring, funding and accelerating.

Inaugurating the first CoE centre, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Law & Justice, Electronics & Communication said, “I have seen IT evolution of India which follows the  traditional pattern – from outsourcing to R&D and what not. They are important. They need to be promoted. But I will be the happiest and consider our IT initiative a success if your extraordinary potential propels products, which are replicated and used in Asia, SE Asia, Latin America, Europe and America”

NASCOMM has already approved 5 IoT startups for funding. These worthy startups are SAAR Microsystems, ThingsCloud, LightMetrics, Uncanny Vision & Wireless Controls. These were from among the 250 applications received by NASSCOM.

It is a great initiative by the government and will definitely help the growth of IoT based firms. We hope that worthy startups are encouraged and be given the much required support to bring into light some great inventions.

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