Economy

Japan to provide financial assistance to 10 Japan-India tech tie-ups

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on August 12, 2020 Published on August 12, 2020

A total of ¥ 100 million to be given to collaborations serving `social agenda’

In a move to step up Indo-Japanese digital partnership, the Japanese government has decided to grant financial assistance to around 10 of its companies, including automobile major Suzuki Motor Corp and optical device manufacturer Olympus Corp, for investing in innovative solutions in India in tie-ups with Indian IT firms, an official has said.

The subsidy totalling around ¥ 100 million (about $1 million), is part of Japan's Covid-19 economic recovery measure, an official told BusinessLine.

The collaborations that have been approved are in areas ranging from health and transport to agriculture and equipment, most of them aimed at enhancing the welfare of common people and serve the social agenda, the official said.

“Right now it is too early to disclose the names of the companies involved but the project plans are all ready which was a necessary condition to apply to this subsidy scheme,” the official.

Two of the Japanese companies involved are Suzuki Motor and Olympus while one of the Indian companies is IT major HCL, another source said.

The projects short-listed for financial assistance all use technology to solve daily problems being faced by people.

Three of the collaborations are in the area of health. One is for development of an online ‘Doctor to Doctor’ communication platform. A medical equipment will be developed to detect digestive system disorder at lower cost by utilising cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI) system.

The second collaboration on health is between an Indian textile company and a Japanese IoT (internet of things) company that will develop a wearable device and an app to enable a remote health monitoring solution to hospitals taking care of Covid-19 patients.

Another collaboration is in the area of mental health where technology will be used for analysing voices and for tele-diagnosis to provide psychiatric care, the official said.

To provide safe and cheap transportation in rural areas, a collaboration between an Indian IT company and a Japanese auto company to develop a smart phone app matching passengers and buses, will also be financed.

The other collaborations short-listed for financing include analysing agriculture and satellite image, providing digital advertisement for three-wheelers, utilising drone technology, using robotics for photovoltaic cleaning, working on surveillance camera using AI analysis and aggregating the demand of machineries for prototypes.

“Although, as of now, it is a Japanese government initiative, but, case by case, the Indian government’s support too is likely to be sought. For example, when a new service or product is successfully developed, the companies may need to get approval from Central government or related organisations,” the official said.

In 2018, India and Japan had established a digital partnership, and the recent initiative of Japan is being seen as a move to strengthen it.

Japan was the fourth largest investor in India, after Mauritius, Singapore and The Netherlands, accounting for cumulative Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) of $33.5 billion in 2000-20 period accounting for 7.2 per cent of India’s total inflows.

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Published on August 12, 2020
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