As it evolved into country’s biggest academic start-up incubator in the last 10 years, the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT-Hyderabad) is planning to focus on deep-tech start-ups and on “productising research”.

Started modestly in 2008, the centre has so far incubated about 250 start-ups in the last 10 years, raising about ₹50 crore in funding and creating 1,200 jobs.

Vasudeva Varma, Chief Executive Officer of IIIT-H Foundation and Dean (Research and Development), said that the focus for the next 10 years would be on productising the research. “What we have done in the last 10 years is to ensure the centre has strong roots. We will build on from here,” he said.

Deep-tech start-ups

The number of deep-tech start-ups at the CIE has already crossed the half-way mark with 40 of the 82 start-ups it is housing now into Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, analytics and Blockchain. “As we focus on niche areas of incubation, we have launched a MedTech accelerator programme with the support of BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council) and a Tech4Social incubator for technology-based social enterprises backed by NITI Aayog,” Ramesh Loganathan, Chief Operating Officer, IIIT-H Foundation and Professor for Co-Innovation, said.

Commending the centre’s contribution, Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary (IT and Industries), Government of Telangana, asked the institute to play a bigger role.

“There are 36 incubators and co-working spaces in the city. Two more are coming up. The government is following a whole-city and whole-State approach in promoting innovation,” he said.

“As it completes a decade of its existence, the centre should help other incubators to grow by adding value. You need to spend some time with them,” he said.

Exclusive directory

To mark the decennial celebrations, the institute launched an exclusive directory for deep-tech start-ups.

“Building a directory would help the start-ups get visibility for their products and services. It will also help the ecosystem by fostering collaborations among the start-ups,” Ramesh Loganathan said.