STPI eyes N-E to develop deep-tech ecosystem

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on November 20, 2020

The Centres of Excellence will promote start-ups in a particular technology area istockphoto   -  Chunumunu

CoEs in gaming, graphics, data analytics and health technology coming up

The traditional information technology industry has largely been concentrated in 4-5 cities. This trend continued with the start-up ecosystem sprouting in the IT hub areas of the country.

The STPI (Software Technology Parks of India), which has launched a special programme to promote start-ups in the tier-ii and tier-iii cities, has decided to focus on top cities in the North-Eastern States.

Huge untapped potential

While attempting to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the area, the STPI says there is a huge untapped potential in mathematical, artistic and engineering design skills.

That eight out of the 18 Centres of Excellence (CoEs) planned in cities other than metros are located in the East and North-East shows the extra attention the STPI is giving to areas that have not been in focus for the traditional IT industry.

The CoEs will promote start-ups in a particular technology area. Besides providing them mentorship, the CoE will connect them with the ecosystem partners in that particular city.

“We are going to set up Centres of Excellence in Aizawl, Itanagar, Kohima, Gangtok and Agartala in the next two months,” Omkar Rai, Director-General of STPI, told BusinessLine.

“We have set up 12 CoEs so far in different parts of the country. We are setting up six more. All of them are coming up in the East and North-Eastern States,” he said.

“There is excellent talent and domain knowledge available in the region. You find good artistic capabilities and skills in mathematics and engineering. We would like to leverage these skills to develop entrepreneurial skills and innovation ecosystem in the region,” he said.

Not limited to 18

While Aizawl will have a Gaming Technology CoE, Itanagar will have a start-up CoE exclusively for GIS (Geographical Information System). “We will set up a data analytics CoE at Agartala and a Healthcare Tech CoE at Gangtok,” Omkar Rai said.

The STPI has already set up a CoE for start-ups working in IoT (Internet of Things) for Agriculture at Guwahati and another in Shillong exclusively for Animation start-ups. A CoE for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality was established at Imphal, while a Smart Agri CoE was set up at Patna. “The number is not limited to the planned 18 CoEs. It can go up to 25,” he said.

Published on November 20, 2020

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