Tamil Nadu will soon announce a policy on Deep Tech and Artificial Intelligence, said Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, State Minister for Information Technology and Digital Services, at the first anniversary of the Tamil Nadu Technology Hub (iTNT Hub).

In alignment with the Centre’s Deep Tech Policy, which is expected to be announced soon, the Tamil Nadu government will focus on areas of technology product design to facilitate new product development with a confluence of product designers, product developers and manufacturing support. The second is to host the TN innovative conclave regularly as a bedrock for innovation; the State is already a leader in patent filing and R&D. The State also expects to have a Deep Tech fund, he said.

“We are at an interesting inflection point in the technology space with the advent of both Deep Tech and AI. While some may argue that AI is overhyped, there is no question that it profoundly changes the nature of work in many ways, be it disruptive, creating new kinds of opportunities and enterprises,” he said.

“In the recent discussion on Demands for Grant of the IT&DS department in the Assembly, we also talked about a mantra or slogan about Innovate in Tamil Nadu. As we are the most industrialised State with a large talent pool, we need to use the innovation approach to stimulate our economy and achieve Chief Minister MK Stalin’s vision of a $1-trillion economy by 2030,” he said.

“Tamil Nadu had lost the momentum overall in the sector when compared to Bengaluru or Hyderabad or the Capital Region. Part of the issue is funding. We actually fund this department or the area substantive lower in absolute number and as a percentage of total budget outlay when compared to states like Karnataka or Telangana. However, the reason we are doing relatively so well is because of the human talent,” he said.  

Later, speaking to newspersons, Rajan said, the Tamil Nadu government is taking steps, including mentorship, to encourage start-ups in the State to create employmenthe said.

When asked if it would be two different policies for Deep Tech and AI or an integrated one, Rajan said policy can mean different things. It could be an incentive policy, or regulatory or guideline on how it would be developed. From an incentive policy, all will be aligned in one way. From regulations, standards, applications and compliance policy, there will be a separate AI policy because of the implications of its risk factors, he said.

At the event, the iTNT Hub inked MoUs with the Tamil Nadu Smart and Advance Manufacturing Centre, in association with Siemens; Tamil Nadu Centers of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing, in association with Dassault Systèmes; Tamil Nadu Infrastructure Fund Management Corporation; Amazon Web Services India; Microsoft India; and D Labs Incubator Association; India School of Business; T-Hub and T-Works, Hyderabad.

Two technology transfers have been facilitated by iTNT Hub through its “Jigsaw” platform that fosters industry-academia collaboration. iTNT has on-boarded over 4,100 academic researchers from diverse Emerging and Deep Tech fields to this platform.

The two technology transfers involving researchers from the Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology, included signing an Expression of Interest to evaluate technology transfers between Manjula, Asst. Professor, Department of Physics, and Astromeda Space Private Ltd. The second was an MoU for technology transfers between Parthasarathy, Scientist E, Centre for Drug Discovery and Development, and Vivagen Dx Labs (OPC) Pvt. Ltd, says a release.