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India, UK to drive ‘createch’ collaboration; sign deals worth £58 M

Sohini Mitter
7th Feb 2018
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As part of the first-ever India-UK Createch Summit, 60 UK businesses have travelled to India to explore partnerships with entrepreneurs and startups in transportation, healthcare, technology and industrial design.

India and the UK have been meaningful trade partners for years. UK, of course, is the largest G20 investor in India and has created the most number of jobs through FDI, as per a report by PwC and the UK India Business Council.

Between 2000 and 2016, the UK invested close to $24.7 billion and created 800,000 jobs in the country. India-UK trade has grown 14 percent in 2017. To further strengthen its commitment to India, the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) held the inaugural India-UK Createch Summit in Mumbai on Tuesday.

It turned out to be an august gathering of industry leaders, investors, entrepreneurs, government officials and more, and commercial deals worth 58 million pounds were struck in creative and technology sectors — jointly called ‘createch’ — which the UK reckons is India’s most “exciting” aspect.

Technology enhances creativity and real innovation is the art of combining both, an official said. More than 60 UK businesses have travelled to India as part of the Createch Summit, and explored collaborations with domestic startups and entrepreneurs in the fields of transport, healthcare, film, music, gaming, industrial design, robotics, and immersive technology.

The UK believes that it is the best destination to set up a tech business in the world, and it wants to assist Indian entrepreneurs in charting foreign shores.

Baroness Rona Fairhead, UK's Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, said: “India is the creative and innovation capital of Asia. UK is the leading tech investment destination in Europe. More tech venture capital has flowed into London than Germany, France and Ireland combined. Digital sectors account for seven percent of UK’s GDP.”

‘Make in India, Innovate in Manchester’

UK’s trade department has proposed the development of direct air routes between India and Manchester, one of the biggest commercial hubs in Europe. While London continues to be a prime destination for startups and VCs, the UK wants Indian businesses to ‘Make in India, Innovate in Manchester’.

In a bid to foster commercial and cultural trade between the two countries, the Manchester India Partnership (MIP) was launched at the Createch Summit.

‘Createch’ in healthcare

Can we eradicate cancer through technology? A panelist at the summit posed this rhetorical question. But, it might soon be a possibility.

Healthcare is one of the key areas of focus in the India-UK ‘createch’ collaboration. Disruptive healthcare technology will empower doctors, hospitals and medical practitioners to pre-empt illnesses, quicken cure, and save more lives.

Sir Malcom Grant, Chairman of NHS England (UK’s 70-year-old national health service), said, “Technology can transform healthcare such that a simple blood test is able to detect a cancer tumour. Data will supersede doctors.”

‘Createch’ in transportation

Can there be a world with zero road accidents?

Future technology has the potential to enable detection systems inside cars that can analyse a driver’s health condition and prevent accidents.

Jeremy White, Transport Director at Seymourpowell (a cutting-edge industrial design firm), said: “Cars will be able to sense if you’re fit to drive or not, if you're tired or high on alcohol; they can spot symptoms of illnesses, make appointments with your doctor and even drive you there.”

While connected cars are far from a reality in India, “shared ownership models and new designs in auto and transport” are expected to transform our roads by 2030. As part of India-UK Createch, both countries have committed to drive innovation in urban transportation.

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