Empowering India’s hardware startups: Qualcomm signs a technical bilateral cooperation agreement with MeitY

22nd Jul 2019
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As Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society continues to unfold, Qualcomm is glad to support the country’s technology ecosystem. In keeping with its aim to align with Digital India’s objectives, Qualcomm India, on Thursday, announced that it has signed a technical bilateral cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s MeitY Startup Hub (MSH). The collaboration aims to accelerate startup growth in the country, particularly MSH-supported startups.


From Left to Right: Parag Kar, VP Government Affairs, Qualcomm India & SA, Rajen Vagadia, VP and President, Qualcomm India and SAARC, Dr. A. K. Garg, Director, MeitY and Ajay Sawhney, Secretary of MeitY

From Left to Right: Parag Kar, VP Government Affairs, Qualcomm India & SA, Rajen Vagadia, VP and President, Qualcomm India and SAARC, Dr. A. K. Garg, Director, MeitY and Ajay Sawhney, Secretary of MeitY



The scope of the agreement


The agreement aims to provide benefits of the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge (QDIC) programme to MSH-supported startups, with the broad objectives of promoting entrepreneurship, IP-driven innovation and product development requiring low power computing or wireless connectivity. The partnership will lead to the creation of platforms and forums that give startups with high growth potential and disruptive innovations to opportunities to develop and re-shape digital supply chains in the future. Selected startups will get to interact with international domain experts, investors, accelerators, incubators, industry associations and large companies that will help them scale up their solutions. The scope of the agreement also includes IP creation and educational workshops by MSH and Qualcomm, in addition to roadshows and startup screenings at MSH incubation centres.


Speaking about the agreement, Rajen Vagadia, VP and President, Qualcomm India and SAARC, said, “Over the last three years, Qualcomm India has been encouraging and fostering hardware and internet of things (IoT) startups through our own Qualcomm Design in India Challenge. We look forward to expanding our reach through this collaboration and sharing our learnings, domain expertise and best practices with a larger set of startups.”


Ajay Sawhney, Secretary of MeitY said that the organisation’s vision is to build a conducive innovation and startup ecosystem by bringing together various technology stakeholders. “Qualcomm’s expertise in the area, ability to provide access to relevant stakeholders and a dedicated lab with state-of-the-art equipment to startups selected to be part of Qualcomm Design in India Challenge makes it an ideal partner of choice for this collaboration,” he added.


Empowering India’s hardware ecosystem


As India’s longest-running wireless hardware startup incubation programme, QDIC is one of four initiatives that are part of the larger Qualcomm Design in India Program – Design Services via the Qualcomm Innovation Lab, Accelerated Design Program (engagement with its licensed customers) and Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship (engagement with academic research community).


In its fourth edition, with this design challenge, the initiative continues to empower the domestic hardware ecosystem which will positively impact the product ecosystem of design and enhance the manufacturing facilities in India.


Presenting the fifth cohort of Qualcomm Design in India Challenge


The fifth cohort of the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge program at an exclusive event held in New Delhi

The fifth cohort of the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge program at an exclusive event held in New Delhi


On July 4, 2019, Qualcomm also revealed the 10 startups that made it to the fifth cohort of Qualcomm Design in India (QDIC) Challenge at an exclusive event held in New Delhi. Over six months of incubation, Qualcomm will help these 10 startups extend their design capabilities by giving them access to the Qualcomm Innovation Lab, evaluation kits and development boards, along with tools to optimise camera, audio and display features. In addition, the startups also have a chance to win anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000 at the grand finale later this year.

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