At BTS 2020, Karnataka Govt announces 8 MoUs with GIA partner organisations across AI, IoT, cybersecurity, biotech and semi-conductors

By Team YS|21st Nov 2020
The agreements span across diverse areas, including skilling, ecosystem connects, market access, R&D, and bi-lateral exchange programmes, among others.
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The Global Innovation Alliance (GIA), is an initiative of the Karnataka government’s Department of Electronics, Information Technology, BioTechnology, and Science & Technology to collaborate with leading global technology and innovation hubs. At the 23rd edition of the ongoing Bengaluru Tech Summit 2020, there has been participation from over 25 countries that are part of the GIA.


On Friday, Day 2 of BTS 2020, a press meet was organised to announce the signing of eight Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) between the Karnataka government and various organisations from GIA partner countries. Representatives from GIA countries, including Sweden, the UK, the US, Finland, and the Netherlands, were virtually present at the press meet and shared a brief overview on the respective MoUs, and the areas of collaboration.


The agreements span diverse areas, including skilling, ecosystem connects, market access, R&D, and bi-lateral exchange programmes, among others. The areas of focus include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), cybersecurity, biotechnology, and semiconductors, among others.


Speaking on the occasion, Dr. E.V. Ramana Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Electronics, Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science & Technology, said that the Karnataka government had established deep Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in areas of disruptive technology over the last three years in association with anchor institutes from academia and industry. Each CoE was mandated to create programmes and initiatives across four pillars – the startup ecosystem, industry, government, and R&D.

“As a next step for the GIA programme, we decided to take GIA collaboration to CoEs with the agenda that each CoE should have a GIA partner with whom they would collaborate in the areas of startups, skilling, R&D, and ecosystem connect. As a result, I am proud to announce that we have identified eight MoUs and intentions for collaboration.”

He added, “We believe that BTS this year will have a huge impact not only on the Karnataka innovation ecosystem but also firmly establish Karnataka and India as a global leader in innovation.”


Dr. C.N. Ashwath Narayan, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Higher Education, Electronics, Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science & Technology, Skill Development, Entrepreneurship & Livelihood Department, Government of Karnataka, said, “The purpose of such collaboration is to create creating mutually beneficial technology partnerships and foster meaningful dialogue with global innovations partners. Each of the MoUs with our GIA partners will deepen country-to-country collaboration.”


The eight MoUs that were announced today included the following:

  1. An MoU between the Karnakata Centre of Excellence for Data Science & AI and Business Finland for mentorship, industry connect, market access, skill upgradation, joint R&D projects with social impact, and promoting awareness of the development in the fields of AI for sustainable growth. The MoU is expected to bring the power of AI for agriculture, transport, health, safety, governance, service delivery etc.
  2. An MoU between the Karnataka Centre of Excellence for Internet of Things and Swedish Incubators and Science Parks (SISP) for mentorship, industry and ecosystem connects and market access. This agreement is expected to position Karnataka as an end-to-end-solutions provider in the engineering space, and facilitate innovative applications across areas such as Smart City, Smart Health, Smart Manufacturing, Smart Agriculture, and others.
  3. An MoU between the Semiconductor Fabless Accelerator Lab (SFAL), and US-based Applied Materials, Inc to explore incubation and mentoring opportunities, infrastructural support and international exposure for SFAL startups. The agreement will look to accelerate existing fabless SMEs to the next level to encourage domestic innovation and generate more employment in the Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sector.
  4. An MoU between the Karnataka Centre of Excellence for Data Science & AI and the UK Deputy High Commission, Bengaluru on R&D projects with social impact. This collaboration is based on the UK’s £3-million Innovation Challenge Fund, aimed at Indian scientists tackling acute global challenges such as COVID-19. The fund has invited research and development proposals from innovators with connections to the AI-Data cluster in Karnataka and the Future Mobility cluster in Maharashtra for solutions to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and promote a greener planet. At least 12 grants up to £250,000 are expected to be awarded. This collaboration is expected to create citizen-centric AI solutions in areas of public service, education, water, energy, and last-mile delivery.
  5. An MoU between the Karnataka Innovation Technology Society, Department of Electronics, IT, BT and S&T, the Department of Commerce and Industries and US-based Indiana Economic Development Corporation. The agreement covers areas of connected and autonomous transportation, life sciences and biotechnology, information and communications technologies, sports economy and educational cooperation, and is expected to lead to the creation of a medical devices park with world-class infrastructure and investment.
  6. An MoU between the Karnataka Innovation Technology Society, the Department of Electronics, IT, BT and S&T, and the Department of Commerce and Industries, Government, and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority to collaborate in the areas of biotechnology and healthcare and aerospace and defence. The agreement aims to create skilling opportunities for students from Karnataka, explore applications of drone technology for agriculture, military surveillance and medical assistance, set up incubation centres in Fairfax County for providing mentorship opportunities, and provide market entry to the US for Karnataka startups.
  7. An MoU between the Center of Excellence for Cybersecurity or CySecK (Cyber Security Karnataka) and The Hague Security Delta to build best practices, standards and execute initiatives in cybersecurity and privacy domains; address cybersecurity challenges to provide support to “remote working models, and create awareness about cyber threats.
  8. An MoU between the Karnataka Innovation and Technology Society and The Hague Business Agency for the GIA Market Access Program (GIAMAP). The programme aims to provide market access and soft landing to startups and assist them in creating sound business models and value propositions; go-to-market strategies; target potential customers; achieve product-market fit; build value proposition; map competition and get access to industry connects/potential collaborators. This agreement aims to create India’s first sector-agnostic international market access program, with a focus on multiple cities/countries, and assist at least 10 Karnataka startups to enter international markets and give them international exposure.