Welcome Connectivity With India's First Centre of Excellence for IoT The Centre of Excellence was launched in Bengaluru by Ravi Shankar Prasad.

By Ritu Kochar

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Everyone's talking about IoT. The buzz around this tech industry is so that big players like Apple and Samsung are entering the wearable and smart home markets to expand their mobile ecosystems.

Connecting smart devices together, Internet of Things creates a network of smart devices. These smart objects can freely "talk" to each other and generate enormous volumes of data, spread across disparate communication networks and bring an ease into mechanical operations.

The noise around this technology is growing louder with everyday, and to ensure that India attains a leadership role in this industry, the government of India is all game with some solid plans underway.

India's step towards IoT

Tapping an industry likely to reach 15 billion USD market in the next five years, India's first Centre of Excellence for Internet of Things (CoE-IoT) was launched in Bengaluru on Thursday. A collaboration between government of India and Nasscom, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) and Education and Research Network (ERNET) under the Digital India initiative, this centre aims to enable rapid adoption of IoT technology and foster a new growth strategy as well empower India to have a leap frog advantage in the domain.

As part of the initiative, NASSCOM will be instrumental in creating and supporting a physical lab infrastructure to build an eco-system for budding entrepreneurs to leverage new age technologies and access to researchers, industry and other stake holders. In India, Internet of Things (IoT) can be leveraged to address issues like transport system, parking, electricity, waste management, water management and women's safety to create smart cities, smart health services, smart manufacturing and smart agriculture. Additionally, the smart city and digital India campaign can also leverage IoT to bring about innovative applications and domain capability across verticals.

The first of many to come, the CoE-IoT was inaugurated by former Minister for Information Technology and Electronics Ravi Shankar Prasad, the current Union Minister for Law. The launch was announced last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and going forward, the initiative aims to create a cluster of 5 CoEs across India.

NASSCOM's Key Findings on IoT include:
• IoT Market growth of 28% from FY2015 – FY2016
• Nearly 120 firms offering IoT solutions in India; around 60% IoT startups emerging post 2010
• Indian IoT firms received around USD 60 mn funding in last 3 years
• Indian IoT market expected to be a USD 15 bn market by 2020; accounting for nearly 5% of global market

What this centre means

According to Nasscom, 120 firms offer IoT solutions in India with nearly 60% of them emerging after 2010. Also, the funding they've received is around $60 million in the last three years. Given the expanse of this industry, about Rs 22 crore will be spent over CoE over a period of 5 years, with 50% of the cost to be met by the Centre and the rest by the Karnataka government and Nasscom.

Expressing his thoughts on the launch of the CoE, Mr R Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM, stated, "NASSCOM is pleased on launching the IoT Centre of Excellence, which takes forward our efforts towards establishing India as a global tech hub. This Centre of Excellence has been created to act as a catalyst for developing the IoT SME/Startup ecosystem of the country as well as an accelerator of IoT capabilities providing the concept and scale for industrial and societal needs."

The CoE will also function as an enabler of Funding, Accelerating, Mentoring & Enterprise for the key emerging IoT startups who have been selected for incubation, after a rigorous process, he added.

To foster of collaborative ecosystem of key stakeholders (Government, Industry & Entrepreneurs, Citizens) NASSCOM aims to democratize IoT Innovations through incubation on Multi-Platform Technology Labs for - Concept Validation to Products & Solutions. The CoE will also function as a skills development platform to build industry capable talent and instill a temper of research and development across the board.

What this centre includes

Multiple IoT based firms will be selected from over 250 entries to be incubated at the CoE, through a road show held across Coimbatore, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Mumbai. The first five companies out of the total entries are Wireless Controls, Uncanny Vision, LightMetrics, ThingsCloud and SAAR Microsystems.

The CoE laboratory along with the NASSCOM 10,000 Startups Warehouse has the capacity to incubate up to 40 start ups and can accommodate around 10 emerging companies per shift for prototype/ design and usage of lab facilities. The CoE also provides a separate space for validation, verification and demonstration as well as concept labs for developing IoT solutions for application areas like Agriculture, Automobile, Telecom, Healthcare and Consumer IoT.

Estimates show that there will be 173.4 million wearable devices by 2019 compared to 76.1 million in 2015, and 90% of cars will be connected by 2020 compared to 2% in 2012. They say numbers don't lie, and if that's true, India is heading towards an IoT future. One that will be fast, efficient, accessible and connected 24x7.

Ritu Kochar

Former Staff, Entrepreneur India

Ritu used to work as a Feature writer for Entrepreneur India.

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