Karnataka wants to lead digital India: CM

The State is creating solutions using AI and IoT for challenges faced in health, agriculture and energy

Karnataka is betting big on innovations that can have a direct impact on society. Using technologies such as artificial intelligence and Internet of Things to build solutions addressing challenges in health, agriculture and energy was the main focus at the 21st edition of the Bengaluru Tech Summit.

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said that through a ‘startup policy’, the government intends to support young ventures for providing solutions that address several challenges faced by society. He said the partnership between the government, industry, academia, and research and development institutions has led to the creation of a unique ecosystem.

“This has given birth to several startups with innovative ideas, having an impact on the socio-economic environment,” said Mr. Kumaraswamy, while addressing top business executives, government officials, and investors at the summit.

3D printed liver

Kate Jones, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development, Queensland, Australia said that she was pleased to meet a few local entrepreneurs in Bengaluru who are working on a 3D printed liver. “This is something I know would be welcomed all around the world,” said Ms. Jones who also launched Queensland-India Trade and Investment Strategy. “I am so excited about the opportunities between our two States,” she said.

The conference, which is conducted to attract investment, is geared up to host over 1,000 visitors, 200 startups and global leaders from 11 countries. Drones that monitor crop health, medical devices that help identify newborns at risk of asphyxia complications, point-of-care diagnostic machines for neuropathy, and gadgets that save water and monitor its quality were some of the innovations on display at the summit.

Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France, said that Bengaluru is a ‘highly favoured location for French companies’ and more than 150 firms have set up activities in the city. “I am so impressed by the energy [and] the amount of innovation that is happening here,” said Mr. Ziegler.

Bio-economy

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairperson and managing director of biotechnology company Biocon, said that a vibrant and enduring biotech sector has been created in the State. The sector is now being referred to as bio-economy due to its huge impact on the economy, whether it is environmental sustainability, agriculture or digital healthcare. There is an emergence of data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning in life sciences, which is going to be a huge transformational factor for applications such as diagnosing diseases. “Bengaluru is at the epicentre of these new technologies which are being used to transform the way we deliver healthcare to people at the bottom of the pyramid,” said Ms. Shaw. She said that India has almost 2,000 biotech startups out of which 600 are based in Karnataka.

Mr. Kumaraswamy said that IT, biotechnology and related sectors have provided direct employment to over a million people and indirect jobs to three million people in Bengaluru alone.

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