New Delhi: The Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-D) has decided to back startups and research scholars willing to start a business in deep technology, including artificial intelligence and machine learning to boost its research ecosystem. V. Ramgopal Rao, director, IIT-D said that the institute has created a platform to support “emerging futuristic technologies requiring advanced R&D". Startups focusing on connected intelligent systems, mixed reality, advanced materials, drug discovery and medical research, will be taken on board following a selection process.
The premier institute promises to provide candidates with a host of benefits such as seed funding and connecting them with venture funds, besides free workspaces and mentoring. It believes the initiative will play a crucial role for industrial growth in future.
“If you have a great idea in deep tech space, IIT-D will take care of the rest. The program provides comprehensive support for converting your idea into a startup, including a fellowship and accommodation to the budding entrepreneur as well as funds for the development of proof of concept," Rao said.
While the move is a plus for startups and research scholars, the IIT-Delhi, one of the six institutions of eminence (IoE) in India, will benefit from their research output, patent, from industry academia collaborations as well. IIT-Delhi’s newly established technology research park in Sonepat will house these start ups not older than 3 years.
The plan document of the IIT underlines that while Indian has witnessed start up success in services and e-commerce businesses, deep technology startups are far and few.
“While recent major successes amongst the start-ups have primarily been in several services/e-commerce businesses…there are relatively less, technology-based start-ups which can truly claim to be working in contemporary deep technology domains. It is being felt that there is a need for a viable support mechanism that can attract interested early stage career scientists /engineers who are interested in the innovation-driven entrepreneurial journey," the IIT document said underling the motive behind their move.
IIT-Delhi has been talking about spending over Rs. 2500 crore including the Rs. 1,000 crore IoE grant in enhancing its research facilities, physical infrastructure and outreach in the next few years. IIT Delhi was ranked third best institutions in India by a government ranking and has a place among top 200 universities in the world as per the QS World University Ranking.
With the infrastructure, mentorship and funding support, the plan is “designed to help techno-entrepreneurs to take the quantum leap towards commercialization," the IIT said indicating that it will help young firms joining their research ecosystem in patents and commercialization of products.
The institution said while deep technology ideas are highly risky, they have substantial market potential. The IIT said it will prefer startups whose founders have a doctorate degree though others with masters in technology, medicine, pharmaceuticals will not be turned down.