16 November 2017 | News
Free wifi across 500 grama panchayats launched by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at the inaugural ceremony; Virgin Hyperloop One signs MOU in India with the Government of Karnataka to conduct its Preliminary Study; NASSCOM announces 1st Centre of Excellence on AI and Data Sciences
IT entrepreneurship and multi-disciplinary collaboration just got a mega boost. Beckoning creative networking on a global scale, Honorable Chief Minister Siddaramaiah launched the Bengaluru Technology Summit-2017 at Bengaluru Palace on 16th November in the presence of other dignitaries that included Guest of Honor,Ms. Anne Berner, Hon’ble Minister for Transport and Communications, Finalnd; Mr. R.V. Deshpande, Minister for LMI and Infrastructure Development, GoK; Mr. K.J. George, Minister for Bengaluru, Development and Town Planning GoK; Shri Priyank Kharge, Minister for IT, BT and Tourism, D. Sudhakar, Chairman KEONICS, C.N. Ashwath Narayan, MLA Mallshwaram Constituency, Dr. Subhash C Khuntia, Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka, Shri S GopalaKrishnan, Chairman,VGIT& Co-Founder, Infosys, Ms. Vanitha Narayanan, Chairman, IBM –India, Dr. Omkar Rai, Director Technology Parks Of India.
Hosted by the Department of IT & BT, Government of Karnataka, the three-day mega event is a creative mix of two flagship events- the 20th edition of Bengaluru ITE.biz and the 17th edition of Bengaluru India Bio under one platform.
The government chose the occasion to announce a unique programme to strengthen rural Karnataka: Free WiFi to grama panchayats, a move to ensure availability of comprehensive data to villagers at their fingertips.
The project’s first phase will see 500 grama panchayats get free WiFi facility from Thursday (November 16, 2017). This is part of the Government’s ambitious programme of providing wireless local area networking facility to all the 2,650 grama panchayats in the State.
Here’s what all individuals within a radius of one kilometer from the WiFi-enabled grama panchayat will get: Free access to 100 MB data at high speed. This way, all government facilities will get accessible via internet.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had this to say on the project: “Access to knowledge and information should not be confined only to the people in the urban areas but also should be made available to the rural people as well.’’ The project was seen as a clear indication of the government’s commitment to an outcome driven development of the State.
The State IT, BT and Tourism Minister, Shri Priyank Kharge, said the initiative will be implemented in a phases. “The rural people, especially the youth, must get the facilities available to their urban counterparts and must get an opportunity to access the internet to get themselves enlightened, enriched and also to communicate or share data.”
The 3-day mega event is the result of Karnataka combining its 2 flagship events- the 20th edition of Bengaluru ITE.biz and the 17th edition of Bengaluru India Bio under one platform, Bengaluru Technology Summit-2017, to facilitate creative collaboration between multi-disciplinary stakeholders and entrepreneurs from around the world. The summit also included separate element for women entrepreneurs on 16th November titled “She Drives Technology" by ‘She the People’ to highlight women leading innovation and how women returning to work can be a game changer for IT.
Dr. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman VGBT & CMD, Biocon, addressed the development in the life sciences space and heralded in a new age of digital health using advanced technology, AI and data sciences. She highlighted that Bengaluru has around 250 biotech companies, and the plan is to take the bio economy to $ 100 billion by 2025. "Bengaluru stands as the fourth biggest startup hub in the world. Of all the startups, 60 per cent are in this state. We aim to target a huge number by 2020. We are very proud that 30 per cent of the entrpreneurs are women", she said.
Ms. Vanita Narayanan further added - “Technology helps bring industries together and this goes a long way in influencing govt. policies. Technology has become a pervasive platform for all industries.”
Ms. Anne Berner highlighted the need of the moment as data sharing. By giving an example of Finland she said “Instead of ownership of data, sharing data is better as it helps the overall infrastructure. Quality and speed will only increase as technology increases and with shorter delays in data transmission forecasting becomes more accurate and we have a high quality automated reality.”
The grand summit will also co-locate "Bengaluru Maker Faire" on 17th and 18th November, a global event for all those who believe in the “do-it-yourself” spirit for sharing their accomplishments and showcasing their work with an appreciative audience and rub shoulders with other Makers. It is a place where technologists, hobbyists, tinkerers, artisans, craftspeople, entrepreneurs and the merely curious gather together to celebrate, inspire and get inspired! It is a place where technologists, hobbyists, tinkerers, artisans, craftspeople, entrepreneurs and the merely curious gather together to celebrate, inspire and get inspired!
The mega event is also witnessing ‘Bengaluru AVGC Summit’ on 16-17th November, which will be held at ITC Windsor Manor. This is being organised for the first time in the country and is a partnership between the Government of Karnataka and ABAI, the trade association for animation, visual effects, gaming and comics sector. This unique platform is aimed at bringing together IP owners & developers, content creators and production houses interested in producing and co-producing creative content as well as bring selected international and national studios, producers, broadcasters, distributors and financiers to participate in this buyer, seller interface.
There will also be a “Security 360” event from 17-19th November at Hotel Taj West End, which is being organised by the Government of Karnataka in partnership with Synergia Foundation. Security 360 will feature a range of key note presentations and panel discussions giving participants an unique opportunity to interact and learn from some of the finest strategic & security practitioners and strategic thinkers from all over the world.
Ben Story, strategic marketing partner of Rolls Royce, had this to say regarding the issue of partnerships, “India has among the best engineers and we look forward to working with them. The amount of flexibility, creativity and global mentality has led us to join forces with TCS. At Rolls Royce we believe in advancing cars through digitisation and the technology sector has a lot to do in the future of transport.”
Once the Tech Summit and IT Expo were formally inaugurated, a CEO Roundtable took over the spotlight. Captains of the industry highlighted opportunities and issues facing the industry. The discussion had its broad theme as “How diverse technologies are converging to shape our world, impacting the society?”
The Roundtable speakers dwelt extensively upon emerging technologies and how they are converging to change the game in various sectors. They drew attention to new business opportunities shaping up to create a better society. Emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, AR/VR were all part of that change.
The discussions traced the evolving business models and new economies emerging out of these new convergent technologies. The focus was also on new challenges to revamp the traditional business models. Affordability, the innovation cycle and the economics of scale were well highlighted through the duration of the Roundtable.
While Mr Vijay Chandru talked about the opportunities through IT-Biotech linkages. When questioned about the decision making capabilities of AI in healthcare he had this to say: “At no point will that be allowed to happen. Advances in AI will only increase the productivity and effectiveness of the system.”
Ms Nivruthi Rai’s intervention was about new age chips that can mimic the human mind and other revolutionary developments happening at Intel with respect to Artificial Intelligence. “AI has been a part of Intel, along with several other companies for almost half a century in terms of using AI for hiring, safety etc.” she said. A key argument made my Ms. Nivruthi was “Jobs don’t go away because of technology; jobs are created because of technology.”
Shifting the focus to driver-less cars, Mr. Kamal Bali emphasized on the much needed push for electric vehicles. He then went on to trace the opportunities, possibilities and challenges for the Indian auto sector of the future. Mr. Kamal also has a unique outlook on the labour market of India and said “We have enough manpower in India. Places to network, however, are limited.”
For Mr. Nachiket Sukhtankar, the platform was apt to talk about technology skills, jobs of the future, impact of intelligent automation and driving better business outcomes with converging technologies. Another interesting talk was about responsible AI and the pitfalls of reckless AI practices by large corporates. The criticality of this was driven home by the reference to Elon Musk’s remark that unregulated AI can be an existential threat.
Lined up for the Tech summit are presentations of the STPI IT Export Awards and Bio Excellence Award in recognition of the outstanding achievements of IT & BT innovators.
Over the next three days, Thought leaders, Technocrats, Researchers, Innovators, Investors and Policy Makers from different streams gathered at the event will participate in interdisciplinary dialogue. On the agenda are collaborations and emergence of disruptive technologies, path breaking products and unique services.
For women entrepreneurs, the summit had a separate element on November 16, titled “She Drives Technology" by ‘She the People.’ The objective was to highlight women leading innovation and how women returning to work can be a game changer for IT.