Technology major Qualcomm has announced that it will invest $8.5 million in India, with an aim to expand its digital design initiatives in the country. The Design in India challenge was announced back two years ago in 2015 and had around 400 participating members. Today, at an event, three startups among the top 10 participants who were shortlisted, won a prize money of $100,000 each. The event was also attended by Union minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad and NASSCOM President R. Chandrashekhar. The startups which won the prizes were iFuture Robotics, Uncanny Vision and Carnot Technologies. During the event, John Han, senior vice president and GM, Qualcomm technology Licensing said that the company is very passionate about innovation and it is evident in the fact that it invests a lot of money in risky research and development projects. He added that Qualcomm is committed to supporting PM Narendra Modi to help the Indian ecosystem become a digitally empowered society.
At the event, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that Indians are now more desirous of technology than ever before. He said that India is ready for innovations in digital designs. He asked the young entrepreneurs to work more towards India-focused research including rural health and education. HE also talked about how Adhaar card’s technological prowess is now admired globally. Prasad also insisted on the need of more human resource in the area of research and talked about how the government is trying to create an ecosystem suitable for startups. He also asked Qualcomm to make a chip which is integral to the Aadhaar itself.
Among the prize winners, iFuture Robotics is a startup which makes industrial automation robots which read environment data to move and deliver objects in warehouses which reduce labour cost as well as human injuries from heavy machinery. Uncanny Vision demonstrated an intelligent surveillance camera which can solve many security problems in places like ATMs. The camera uses machine learning to detect human actions for face and movement. Meanwhile, Carnot technologies is a telematics startup for low-cost bikes. The machine that they presented could connect a bike to a user’s smartphone which can be useful for the safety of the vehicle even during emergency situations.
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In the next initiative, Qualcomm with its Design in India Challenge II will be supporting companies in fields like Rural technology, payment methods, agricultural technology, health, biometric and more. The company will also enable mobiles and Internet of Things vendors from India by giving them better Camera, RF and Audio design technology. The company said that it will launch a new Innovation lab in Hyderabad and expand its existing one in Bangalore.