Innovate Karnataka: CM Siddaramaiah launches umbrella brand for tech revolution in state

Karnataka has been the torchbearer for innovation and technology in India -- but it’s not enough, believes the state government led by Chief Minister Mr Siddaramaiah. The government is working to make the state a global first choice for innovation, and in an effort to realise this dream, the Chief Minister unveiled ‘Innovate Karnataka’ in Bengaluru on Thursday.

‘InnovateKarnataka’ will act as an umbrella brand for all innovation in the state --whether it’s in emerging technologies such as blockchain, robotics, artificialintelligence (AI), nanotechnology, etc, or in the vibrant startup ecosystemthat has become a part of the new, young and exciting identity of Karnataka. 

Unveilingthe brand narrative for ‘Innovate Karnataka’, the Chief Minister MrSiddaramaiah said, “Development cannot happen without innovation, and noinnovation is truly big unless it helps people. With ‘Innovate Karnataka’, wehope to start on the path to Mission 2025: where technology will help in theinclusive development of the state, where better governance can be delivered tothe citizens. 

“Our visionis to put people first in all our schemes in programmes, and ‘InnovateKarnataka’ will both fulfill the vision, and be a driving force for it,” headded.

 Thevision of ‘Innovate Karnataka’ is this: “To see Karnataka as a global firstchoice of innovation and technology by adopting policies which spur 100%digitization of health, agriculture and other domains and enable inclusivedigital growth across geographies and all strata of society.” 

The brandwas launched with an eye on the future, by a government mindful of evolvingwith the times. Which is why, ‘Innovate Karnataka’ will be spearheaded by theDepartment of Innovation and Technology. A modern, more advanced version of theDepartment of IT, BT. 

TheDepartment of Information Technology was carved out of from Department ofCommerce and Industry in 1998, thereby enabling IT to gain more prominenceacross the State. The Government also understood the promise Biotechnologyheld, and subsequently established the Department of Information Technology& Biotechnology in September 2001. But the industrial and economiclandscape is changing and new problems are cropping up. These new problems neednew solutions. The future will be defined not by the IT services, which leadthe growth of IT, but through a fusion of physical, digital and biologicalworlds. 

Speakingabout the convergence of various technologies, and the need for puttinginnovation first, Mr. Priyank Kharge said, “We are at the cusp of a technologyrevolution across the world, and Karnataka is poised to be the global leaderwhen it comes to innovation. Already, we are spearheading the startup movementin India, and ensuring that we’re at the forefront of blockchain,nanotechnology, artificial intelligence innovation. Now, it’s time to takeKarnataka into a safe, secure future where technology solves real problems.” 

Shri Khargealso commented on the changing job and employment markets and how new roles arecoming up. He said these will require a large scale reskilling of the currentand future workforce, and said Govt of Karnataka was ready to meet thechallenge. 

Not justthis, the government launched several Centres of Excellence (CoE) acrossKarnataka at the program, including the Centre of Excellence for Data Scienceand Artificial Intelligence, in association with NASSCOM; Centre of Excellencefor Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics, in association with ABAI;Centre of Excellence for Machine Learning & Robotics at IIITB; Centre ofExcellence for Cyber Security. 

AnElectronics System Design & Manufacturing (ESDM) Cluster was announced forMysore, and a Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Incubator in Hubli waslaunched -- clearly putting the focus on not just Bengaluru, but the rest ofthe state as well. An amount of Rs. 4cr will be spent on each facility. 

The ministeralso announced a roadmap for use of blockchain technology in Karnataka, andsaid that it will be used extensively in governance and service delivery, in amanner that has maximum social impact. 

The event,held at Hotel Lalit Ashok in Bengaluru, also saw the launch of two portals forthe youth of the state to participate in ‘Innovate Karnataka’: The Yuva Yugaportal will act as the one-stop-shop for all the information related to thestate’s skill development program, and the e-Margadarshi will help youth whoare looking for employment to fulfill their dreams.

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