Catalyzing, Curating and Incubating Deep Tech Innovation in India – Deep Tech Innovation & Incubation Networked Centers Initiative:
Mission: Catalysing, Curating, Incubating and Commercializing Deep Technology enabled Innovation from R&D of Technology Institutions and Govt. R&D Institutions.
In this realm of activity we are also developing an
“Innovation and Incubation Centre for Machine Learning and AI” (IICML)
which we are actively planning to set up in East India under the direct Mentorship of Dr Suryanil Ghosh, Chairman of TotalStart whose area of Research during his PhD 25 yrs back was Artificial Intelligence and Dr Srinivas Padmanabhuni, ex-President of ACM India, who is one of the main champion of Machine Learning and AI in India and also has a PhD in AI.
TotalStart’s earlier Avatar before 2010 was as a deep technology product investor and marketeer based in Saarbruecken, Germany – Total Infosystems GmbH. which closely worked with, invested and marketed globally two Israeli product companies of which one recently got acquired by IBM and the other by Software AG. So the drivers understand the Israeli deep tech startup ecosystem and are also closely working with the Israeli Startup Ecosystems along with that of Germany and for sure USA in the deep tech space and Canada in AI in paricular. We very closely engage with Tel-Aviv University’s Startau Incubator, one of the foremost in Israel, plus we have all extended network in top deep technology driven institutes and VCs across the country and globally.
Reason to Start:
Because of the deep expertise and experience we have in our Mentor and Governance Board and our Mentor Network in deep tech innovation space and the big gap in the ecosystem w.r.t. efforts towards it, we have taken on the responsibility to create a strong result oriented focused approach towards deep tech innovation lead research and creation of new technology which will support deep tech based solutions with globally viable and scalable enterprises.
Our Focus and Approach:
TotalStart has initiated the facilitation of the first Deep Tech Innovation & Incubation Networked Centres Initiative to catalyse, curate and incubate deep tech innovation in India focusing on Artificial Intelligence, Data Sciences, IOT, Business Intelligence and other non Information Technology areas. Discussions have been kick-started with several state Governments in India for support. This will be the first and one of a kind initiative in the country where there will be strong cross country collaboration between Germany, Israel, Canada, US and for sure within India both across Research Institutions and Industries to develop Collaborative Solution using deep technology directly applicable for the industry, having strong commercial viability, value and scalability. VCs and deep pocketed Tech HNIs have also been lined up to support. We are engaging with Industry who will sponsor and support industry focused solutions specific to their industry in this space. We are reaching out to some of our networked friends who we believe, believes in excellence and would like to support the pursuance of it. We strongly believe in getting national and global level support and already seeing early signs for it in our endeavour to create a world class Deep Tech Networked Collaborative Innovation and Incubation Program in India with cross industry and cross top Indian and global research collaboration to bring in excellence to our world of creating deep innovation led technology solutions resolving real world gaps or probing into new areas to resolve problems which lies in the future. We are also closely working out with DIPP, MEITY, DST and Niti Aayog, Govt. Of India on this.
The minutes of the first and significant meeting held of the Core Catalysing Committee for this Initiative is given below:
1st. Meeting Held: 16th June 2017
- Dr Srinivasan Padmanabhuni, Director–Tarah AI; Co-founder -CityMandi, Ex-President ACM India; Charter Member, TiE Delhi
- Dr. Suryanil Ghosh, Chairman, TotalStart; Charter Member, TiE Delhi
- Mr. Dipankar Chakrabarti, Executive Director – PWC
- Mr. Rakesh Pandey, Director – Oracle; India
- Mrs. Cornelia Heinen, Director, TSFE – The School For Entrepreneurs
- The Core Catalysing Board for this Deep Tech Innovation Initiative is initially comprised of 5 members whose names are mentioned above
- Srinivas was requested to Chair the Initiative and Rakesh to Co-Chair. Suryanil will act as the General Convenor. In absentia Dipankar was requested to take on the mantle of Industry Engagement Convenor and Cornelia VC Fund and Startup Ecosystem Engagement Convenor
- This initiative is taken up under TotalStart’s Deep Tech Innovation and Incubation Networked Centers Program
- The purpose of this initiative is to continuously and consistently support the catalysis of research based deep technology innovation lead incubation of solutions solving critical problems of industry or society and which can be developed at an industry level, commercialized and funded for sustainable and profitable growth
- This initiative will focus on catalysing research based fundable projects which are ready or close to ready to be brought out to the industry, from public research organizations, academic institutions, R&D Labs and private research & academic institutions in India with appropriate global collaboration as and when required, with appropriate industry, VC, government or private funding
- 4 to 5 focus areas for curating these projects will be decided upon with some more exploration, but the areas which at present interests us are: Deep Learning, India Stack for Open Source Platform, Alternate Energy, Medical Technology, and others could be chosen based on our exploration
- Srinivas had agreed to engage with IISc, IIIT Bangalore and IIT Chennai, IIIT Hyderabad, Bangalore based Government R&D Labs in Bangalore to nominate research groups or individuals who we can co-opt for our initiative, Rakesh will do the same for North India specifically NCR area and Suryanil for Eastern India. We have to include someone in this group based in Mumbai who can cover Western India
- For the launch event on 25th or 27th. of Nov from 11 am to 6 pm at Kolkata, all core catalysing board members will propose names who can be called for to participate in the brainstorming session which is going to be the launch of this initiative. Srinivas had suggested certain names and so did Suryanil. Request all core catalysing board members to share them with names and background
- The venue as has been suggested by Dipankar could be CII Neotia Centre in Salt Lake Kolkata
- Approximate budget for this single event could be around Rs 2 lakhs with maximum participants to be 50, where this event will be carried out in a summit – workshop mode with special invitations mostly and some public participation post approval of the core committee
- As this is not an event but a continuous program, our aim is to raise sponsorship and funding as much as possible to carry out this program on a consistent and continuous basis over the next 3 years and then revisit and evaluate the outcome for the next phase
- We may need to induct in more expert committee members to lead our initiatives wrt the varied specific technology domains we chose and an Advisory and Governance Body (AGB) to be formed over the Core Catalysing Board comprising of Directors (or appropriate equivalent persons) of all interested IITs, NITs, Universities, Research Institutions both Government and Private to support and guide this Initiative, chaired by an elected Chair from the AGB.
- Engaging with the Institutional Heads of top Academic, Research and Development Institutions and organisations, Industry Stake holders and VCs and select Govt. Depts. both at state level and nationally in India to take part in this Initiative (Till date Director of IIT KGP, Director of IIT Delhi, VC of MAKAUT, Director of IIT Bhubaneshwar, Director of IIT Patna, Director of IIT Guwahati has been engaged with at a preliminary level)
- Formation of the Advisory and Governance Board for the Initiative from the Stake holders as engaged above
- Getting a senior representative from each stakeholding organizations engaging in this program as a part of the Core or Extended Catalysing Board.
- Curating select innovation based projects being carried out at the participating organizations to become the first batch of incubated solutions from this Initiative and have them present at the launch event or later to expert domain members and Investors for possible investment (A visit to the individual institutes or organizations may be required for this).
- Confirm participation of the representing Core Catalysing Board Members from the participating organizations to the launch event for the brainstorming session.
- Post the launch event, carry out quarterly 2 days intensive workshops at participating organizations on a rotation basis where individual researchers and developers can present their ongoing research or developed work to all participants internally or externally.
- A database will be created, maintained and managed for all presented and curated deep tech R&D solutions and regular inputs and guidance will be provided to the deep tech R&D teams by the global expert and investment committee formed, towards commercialization and possible path of investment towards scaling.
- Every year one Annual Event for the final curated deep tech solution Investment will be organized along with a brainstorming session.
Our engagement steps with individual Govt Lab R&D and Academic Institution R&D:
- Form a core group of Professors and Lead Researchers who are conducting Deep Technology Research or have inclination to do so within the Institution
- Enumerate all the deep technology research which is happening at institute in details with support of the core group of Professors and Research Leads at your institute.
- Review with our National and Global Experts with several mutual engagements and exchanges and evaluate from the enumerated research what can be commercialized within (a) next 2 years, (b) next 5 years, based on the status of R&D on that applied deep technology focus area. Create detail compiled notes on all the evaluated work happening.
- Engage our national and global network of Industry, HNI & Industry Tech Investors and VCs interested in these deep technology research areas on individual projects for both guidance and support and possibly early investment or Investment lock-in.
- Engage our national and global network of Industry Technology Mentors interested in these deep technology research areas on individual projects for both guidance and support and using their network and knowledge to take it to commercialization.
- Every year conduct a presentation in an investor summit at the participating institutes of all deep technology enabled research and development taken through from step (2) till step (5) and take them through the logical path of launching as commercial Deep Technology Scalable Enterprises through investments from the investors.
- This program we initially would like to carry out for next three years and then evaluate the outcome to carry forward
- ENGAGE SPECIFICALLY WITH MACHINE LEARNING RESEARCHERS ACROSS INSTITUTES & R&D LABS ACROSS INDIA AND ABROAD AS APPROPRIATE. BRING THEM IN COLLABORATIVE ENGAGEMENT UNDER THE FOLD OF THE
- ENGAGE WITH IICML FELLOWS WITH STRONG COMMITMENT OF MENTORING, ALONG WITH INDUSTRY ENGAGEMENT FOR SPECIFIC SOLUTIONING, INDUSTRY GENERATED FUNDING, AND THEN BRING FUNDING TO THE SELECT ONES WHICH HAS THE POTENTIAL FOR SCALING WITH INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS FROM DEEP TECH VCs WHO WILL FURTHER HELP SCALE.