Karnataka plans Tech Development Board

Representative image. (Photo/Pixabay)

The Karnataka government is mulling over setting up of a Technology Development Board to promote information technology and knowledge economy in the state, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said at the inauguration of the Bengaluru Tech Summit on Monday. 

He also announced the setting up of the Karanataka Innovation Authority that would aid tech startups. “In a meeting with industry leaders, I had said that a legal framework for promoting innovation would be established through a statute. I am happy to inform you that the government has recently set up ‘Karnataka Innovation Authority’ through legislation,” the chief minister said.

“The Authority, headed by me, will sanction setting up of regulatory sandboxes and will have powers to exempt or relax provisions of laws enacted by the legislature,” Yediyurappa added.

The theme of the summit this year is ‘Innovation and Impact 2.0’, with the main focus on innovation and entrepreneurship to become the driving forces of the development of the state in future, he said. 

Karnataka and Bengaluru emerging as a startup hub and innovation centre, the role of tech in finding solutions to societal challenges and the setting up of a new age innovation network were also the key points of discussion at the inaugural session of the latest edition of the Bengaluru Tech Summit.

The summit was inaugurated by the Chief Minister in the presence of C N Ashwath Narayan, Deputy Chief Minister and IT-BT Minister for Higher Education and Medical Education and IT, BT and S&T, a clutch of foreign diplomats and investors, Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan and chairman of vision group on IT, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson and MD, Biocon and Chairperson of Vision Group on BT, Prashanth Prakash, Partner, Accel Partners and Mohandas Pai in attendance.

The Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan focussed on the importance of technology in finding solutions to social issues and creating jobs, especially in new-age skills. He said, “Our new-age innovation network will be focusing on Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities in the state: So far 30 engineering institutions, 293 projects funded and over 100 working prototypes have been realised via this platform.”

The Karanataka Government also announced the launch of the ‘Global Innovation Alliances Market Access Program’ (GIA MAP) for exchange of startups between Bengaluru and international startup hubs. “As a part of the pilot, we have designed a programme for German start-ups to explore the Indian market.”

On the needs of the startup sector Prashant Prakash, Partner, Accel Partners, Chairman, Karnataka Vision on Startups said, “In order to strengthen the sector, we are taking the help of 18 founders to strengthen existing programmes. We are also mulling an Elevate programme for deep tech startups. The government will be announcing a tech accelerator for startups soon.”

“In 2015, we set up a mission to achieve a $100 billion bio-economy. In 2019, we have crossed $51 billion and have developed an advanced scientific talent pool. The biotech industry has 957 startups and Bengaluru is being seen as an IT-led diagnosis centre focused on emerging technologies such as Machine Learning and AI,” Mazumdar-Shaw said.

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