Saturday, November 18, 2017

Toyota Kirloskar Motor Inaugurates a Mobile Medical Unit, Conducts Specialized Health Camp at Ramnagara

Toyota Kirloskar Motor inaugurated a Mobile Medical Unit [MMU] and conducted a specialized health camp at Ramnagara. In line with its continuous community development initiatives undertaken in the vicinity of the plant.  The event which was held at Government High School in Sheshagirihalli, also marked the launch of Toyota’s first employee volunteerism engagement ‘ICARE’, aimed at inciting a sense of social responsibility and care towards the society.

The camp which was inaugurated by R. Latha, IAS – Chief Executive Officer, Zilla Panchayat [Ramanagara District], Sunanda Venkatesh, President – Manchanayakanahalli Gram Panchayat Dr Arun Kumar, District Tuberculosis Officer and Dr. T. Amaranath, District Health Officer – Ramanagara District in the presence of Naveen Soni, Vice President - Toyota Kirloskar Motor and Sudeep Dalvi, Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor. This primarily aims at providing free medical check-up and healthcare facilities to the communities actively supported by Toyota employees in mobilizing of community members, raising awareness and providing assistance to ensure smooth functioning of the activity.

Mobile Medical unit project was undertaken with an objective to cater to the medical requirements of the inaccessible villages by providing them the preventive & curative health care services and simultaneously strengthening the Government health care system as a sustainable measure. On a pilot basis, we have initiated this activity to provide better health care services to the community in the inaccessible villages. The inaccessible villages are those villages which are not able to reach to the government health care. In addition, specialized health camps will be organized on monthly basis by doctors from different specialties such as Gynecology, Orthopedics, Dental, Pediatrics and General Medicine. Medicines and consultation will be free, medical referrals and regular follow-ups will be done for critical cases. Through MMU, we are aiming to bring down the life style prone diseases [such as Diabetes, Blood pressure, etc] and seasonal diseases [like Chikungunya, Dengue, Malaria, etc]. Also, owing to Byramangala lake contamination, more cases are registered under skin related diseases, which will be effectively addressed through this MMU in the surrounding villages.

Commenting on Toyota’s initiative, R. Latha, IAS – Chief Executive Officer, Zilla Panchayat said, “We thank Toyota Kirloskar Motor for their continuous efforts towards the various community development initiatives undertaken in Ramnagara. We hope that this mobile medical unit and specialized health camps will provide easy access to quality health care services for the health benefits of the villagers, thus well-being of the society at large”.

Speaking on this initiative, Naveen Soni, Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said, “It has been Toyota’s continuous endeavor to enrich the community we live in, with our CSR initiatives by understanding and catering to the critical needs of the neighboring community. Access to quality and affordable healthcare service for everyone is of paramount importance, and we at Toyota hope that this Mobile Medical Unit and the specialized health camps conducted will address the immediate and critical needs of the community members. 

This program is also special for us at Toyota, as our employees have actively participated by voluntarily coming forth to support towards successful completion of this health camp activity. Toyota has been focusing on impactful embedment of the CSR policies into our business processes, and through employee engagement in our CSR initiatives, we aim to set the core values in our employees’ lives. This will not only inculcate a culture of sustainability and innovation within the company, but will also work as a platform for self-development, by giving a chance to enhance key skills such as teamwork, interpersonal communication etc. This indeed a proud moment and we are excited to build on the success of the first step in engaging our employees under this CSR initiative, which displays our company values and addresses some of the most pressing needs in our local neighborhoods” he added.

As a responsible corporate citizen, Toyota Kirloskar Motor is constantly working towards the development of people, communities, and the earth at large. The company’s efforts over the years include rebuilding a local residential school, construction of water tanks in rural Bangalore benefitting the community in Ramnagara district, setting up water purification units across the country further benefitting 100,000 lives. The company’s focus is on sustainable interventions in the community with flagship programs such as Development of Model School, Lake Rejuvenation, Project ABCD [A Behavioral Change Demonstration] on school sanitation, Toyota Safety Education Programme, Driving Safety Training Programs, etc. 

Under Health & Hygiene, TKM has been actively involved in construction of sanitation units in government schools and educating the children on the usage of the sanitation units and focus on the behavioral aspects in the children & community as whole. Setting up of water purification units to provide safe drinking water to community and launch of Mobile medical unit for the sustained intervention in health care system with focus on providing the basic medical equipments to the Primary Health Centers. Overall through its CSR projects, TKM has touched over 9, 50,000 lives.

Karnataka to Award Winners of India’s First Comprehensive Entrepreneurship Platform, Elevate100

ELEVATE100, India’s first comprehensive entrepreneurship platform, moved into fast lane on Saturday, November 18, 2017, with the Government of Karnataka earmarking Rs 20.03 crore to fund startups who were selected after 4 rigorous rounds in a 2-month long grueling contest.

The final list of Elevate100 Startups covers the entire gamut of the startup ecosystem in Karnataka. In all, 38 IT/ITES startups were sanctioned a grant of Rs 5.50 crores, 27 MedTech startups were sanctioned Rs 4.30 crores, 17 ESDM startups were allotted Rs 3.6 crores, 12 BT startups got Rs 2.80 crores, Rs 1.33 crore was earmarked for 6 AVGC startups, 4 Agriculture startups were sanctioned Rs 1 crore, Rs 40 lakh for 3 CleanTech startups and 4 startups working in the field of Aerospace & Aviation were sanctioned Rs 1.10Crore.

“Ideas transform cultures and ecosystems, and it's incredible to be a part of that,” said Priyank Kharge, Karnataka minister for IT, BT & Tourism.

“The efforts of Karnataka government don’t stop at elevating these chosen 100. We see ELEVATE 100 as a continuing process where the best ideas from the state gets the support and guidance it deserves,” the minister said.

“The incredible journey of Elevate100 through the length and breadth of the state also changed my perspective on the quality of talent we have here. Even the smallest lanes of an interior town in Karnataka has something offer which can truly change the world. Elevate100 shines night on our incredible social capital,” Kharge said.

“I’m fond of this quote by Leo Tolstoy — “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves.” People are connected, informed, empowered and demand a more responsive governance. Elevate100 sets the stage for a new era of governance that’s more human, purposeful and adaptive,” the minister said.

ELEVATE 100 programme, an initiative of the Department of Information Technology and Biotechnology, Government of Karnataka, traversed the length and breadth of the state in a rigorous hunt to pick the top 100 startups and help them turn their ideas into successful businesses. The Pitching Sessions were held in Mysuru, Kalaburagi, Mangaluru, Hubballi and Bengaluru, where around 1,700 startups pitched to elevate their ideas to successful ventures. The initiative also attracted 350 women entrepreneurs and 400 applicants from the rural areas. The selected startups will have access to Karnataka Government’s Rs 400 crore start-up fund besides access to Government VC funds, pilots, private VC funds, world class accelerators and mentors.

Thanks to the 8 MoUs inked by Karnataka government on the sidelines of the ‘Elevate 100 Conference’ in Bangalore on August 30, the selected 111 startups will receive additional support and assistance from a host of private players.

While Google will provide $3000 worth of cloud credits for startups registered with Startup Cell, PricewaterhouseCoopers will provide mentorship and consulting services for sustainable growth of registered startups. Yes Bank will offer banking services, API Integration and customized solutions and Kotak Bank will help startups set up business by providing assistance in registration processes, accounting, income tax returns, GST returns and tax audits among other support. TiE, Assocham and 3M to mentor startups in different areas and Growth Enabler to help in profiling the startups for provide greater visibility on digital space.

Amazon Activate which will provide $3000 worth of cloud credits for startups registered with Startup Cell and Indian Law Practices will provide legal consultancy services for the identified startups. Digital Ocean will also provide a $100 one-time credit for all startups registered with Startup Cell and a $1000 one-time credit for startups which are being funded under Karnataka Startup Cell. Zoho will provide the startups an unprecedented 35+ integrated applications on one account with complete administrative control and complementary mobile apps.

Bengaluru Partners with DataCity to Develop Innovative Solutions to Urban Sustainability

Climate change is no small issue and has been a hot topic on a global scale. Cities are the cause as well as the biggest victims of this all-encompassing issue, so why can’t they also be the biggest hope to bring about a change?

It is with this belief that DataCity was created by leading French innovation hub NUMA in 2015, to help cities test and implement solutions quickly, with the potential to be replicated to other cities for large-scale and fast impact.

An open innovation programme for smart cities based on 2 core beliefs: Data is key to identify challenges, design solutions and ensure scalability and that change can only happen through a multi-actor co-design approach, the programme brings together corporations, public authorities and startups, from challenge definition to co-developing innovative solutions. Drawing on the expertise and datasets provided by partners and with advice from DataCity experts, start-ups test and co-develop concrete solutions to build more sustainable, inclusive and livable cities.

The programme has been successfully implemented in Paris and Casablanca. It is now expanding internationally through a partnership between NUMA and C40 cities – a network of 91 of the world’s greatest cities committed to tackling climate change. The international development of DataCity includes 3 new cities joining the programme : Singapore with Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Government Technology Agency (GovTech) through a partnership with Impact Hub Singapore, Bengaluru with the Government of Karnataka (Ministry of Information and Technology) and Barcelona with the support of Barcelona City Council.

Priyank Kharge, Minister for IT/BT and Tourism, Government of Karnataka says of Bengaluru’s inititation into the DataCity programme, “A smart city ideally should look to be citizen friendly and help the city grow in a sustainable manner. The meaning of smart cities is not fulfilled unless there is a greener or more eco-friendly way of doing things.”

Mark Watts, C40, Executive Director was also looking forward to Bengaluru’s participation in the programme. “Cities in every part of the world are seeking innovative, data-driven solution to the threat of climate change, because they recognize the urgency of the challenges we face. Bengaluru will provide and invaluable contribution to the DataCity project,” he says.

The DataCity Programme is supported at a global level by technical partners who provide expertise and technology, including Carto, OpenDataSoft and Dataiku.

GoK, UK-based GrowthEnabler Signs MoU to Support 4,000 Start-Ups in Karnataka

The state government today signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with GrowthEnabler Global, a UK-based company, to foster an environment of support for start-up companies in Karnataka.

Announcing this at the three-day Bengaluru Technology Summit 2017, the Minister for IT, BT and Tourism, Shri Priyank Kharge, said that GrowthEnabler will provide global visibility to over 4,000 start-ups in Karnataka by joining the GrowthEnabler Pii (Personalised Intelligence Interface) platform.

“This MoU with GrowthEnabler will not only provide immense opportunity to the Government and and Karnataka-based start-ups by creating a democratic access to global senior leaders of large enterprises, but also an opportunity to collaborate with them using the GrowthEnabler Pii platform,” the Minister added.

The start-ups can join the GrowthEnabler platform for free and build their profile. This will provide every Karnataka based start-up an equal opportunity to get visibility with global Fortune 500 companies and the global VC ecosystem. Once the start-ups have built the profile, they can use the GEPii platform for free and get free leads and collaboration opportunities with Global Enterprises to solve their digital transformation challenges.

Rajiv Banduni, Co-founder and CEO of GrowthEnabler Global, said, “The MoU is a great opportunity for GrowthEnabler to showcase start-up innovation from Karnataka to global Fortune  500 companies and for investors who are keen to tap into the Bangalore start-up ecosystem.”

Worldover, large global enterprises use the GrowthEnabler Pii to find disruptive tech start-ups and solutions based on their business priorities using Solution Search, select relevant tech start-ups using algorithms, customised scoring and comprehensive analysis tools, connect with start-ups most relevant to their business needs using ConnectUp and manage, track and share progress on key startup engagements using workflow tools.

Government of Karnataka in Pact with 3M for Mentoring Start-Ups in State

3M signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Government of Karnataka at the ongoing three-day Bengaluru Technology Summit here today.

As per the MoU, 3M will provide a ‘Booster Service Kit’ and conduct, on a ‘pro-bono’ basis, mentoring sessions to start-ups in the areas of commercialisation process, stage gate discipline, building a business case and accelerating product launch, competitive and pricing analysis, and differential value and options analysis. This will be conducted as per the program and schedule mutually agreed by the parties involved.

Speaking on the occasion, Priyank Kharge, the State Minister for IT, BT and Tourism, said, “We are pleased to announce a partnership with global conglomerate 3M. It is our hope that start-ups in the State will benefit from the wide range of mentoring sessions by industry specialists from 3M in the areas of commercialisation, stage gate discipline, building business cases, competitive pricing analysis and differential value analysis.” Kris Sridhar, Head R&D, 3M, was present at the event.

3M is a multinational conglomerate corporation that transforms technology into solutions. It supplies an array of innovative products across applications such as electronics, healthcare, industrial, safety and security.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Karnataka Govt and Intel Sign Agreement for 'Automotive Safety’ Projects in India

Karnataka Government, in an attempt to boost technology advancements and fostering innovations today announced 'Automotive Safety Innovation' project with Intel India - along with Mobileye, an Intel Company -as its technology advisor.

As technology advisor, Intel will work to create a repository of road and traffic information.

Speaking on the occasion Minister for IT, BT and Tourism Priyank Kharge said, "Automotive Safety Innovation Advancement Project is aimed at making vehicles smart and intelligent, leading to better driving and road safety.

"Nivruti Rai, Country Head, Intel India, Vice President of Data Center Group, said, "Intel India has been committed to accelerate technology innovation through ecosystem collaboration for the last 15 years.

Our innovation expands across design engineering, research by engaging with startups and students.

India and Japan Agree for Joint Lunar Mission at APRSAF Summit

India and Japan will launch a joint lunar   mission to jointly explore the moon.     Announcing this at a press conference, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman A S Kiran Kumar and his Japanese counterpart Dr Naoki Okumura said that an implementation agreement for the collaborative mission will be finalised within the next two months.
Both India and Japan have already conducted separate lunar missions and wanted to further probe the mysteries of moon through joint work.
India’s next lunar mission, Chandrayaan 2 was expected to take off before March next year with a proposal to land a rover on the surface of the moon.
Dr Kiran Kumar and Okumura said that the proposal was still in its infancy and no specific time frame has been set up. However the two countries would move fast and realise a joint mission as soon as  possible.
Apart from the Lunar mission and the mars mission, ISRO has recently set out expression of opportunities for interplanetary explorations, including missions to Venus, a repeat mission to Mars and study of astrides. It has also taken up a solar Mission Astra.
Okumara expressed confidence that the two countries could effectively collaborate in utilising the space for societal benefit of the region. His country was also looking forward for collaboration in the fields of remote sensing and climate change.
Kiran Kumar said that India was also looking into cooperation with Israel on various space segments. An agreement has been signed with that country recently and a definitive move would be made soon.
Israel Space Agency Director Avi Blasberger said that an agreement for space collaborations were signed during the recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his country.
The key areas of joint collaboration identified included electric propulsion for smaller satellites and atomic clocks. Israel was already providing electric propulsion to satellites.
Both Okumura and Blasberger were here in connection with the 24th meeting of the Asia Pacific Region for Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) which concluded in the city.

Phonon Comm Acquires iDelivr, Home to India’s Largest Loan Bot

Phonon Communications, a pioneer in automated customer interaction solutions, announced the acquisition of Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbot company iDelivr. Gurgaon-based iDelivr was founded in 2015 by IIT/IIM alumni Vijayendra Singh and Kumar Gyanendra with a vision to develop game-changing AI-based bots that can revolutionize customer acquisition and servicing on digital channels by reducing acquisition costs and ensuring scalability.

iDelivr specializes in building AI-based industry specific chatbots aimed at providing human-like interactions for a superior customer experience. Powered by AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP), the chatbot can provide intelligent, seamless and human-like chat experience to users and help banking, financial, insurance and mutual fund companies achieve faster resolution of customer queries.

The company’s flagship product, ‘Loan Bot’ is a revenue-generating service which has achieved 2 lakh+ prospective loan interactions in a short period of time. It has an inbuilt loan eligibility calculator, answers FAQs on loan application processes and facilitates loan application. The service has helped banks increase leads received from static forms by 30% and has boosted application fill rate by more than 50%.

Post the acquisition, Vijayendra would be joining the Phonon team as Chief Operating Officer (COO) while Gyanendra will be the new Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Speaking about the acquisition, Ujwal Makhija, CEO, Phonon Communications said, “Consumer preferences are shifting from traditional call center support towards newer support platforms which include web chat, Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter. iDelivr team’s deep expertise on AI and NLP as evidenced by Loan Bot being one of the few commercially successful bots in India will make us a truly multi-modal, speech and text-based, automation enterprise.”

Vijayendra Singh, co-founder, iDelivr added, “We are thrilled to incorporate our AI technologies into Phonon’s innovative products and services. Digital channels will redefine the future of communications and AI bots are a significant part of the change as they can help businesses increase efficiency and reduce costs.”

The banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) sector has been the largest adopter of AI chatbot services. High demand by customers and a focus on reducing staffing costs has driven BFSI enterprises to implement AI chatbots. Vadodara-based Phonon has a strong presence in the BFSI sector with the segment accounting for nearly 60% of its topline. With ‘Loan Bot’, the company believes that it has made a strong addition to its suite of cutting-edge automation products for the BFSI sector.

India’s Fastest Growing Social Media App ShareChat Now in Kannada

India’s fastest growing social media app, ShareChat, is now available in Kannada. ShareChat is a first-of-its-kind regional language social networking platform, focused completely on India with 1.5 crore registered users and available in 10 languages of Hindi, Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Odia and Kannada.

A report by KPMG and Google states that nine out of 10 new internet users will be using internet in their native language. Though this is a very positive sign, one drawback is that there are still no world-class products available which can deliver a truly Indian experience digitally. In this background, ShareChat was started by a team of IIT alumni in 2015 to address this need gap.

Recently, ShareChat has developed a Kannada only interface, using the locally prevalent words and phrases. All the technical terms in the product have been recreated in Kannada, so that a person who is not well conversant with English can also use the product with ease. ShareChat has been made keeping in view the first-time internet users and is thus very simple and intuitive by design. The app promises to host special categories and tags for festivals celebrated locally, encompassing culture and literature, education, locally trending news, Sandalwood (Kannada cinema) along with fun, entertainment, devotion and sports.

If the user finds the content interesting he or she can even share it on WhatsApp to his or her friends, thus maximizing the reach. This eventually will result in digitization of a lot of specialised areas including literature, thus preserving and further developing the varied cultural heritage in these times of fast paced technology.

The existing users have been really excited about the launch in Kannada. As of now many users knowing Kannada were using the app in other languages such as Telugu and Tamil.  The persistent demand from the users was one of the primary inspiration to launch the language soon. Ravi Kumar, a ShareChat user from Mandya commented, “One of my friends recommended ShareChat to me, as he was accessing the app in Telugu. I was eager to install the app in Kannada, but unfortunately it was not available at that time. I am now looking forward to be on the Kannada version.”

Another user, Shankar from Hubballi said, “It is wonderful to have a social networking app in Kannada. Now I will be able to access interesting content such as jokes, news and updates from here in Kannada which I can send to my friends and family through WhatsApp.”

Commenting on the launch, Farid Ahsan, CEO of ShareChat said, "ShareChat has always focused on providing a culturally relevant and truly Indian social media platform for the internet consumers of India. We at ShareChat feel proud in launching another two languages, Odia and Kannada today. It is one of the many steps taken by our team to promote the digitization of Indian languages. We are determined to make the vision of Digital India a reality and our efforts are a big leap forward in that direction."

Voylla Celebrates Launch of‘The Bangalore Edit’, Inspired by the Spirit of the Global City

India’s largest omni-channel fashion jewellery brand Voylla has presented its most stylish selection of hand-crafted jewellery ‘The Bangalore Edition was held at BBQ’d- Global grill & brewery in Bangalore.  Inspired by traditional dance forms and the architecture of spectacular palaces, imposing temples as well as the cosmopolitan spirit of Namma Bengaluru, Voylla is bringing a curation of their most refined, rooted and contemporary collection of hand-crafted jewellery.

‘The Bangalore Edit’ features Voylla’s finest and bestselling collections presented for the discerning and evolved global city. The Brandbelieves in enabling women to #LookThePart. From occasions and family affairs to more private intimate dates, to school functions to a trip to the mall, or simply a day on your own, there is a piece of Voylla for every moment of your life.
According to. Vishwas Shringi, Founder &, "We are extremely excited to launch the very special ‘The Bangalore Edit’. This has been one of the most gratifying projects at Voylla, featuring a selection of our modern and classic designs with high craftsmanship”
He further added, “With 13 retail points in the city and many more to come, an average ticket size of Rs 1200, Bangalore has been a major contributor to the Voylla growth story. 

Voylla has been doing pioneering work with traditional arts and crafts, reimagining tradition for the contemporary Indian woman. Whether it is the dance form of Kathakali or the royal palaces of Rajasthan, the majestic temples of Madurai or the rich embroidery of Kashmir, we have travelled the length and breadth of the country to draw inspiration for our drawing board.”
The event saw an eclectic bunch of guests - beauty pageant winners, writers, editors, classical dancers, musicians and social workers and home makers besides a smattering of fashion bloggers and celebrities.
Voylla was the first fashion jewellery brand to drive ecommerce in the omni channel experience with almost 250 offline retail touch pointsand a robust online presence, Voylla has now emerged as the category leader, defining it for all other brands that are yet to catch up - both in terms of range of products, quality on offer and price points. 

Jagrati Shringi, CTO & CMO- adds, “As with every other category, Bangalore, has responded to Voylla with significant enthusiasm, living up to its well deserved tag of 'Early adaptor.' Right from the time we launched our first off-line touch point in the Global City, to this day, Voylla has managed to strike a chord with consumers who have responded well to its offering. Especially with the brand ethos of #lookthepart that resonates well with the receptive, aware, empowered professional women who define the city's cosmopolitan culture.”

Voylla plans to launch 300 stores in India by end of this year and has recently launched its most romantic collection inspired by the TAJ MAHAL in New Delhi. The brand also recently tied up with Rannvijay Singha as a brand ambassador of its exclusive men’s collection “DARE” and launched its first offline store dedicated to men's accessories in Kochi.

ThinkTac’s Experiential Science Programmes Aims at Standard V-VIII Students Across India

ThinkTac, a social enterprise platform for children today announced the launch of Experiential Science Programmes aimed at students in the V-VIII standards of CBSE, ICSE and Karnataka State Board Schools today at the Maker Faire, Bangalore.
The ThinkTac annual programmes are aligned with the curriculum of a child, designed to cover up to 80% of all topics in the science curriculum. These programmes consist of a series of 20-60 Tactile Activities (TACtivities) for each standard, delivered over the academic year.

Each programme, is curated from a well-researched set of over 300 TACtivities that use a range of simple materials and resources to create, experiment, tinker and innovate and inculcate a better understanding of scientific phenomena and improve cognitive life skills.

While TACtivities (Tactile Activities) form the core of the programme, multiple modalities are employed for sustained learning outcomes. Engaging, topic-specific games are designed to create deeper engagement with topics. A Learning Management System (LMS) offers easy access to Videos and Guides covering the TACtivities as well as the theory behind them. Children have access to forums, enabling collaboration within the cohort and the ability to upload media of their work and seek feedback from educators. Regular Virtual Classrooms answer queries and provide guidance for further exploration.

Ravi Rangan, CEO, ThinkTac commented on the launch “Our mission is to empower every child to engage, enjoy and innovate with science as they learn. Though our Experimential Science Programmes we would like to make science fun and engaging to children, enhancing their creative thinking skills, thereby broader and life-long benefits, even outside the sciences. WE are excited about our venture and we look forward to building confidence and capability of children at each step.”

The programmes are available for individual learners and schools to suit every budget. Our starter programmes with Four TACtivities retail at Rs. 600 and the Explore Plus programmes, that include the intense exploration of one topic with 65 TACtivities retail at Rs. 8,500. With technology-enabled features, the programme can be availed from anywhere in India from the comfort of homes.

The platform also gives access for the parents to the guides available to each TACtivity and points out their role in the child’s learning process.

Cisco Announces $1 Billion Program for Smart Cities in India

So-called "smart cities" have less pollution, safer streets, and better quality of life for citizens. But many finance officers struggle to fund the upgrades that will make their cities smart. To help, Cisco today introduced the City Infrastructure Financing Acceleration ProgramIt is a $1 billion program aimed to make it easier, faster, and more affordable for cities around the world to fund and adopt technologies that will transform their communities.
The funding will be provided through Cisco Capital® in partnership with private equity firm Digital Alpha Advisors and pension fund investors APG Asset Management (APG) and Whitehelm Capital.  
"Funding is a major stumbling block for municipalities beginning their smart city transformation," said Anil Menon, Global President of Cisco's Smart+Connected Communities. "With our partners, Cisco will bring the capital and expertise it takes to make smart city projects a reality. Digital Alpha, APG, and Whitehelm Capital bring a fresh perspective on investment in an area that has previously been perceived as too new and, therefore, too difficult to finance."
The program helps cities assemble the right type or suite of finance instruments to fund and deploy innovative technology with minimal initial investment. Whether a city is looking to reduce energy usage, ease traffic and parking, or boost public transportation ridership and revenues, the program will help cities with solutions. Revenue-share financing, for instance, even allows a city to tie financing to desired outcomes and extend future operating budgets through revenue streams from the new services that a digitized infrastructure makes possible.
Additionally, today at the Smart City Expo World Congress, Cisco is announcing added functionality to its newly renamed connected digital platform, Cisco® Kinetic for Cities, which integrated with the Cisco Kinetic IoT data platform. The new features provide enhanced support for public safety. From the new full-policy automation options to an improved dashboard with integrated video, updates to the platform put citizen safety first. Real-time notification of emergency information now draws on additional IoT data sources and Cisco Spark™ Collaboration, enabling faster emergency response.
Cisco has also announced new purchasing options for Cisco Kinetic for Cities, including prepackaged starter solutions, which combine the Cisco IoT data platform, solution, and services with those from our ecosystem partners into ready-to-roll-out, end-to-end solution suites.
Cisco has added a number of new Cisco Kinetic for Cities customers. The Town of Cary, North Carolina, for instance, has created a "Living Lab" providing smart city technologies to improve the lives of citizens. Using the Cisco Kinetic for Cities platform, town officials can actively monitor the number of available parking spots—particularly spots for the handicapped—to gauge use and help with planning. "The Cisco Kinetic for Cities platform provides us the tools we need to positively affect our citizens' lives," said Terry Yates, Infrastructure and Network Manager, Town of Cary, North Carolina. 

Samsung Innovation Awards 2017 Held at IIT-Kanpur to Recognize Young with Path-breaking Ideas

Samsung India conducted the 7th edition of the annual Samsung Innovation Awards at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur in association with Entrepreneurship Cell. Samsung Innovation Awards aim to recognize and reward innovations that have the potential to revolutionize everyday living and enable students to take their ideas to the next level.

The first prize went to the team that included Kshitij Jaggi, Kumar Shivang and Rishabh Sahu who worked on a peer to peer financial transaction app using Blockchain technology in a distributed environment. The vision of the team is to enable financial inclusion of chit fund subscribers with Circle, a mobile first solution for organisers to easily manage the members, bringing in transparency in the whole process and creating credit history for all Indians.

Insomniatec, comprising students Kaustubh Mundra and Sankalp Rastogi, won the second prize for proposing a project that uses an infra-red camera coupled with computer vision technology to detect drowsiness in a vehicle driver while in motion and provides in-time alerts.

One of the projects, Muskan Solid Waste, consisting Hari Shankar and co-founder Mewa Lal found a special mention at the awards. This is a start-up that converts organic waste into high yielding compost. The technique used reduces time for composting and produces more efficient manure compared to artificial fertilizers.

The awards were presented by Dr Aloknath De, Chief Technology Officer, Samsung R&D Institute, India – Bangalore (SRI-B). The winners were given cash prizes worth INR 2.5 lakh while the five finalists received merit recognition from Samsung.

Samsung Innovation Awards 2017 saw an overwhelming response, with eight teams getting an opportunity to present their ideas to the jury comprising Dr. Aloknath De from SRI-B and professors from IIT-Kanpur—Dr. Amitabha Bandyopadhyay from the Department of Biological Sciences & Bioengineering (BSBE), Prof. Sandeep Shukla from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Kanpur.

Samsung R&D Institute – Bangalore will engage with the award winners to further develop their innovations.

“Through the platform of Samsung Innovation Awards, we want to encourage students to work on innovative ideas in evolving areas of artificial intelligence, computer vision and IOT. When we see diverse and quality projects in these emerging technology areas, we can sense the pulse of our youth. Novelty of ideas, comprehensiveness in execution and impact of solution are yardsticks in selecting the winners. Samsung has been supporting deep-tech innovation at large and this year’s event in IIT-Kanpur is one such initiative,” said Dr. Aloknath De, Chief Technology Officer, Samsung R&D Institute, India – Bangalore.

Cutting-edge innovations were showcased at the competition. The innovative product ideas and solutions presented this year ranged from a cloud-based healthcare data management system to an intelligence platform for law enforcement and defence agencies.

“Innovation and entrepreneurship ought to become an integral part of institutions of academic and higher technical learnings. We must quickly transform into an innovation driven society where young minds understand societal needs, carve out opportunities and take calculated risks to become job creators and leaders. We are happy that corporates such as Samsung are coming forward to help us create the desired ecosystem at IIT Kanpur,” said Sameer Khandekar, Associate Dean, Innovation and Incubation, IIT Kanpur.

The 2017 edition of the Samsung Innovation Awards was initiated at IIT-Kanpur campus six months ago through an open entry process, where students submitted their innovative ideas. The shortlisting process was led by professors from IIT-Kanpur and researchers from SRI-B, who also selected the eight finalists.

The final teams presented their ideas to the jury at the IIT-Kanpur campus. The winning project was selected based on the degree of innovation, feasibility, usability, relevance and overall impact on masses.

Conceptualised in 2011, the Samsung Innovation Awards seek to support and encourage young talent who have an innovative approach and look to improvise different systems and processes. Further, it aims to develop indigenous products and services for fulfilling mass needs thereby transforming lives and creating sustainable solutions for the benefit of the society at large.

Over the years, Samsung Innovation Awards have become one of the most eagerly awaited ideation contests at IIT’s due to enthusiastic participation from the student community. The first edition was conducted at IIT Delhi and since then Samsung Innovation Awards have been held at other major IITs. The last edition in 2016 was held at IIT Bombay and had witnessed great interest and enthusiasm from students. Samsung continues to provide the next generation of Indian innovators and entrepreneurs an avenue to showcase and advance their engineering skill sets.

Nasscom’s New Centres of Excellence on Artificial Intelligence, Data Science in Bengaluru

The software industry lobby Nasscom is setting up centres of excellence on artificial intelligence (AI) and data sciences for a better understanding on the emerging technologies, a top official has said.
With the tech world getting divided between whether or not to regulate AI, the body feels that technologies should be freely allowed to mature first before any regulation comes in, President R Chandrasekhar announced at the ongoing Bengaluru Tech Summit 2017.
“We are setting up a centre of excellence on AI and data sciences in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. They will look at mapping the resources available in the country, promoting start-ups in that area and also best practices globally, including regulatory aspects,” he told the media recently.
He, however, did not offer the investment that will go into these proposed centres nor a timeline as to when the first centre of excellence will be functional.
When sought his views on regulation of technologies, he said, “in the new-age technologies, regulation is important but it need not always precede the advent of technology as technology is evolving so quickly that regulation has only to keep pace with that.”
It can be noted that the tech world has been vertically divided over the aspect of regulation, with Tesla founder Elon Musk pitching for regulation, while Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg opposing it.
“Whichever side you are on, the time has not come to make laws which will guide behaviour of robots and create an IPC (Indian Penal Code) for robots,” Chandrashekhar quipped.
He said we have been too pessimistic because of the advent of new technologies and its impact on the sector, which gets US revenues of upwards of $150 billion and creates 4 million direct jobs.

Huawei’s India Campus Awarded Green Building Standard Certification by Indian Green Building Council

Huawei Technologies India announced that its software development campus in Bengaluru has been awarded Green Building Standard Silver Rating under the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) by Indian Green Building Council (IGBC).

The assessment was conducted by IGBC covering five environmental categories which include sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

The one million sq. ft. campus built on 20 acres land in Whitefield, Bengaluru with an investment of USD 150 million was launched in 2015.

In line with Huawei’s corporate philosophy of protecting the environment, the Bengaluru campus was designed and built as a green building, adopting eco-friendly design and practices. Some of the highlights of the campus are:
·         Fully cloud-computing based environment to reduce energy consumption.
·         Solar power and natural lighting
·         Rainwater harvesting, sewage treatment plant, waste management
·         Eco-friendly glazing to reduce air-conditioning
·         Energy efficient motors, DG sets, Chillers
·         65% open space

As a leading global ICT solutions provider, Huawei follows a strategy of "Green Pipe, Green Operations, Green Partner, Green World". We explore innovative ways to maximize products' energy utilization efficiency and operating efficiency, and at the same time minimize our carbon footprint and negative environmental impacts. In addition, we invest in innovative green initiatives to provide energy-saving products and green ICT technologies that empower all industries – and even society as a whole – to decrease carbon emissions. Huawei Technologies India is engaged in developing software products and platforms in the areas of IP based data transmission networks, intelligent networks, BSS, OSS, terminal devices and future-oriented technologies including SDN, big data, cloud, mobile internet, digital services etc.

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