Published: 25th November 2020
IIT Kharagpur sets up AI hub to translate academic research to industrially scalable products
The institute received a grant of Rs 170 crore from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India under the NM-ICPS to set up the infrastructure
IIT Kharagpur has set up a technology innovation hub on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to translate academic research to industrially scalable products and processes, a spokesperson said. The institute recently set up a special purpose vehicle, the IIT Kharagpur AI4ICPS I Hub Foundation (the Technology Innovation Hub on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning) for translation of academic research at the 'proof of concept level' to 'industrially scalable products and processes', focussed on AI interventions, the spokesperson said on Tuesday.
"While research has been happening in AI and ML for decades, mostly limited to software with limited inclusion in consumer goods and daily used gadgets, graduating innovation to technology readiness for industrial production is crucial," Principal Investigator Dr Debdoot Sheet, who is also Assistant Professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence said.
"The Hub is envisioned to be a unique establishment in the country to undertake a diverse spectrum of activities linking academic research to the industry through an inclusive co-working partnership," he added. The institute received a grant of Rs 170 crore from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India under the NM-ICPS to set up the infrastructure and undertake the related research and training programmes. "We are also committed to promote fundamental research and foster the creation of start-ups to scale production for their off-shelf market availability," Sheet said.
The hub will further develop critical infrastructure for the nation, an AI Cloud for CPS, a National Knowledge Portal for training human resources on the future-ready AI technology for CPS. "Tractors and farm machines, 3D printing technology, structural health and road traffic, wastewater engineering, energy-efficient buildings, next-gen wireless communication, human physiology and in-silico disease models are to name a few of the 32 technologies to be developed at the hub," said Dr Ashish Ranjan Hota, Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering.
The R&D work will span over core research in algorithms, methods, enabling technologies like machine vision, speech, natural language processing (NLP), text analytics, technology for the internet of things (IoT), and application of AI and ML technologies in a diverse range of industry verticals including healthcare, precision agriculture.
"IIT Kharagpur is a pioneer in AI education and research with more than a hundred faculty members working in theory and methods of AI and its applications across various disciplines. "This hub will create a multidimensional ecosystem to foster innovation and commercialisation of AI&ML interventions to ICPS spanning across several sectors along with facilitation of new knowledge creation, upskilling human resources, entrepreneurship and job creation," said Director, Prof Virendra K Tewari. Along with Dr Sheet are Prof Surjya Pal, Prof Sudeshna Sarkar, Dr Ashish Ranjan Hota, Dr Rajendra Machavaram and over 80 faculty members from diverse disciplines of the institute in driving the hub's establishment. Their R&D work will have close collaboration with over 50 companies and PSUs who are engaging early on, scouting for potential technologies, the spokesperson said. Research collaborations are also being discussed with over 30 global research partners towards furthering the objective of an unifying effort to converge the world in building AI for industries of the future across sectors ranging from agriculture to heavy machinery.