IIT Jodhpur gets new technology innovation hub, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu to inaugurate

It is an initiative of the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) approved under the aegis of office of Principal Scientific Advisor, GoI initiated in 2020
IIT Jodhpur | Pic: IIT Jodhpur
IIT Jodhpur | Pic: IIT Jodhpur

Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu will be inaugurating the newly developed Jodhpur City Knowledge and Innovation Cluster (JCKIC) at IIT Jodhpur on September 28, 2021. He will be joined by Kalraj Mishra, Governor, Rajasthan, and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Cabinet Minister in the Ministry of Jal Shakti. The event will be presided over by R Chidambaram, Chairman, BoG, IIT Jodhpur.

So, what is the JCKIC? It is an initiative of the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) approved under the aegis of office of Principal Scientific Advisor, GoI initiated in 2020. The programme approved six clusters at Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Bhubaneswar and Delhi. The project aims to create linkages among academic institutions, research and development institutes, national and state research laboratories, government agencies and industries of the host city and its surroundings. The programmes and activities are being set up under the following verticals at JCKIC:

Medical Technology Innovation 
Joint innovation oriented Masters and PhD programme with AIIMS Jodhpur has been started in the transdisciplinary area of Medical Technology. At present about 40 students are enrolled. A Bionest incubator supported by BIRAC, Department of Biotechnology has been initiated for hosting start-ups in this area. Around six start-ups are currently being incubated.

Project Craft
JCKIC is working for sustenance and expansion of local handicraft work of Jodhpur through intervention of appropriate technology, digitalisation and archiving of designs and processes and creating a unique physical-cum-digital experiential e-market place using mixed reality technology.

Water and Environment
JCKIC is working on technologies for providing clean drinking water by using techniques that are green and based upon traditional knowhow. A collaboration with Fraunhofer Institute is being established for building a smart water grid and handling pollution of effluents from textile and other local industries.

Thar Design
The vertical carries ecosystem phenomics through a transdisciplinary framework of medical, engineering, environmental and life sciences. It aims to crowdsource observations from the local ecosystem to the regional level using IOT enabled devices and Big Data analytics framework keeping the cultural context and traditional medicine knowledge in perspective. The vertical aims to integrate computer vision and Machine Learning along with domain knowledge to infer links between environment, phenotype and genotype at geo-spatio temporal scales and identify signatures of 'Thar Designs' for early actionable intervention strategies.

Along with this, the Vice President will also lay the foundation stone of the Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIOT) hub at the Institute.

And what is this hub all about? AIOT hub is the convergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) with mobile communication technology (5G and beyond). Formally, AIOT is the combination of AI technologies with IoT infrastructure in a seamless fashion to achieve more efficient AI on the edge, improve human-machine interactions and enhance data management and analytics having three major characteristics: 

- Interconnected and intelligent devices 
- Self-learning and self-healing human and machine workflows 
- Autonomous decision making with edge compute

Expressing his happiness for the upcoming event, Prof Santanu Chaudhury, Director, IIT Jodhpur, said, “AIOT Innovation Hub and JCKIC are initiatives of IIT Jodhpur to connect academics with real life and industrial scale problems. This will enrich the innovation ecosystem of IIT as well as Jodhpur city. We expect that in near future this will trigger local industrial development through start-ups and new generation MSME who are eager to take forward the agenda of Atmanirbhar Bharat.”

Establishment of AIOT Innovation Hub at IITJ Innovation Complex will lead to the creation of facilities for end-to-end design, development, prototyping and delivery of AIOT (including photonic systems) for start-up’s and MSMEs at the Technology Park of IIT Jodhpur. It will also create an ecosystem for co-creation of AIOT technologies and products by faculty and Students of IIT Jodhpur and industry partners. This hub will also help in aligning business partners for possible consumption of products ensuring a viable business prospect for the hub. 

IIT Jodhpur is proposing for setting up a Sensor Fabrication Foundry for development of low cost indigenous sensors. This facility will support research and development activities, as well as production of sensors to reduce the import.

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