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IBM, MeitY sign MoUs to help startups working in AI, semiconductors, quantum tech

IBM has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to offer Indian startups access to semiconductor research facilities, fostering chip design initiatives, and creating an AI innovation sandbox environment.

The software major aims to build research capacity in three crucial sectors: AI, semiconductor manufacturing and designing, and quantum computing.

“The IBM partnership will significantly expand semiconductor research in startups, and more importantly, address the issues with nurturing talent in the semiconductor space,” Rajeev Chandrashekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology of India, said.

As per the MOUs, IBM will also develop an AI innovation sandbox environment to help startups solve challenges related to AI. It aims to help startups build minimum viable products using tools and resources from the sandbox.

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MoS for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar with IBM officials.

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MoS for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar with IBM officials.

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Additionally, IBM will work with IndiaAI—an independent business division under the non-profit Digital India Corporation (DTC) that serves as a portal for all AI-related development in India. The two entities aim to create a national AI Innovation Platform (AIIP), focusing on AI skill development and ecosystem growth, accelerating the incubation and development of AI technologies for national priority use cases. IBM will offer its watsonx platform to train, validate, tune and develop AI models across various domains.

IBM will be a knowledge partner of India Semiconductor Mission—another independent division of DTC that aims to foster the semiconductor and display ecosystem. It will also facilitate startups to initiate chip design in India.

Chandrashekhar also said that the government is in talks with IBM to help develop the indigenous RISC-V microprocessor capabilities in India. Additionally, the minister said the government will soon announce India’s largest semiconductor research facility where IBM will help with manufacturing and design research.

IBM and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) plan to collaborate in advancing India’s National Quantum Mission. This partnership aims to build expertise in the technology, drive quantum applications in nationally significant areas, and nurture a skilled quantum workforce through industry and startup support, R&D, and infrastructure development.

“This collaboration reinforces our commitment to be the trusted partner for India in enhancing its innovation capabilities. Supporting the government’s efforts in building infrastructure, enhancing human capital and knowledge creation in these three areas of technology will be integral to India’s digital transformation and economic growth,” said Sandip Patel, Managing Director, IBM India and South Asia.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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