India’s IT ministry partners with tech giant IBM in artificial intelligence, semiconductors


India’s Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) and IBM entered into a partnership to collaborate in quantum computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and semiconductors to shape the future. IBM signed MoUs with the Government of India on Semiconductors, AI and Quantum, on Wednesday. Union Minister of State for Entrepreneurship, Skill Development, Electronics & Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar was present at the occasion.

This body of work will aim to accelerate India’s comprehensive national strategy for AI, strengthen efforts to be self-reliant in Semiconductors and advance its National Quantum Mission. The partnership comes four months after the historic India-US joint declaration on strengthening semiconductor supply chains.

“Just 4 months after the historic India-US joint declaration by @POTUS@JoeBiden & PM @narendramodi ji, @GoI_MeitY has entered into a partnership with @IBM in #Quantum, #AI & #Semiconductors — technologies that are set to shape the future,” Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on X (formerly Twitter).

The ministry said these MoUs will help India access IBM’s expertise to build and advance the country’s competency, and scale its growth mission in the AI, semiconductor and quantum industries.

“IBM will support the #FutureSkills program with @NIELITIndia and partner with #FutureDESIGN startups in the areas of Quantum and AI,” Chandrasekhar said.

He said collaborating with IBM will significantly expand capabilities in the Indian Semiconductor, AI, and Quantum Innovation Ecosystem.

He added, “Three of the four technologies that will shape the future of tech and innovation — AI, Quantum and Semiconductor — represent for us tremendous opportunities for our academic ecosystem, for the startups and innovation ecosystem in particular and of course, the broader opportunity of creating global standard talent in India that can take advantage of the opportunities in Quantum, Semiconductors and AI.”

The plans under which IBM would work with IndiaAI, ISM and C-DAC to focus on skill development, engaging the ecosystems and accelerating R&D efforts in semiconductors, AI and quantum are envisioned to advance and accelerate India’s innovation in these areas.

Digital India Corporation intends to collaborate to establish a world-class national AI Innovation Platform (AIIP) for India that will focus on AI skilling, ecosystem development, and integrating advanced foundation models and generative AI capabilities to support India’s scientific, commercial, and human-capital development in this technology.

IBM will be a knowledge partner of India Semiconductor Mission (ISM) for a semiconductor research centre. IBM may share its experience with ISM on intellectual property, tools, initiatives, and skills development, aimed at promoting innovation in semiconductor technologies such as logic, advanced packaging and heterogeneous integration, and advanced chip design technologies, using modernized infrastructure.

IBM and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) will also explore opportunities for working together to support the advancement of India’s National Quantum Mission by building competency in quantum computing technology, applications in areas of national interest, and a skilled quantum workforce.

“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 & South Asia.

Earlier in June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden affirmed a vision of India and the United States as among the closest partners in the world — a partnership of democracies looking into the 21st century with hope, ambition, and confidence.

PM Modi and President Biden affirmed that technology will play a defining role in deepening our partnership. The leaders hailed the inauguration of the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) in January 2023 as a major milestone in India-US relations.

PM Modi and President Biden hailed the signing of an MoU on the Semiconductor Supply Chain and Innovation Partnership as a significant step in the coordination of semiconductor incentive programs.

This will promote commercial opportunities, research, talent, and skill development. The leaders welcomed an announcement by Micron Technology, Inc., to invest up to $825 million to build a new semiconductor assembly and test facility in India with support from the Indian government.

Applied Materials will establish a Semiconductor Centre for Commercialization and Innovation in India to enhance the diversification of the semiconductor supply chain.
Lam Research will train 60,000 Indian engineers through its “Semiverse Solution” to accelerate India’s semiconductor education and workforce development goals.

India and the US have established public-private Joint Task Forces on the development and deployment of Open RAN systems and advanced telecoms research and development.

Bharat 6G from India and the US Next G Alliance will co-lead the public-private research, aiming to reduce costs, enhance security, and improve the resiliency of telecommunication networks.

The Joint Indo-US Quantum Coordination Mechanism has been established to facilitate joint research on quantum technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and advanced wireless technologies.

Joint collaboration on trustworthy and responsible AI, including generative AI, will promote AI education, workforce initiatives, and commercial opportunities.

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