Tripartite MoU paves way for Centre of excellence (Pilot) to foster the Geospatial Technology, Innovation and Solutions

New delhi,29th November: India will soon have a Centre of excellence to foster the Geospatial Innovation & Research and to cater to emerging technology solution requirements of the Geospatial domain in the country.

A tripartite MoU was signed between National Geospatial Programme- DST, National Institute of Geo-informatics Science & Technology (NIGST), Survey of India, and IIT Tirupati Navishkār I-Hub Foundation on November 28, 2023, to establish this Centre of excellence- a Pilot.

The Geospatial Innovation & Research Centre of Excellence (CoE) as a pilot aims to cater for the emerging technology solution requirements of the Geospatial domain in the country. The centre would support and encourage innovative geospatial technology-based start-ups, industries, Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) that have an application and impact in the core sectors of the economy.

Professor Abhay Karandikar, Secretary, DST highlighted that this is perhaps the first step in the direction of implementing some aspects of the National Geospatial Policy. “After liberalising the Geospatial Guidelines and bringing in the Policy, we are in the process of reforming the Survey of India. There is a plan to set up a geospatial data exchange. Incubators will also be set up to work both on developing the geospatial technology as well as support startups that can focus on applications,” he added.

Professor Karandikar pointed out that geospatial data science is an emerging interdisciplinary field which includes geospatial engineering, computer science and information technology. He also added that setting up focused incubators and carrying out capacity building through dedicated CoE will translate to implementation of the recommendations of the geospatial data policy.

“Using data science and AI model, this whole concept of World Wide Web (WWW) may change in next 10 years and may centre around geospatial platform, through which we can get both contextual and location-based information by combining AI and machine learning in linear fashion for future searches,” Prof Karandikar said.

Dr. K.N Satyanarayana, Director, IIT Tirupathi, briefed about the Technology Innovation Hub (TIH) developed under NM-ICPS and said that the TIH has four major activities – technology development, capacity building, creating startup ecosystem and international cooperation, focusing on these new areas.

Sh. Hitesh Kumar S. Makwana, Surveyor General of India, said that the MoU was prepared in consultation of all stakeholders. “We are careful about the challenges and accordingly we need an action plan for all these challenges, which would require full cooperation from all stakeholders,” he added.

Shri Sunil Kumar, Joint Secretary (Geospatial), DST along with officials from DST, SOI and IIT Tirupathi also attended the event.

DST will work in synergy with existing technology innovation hubs as well as experts/institutions to leverage each other’s strengths as well as the power of collaboration to produce synergistic outcomes in innovation. This would ensure that there is a dynamic functional model where technologies being focused are driven by market demands.

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