Microsoft and Idealabs Futuretech Ventures Partner to enable AI Digital Labs Programme
Microsoft and Idealabs Futuretech Ventures partner together to push forward the AI Digital Labs programme in India. Through this partnership, both the organizations will work together towards their shared vision of building a future-ready workforce by providing access to technology infrastructure, curriculum and training in AI and intelligent technologies for students in the country.
Microsoft and Idealabs have announced this partnership in a webinar AI Digital Labs, held on Aug 20, 2020. Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Information Technology, Govt. of Telangana, India, said in his keynote, “Creating the right talent in AI is the biggest challenge. This initiative by Microsoft and Idealabs is at a very appropriate time and students and colleges across India will benefit” He also added that “ AI is an essential skill irrespective of the academic background and JNTU has made AI as a mandatory credit based course for all students across the University.”
Other speakers included Pankaj Diwan, Founder, Idealabs, Sandeep J Alur, Director, Microsoft Technology Centre, India, Rama Devi, Director, Emerging Technologies, Government of Telangana, Omjiwan Gupta, Director –Education, Microsoft India, Sanjeev Malhotra, CEO, NASSCOM CoE for IoT&AI, Ashwin Suvaganam, Data Science leader, Infosys, Shivaram, founder, Curl Analytics, Ram Goyal, Chief Mentor for AI, Idealabs.
The event was attended by more than 800 people including Academic Leaders, Professionals and students from all across India.
A Microsoft and IDC Asia/Pacific study, Future Ready Business: Assessing Asia Pacific’s Growth Potential Through AI, says lack of resources and upskilling programs have emerged as one of the top challenges facing Indian companies in adopting Artificial Intelligence. To bridge the skills gap between academia and industry, Microsoft launched the AI Digital Labs programme in 2019 in collaboration with ten higher education institutions in India, including BITS, ISB, and BML Munjal University. Through this programme, Microsoft helps students and young professionals move effectively from the classroom to 21st century careers.
Idealabs has been creating a convergence of corporates, startups, and academia and upskilling professionals to be industry-ready. Following this partnership, Idealabs will work closely with Microsoft and bring its expertise and extended ecosystem to the table to take the AI Digital Labs programme to grassroots level in India. The company will provide deep-dive programmes for students in emerging technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Cloud & Data Science that will boost their career prospects. Participants in these programmes will be provided access to cloud-based lab facilities, which will offer them first-hand experience in the intelligent technologies. These programmes will also provide the students an opportunity to participate in national and international hackathons to showcase their talent. On successful completion of the programme participants will be awarded with a Microsoft’s course completion certification.
Idealabs will also conduct workshops on cloud computing, data sciences, AI, and the Internet of Things for faculty under the AI Digital Labs programme to increase awareness. The company will also assist in strategizing content and curricula for project-based and experiential learning.
Sandeep J Alur, Director Microsoft Technology Center, India comments, “The COVID 19 pandemic has fast tracked the digital transformation of India, driving demand for tech-enabled jobs across every industry. This means that the youth of today need to be adequately supported with the right skills that will help them thrive in a digital economy. Our partnership with Idealabs is focused on closing this gap, empowering students across the country with access to the right technology, infrastructure, curriculum, and training for a tech enabled future.”
Pankaj Diwan, Founder of Idealabs Futuretech Ventures, says, “Artificial Intelligence and IoT technologies are transforming almost every major industry and creating new career opportunities. India has the potential to be the hub for skilled resources and technology innovations. But the paucity of resources and infrastructure is a major hurdle. We look forward to working in tandem with Microsoft to catalyze the growth of emerging technologies in India and build a future-ready workforce.”
Under the AI Digital Labs programme, Microsoft will support educational institutions with best-in-class infrastructure, curriculum and content, access to cloud and AI services as well as developer support. Millions of Indian students will gain access to core AI infrastructure and IoT Hub. The programme will also provide access to a wide range of AI developmental tools and Azure AI Services such as Microsoft Cognitive Services, Azure Machine Learning and Bot Services.
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