In his article in Fortune on whether India can become an innovation hub for the world, journalist Ashish Gupta explores India’s capability in cutting-edge technology and disruptive innovation.
In his search for answers, Gupta talks to many stalwarts in the field of innovation: Vijay Govindarajan, Coxe Distinguished Professor at Dartmouth, Marvin Bower Fellow at Harvard Business School, Lakshmi Pratury, founder, host and curator of INK Talks, and Brock Pierce, serial entrepreneur, digital currency visionary, and chairman of the U.S.-based Bitcoin Foundation.
Bower tells him, “The time for incremental change is over; it is time for non-linear, breakthrough innovations, not just for solving the country’s [India’s] complex problems, but also for creating a far more equitable and inclusive society.” Pratury, says, it’s time for India to take some ‘exponential risks’.
Pierce identifies AI as the greatest innovation of our time, and says that perhaps it will define the future of Indian innovation. Sanjeev Tyagi, founder and head of research at Ericsson’s Bangalore research and development center, confirmed to Gupta that his team of researchers are at work on cloud computing, machine learning, and IoT where a group of passengers and a fleet of buses are part of a study that uses data, apply machine learning and machine intelligence to optimize bus routes. Ericsson and Intel are looking into the ability to scale computer/network/storage independently of each other. Tyagi adds that for the interconnected world of the future, we need to “create a system that uses machine learning and IoT for self-learning [learning from the past], self-healing [the ability to find solutions when something goes wrong], and self-organizing, so it can allow new devices to become a part of the system.”
Sriram Raghavan, director of IBM’s research center in Bangalore, says his team is working in the areas of IoT and cognitive computing, IoT and blockchain technology, AI and blockchain technology to create new applications and provide different services to global clients such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Mahindra and Mahindra in India.
India’s HCL Technologies has developed two mission-critical systems for the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner: one to avoid collisions in the air, and another to facilitate landing in zero visibility.
Mumbai-based Tata Consulting Services is investing deeply in high-potential areas such as genomics; metagenomics; integrated computational materials engineering for building stronger, lighter metals; robotics and automation; as also in human-centric systems.
Fortune says: All these are applications of existing technology. Clearly, this is going to be how innovations happen in this country, where the technology may not be original, but the use of it is.