Hyderabad: The Government of India-backed Science and Technology Hyderabad Cluster has been launched in the city. Hyderabad is one of the four cities chosen for the establishment of the Science and Technology Cluster by the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) to facilitate nationwide scientific collaboration. Hyderabad cluster becomes the first city to roll out the cluster initiative.
The city cluster aims to improve overall outcomes for science, technology, and innovation in the country. This cluster will be led by the Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH), a Government of Telangana initiative.
The cluster was formally launched in a virtual event by KT Rama Rao, Minister for IT, Industries and MA&UD, Telangana, and K Vijay Raghavan, principal scientific adviser (PSA), Government of India.
Launching the Hyderabad Cluster, KT Rama Rao said, “Telangana has introduced several initiatives to bring prosperity through science and innovation. RICH has been created as a collaborative effort to bring all the stakeholders on one platform. The State has over 60 R&D labs (including government and private sector) creating a vibrant ecosystem. The State’s focus on innovation has been broad-based covering students, rural population, farmers, and women, besides industry and academia.”
Telangana’s pharma companies are today leading the national effort in developing drugs and vaccines for the human good. Hyderabad is the vaccine capital and contributes one-third of the global human vaccines. Agriculture companies in the State are the largest providers of seeds nationally. Hyderabad known for its digital technology capabilities has created many unicorns.
KTR added, “The State has announced 2020 as the year of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is not just part of the digital industry, but also is being used in Lifesciences, agriculture, governance, and many other areas. The use of AI will grow exponentially as more startups are enabled to speed up the journey to market by State enablers such as T-Hub and global technology companies that operate in Hyderabad.”
The pandemic has shown the need and importance of collaborations and multi-disciplinary research, and the cluster initiative of PSA fits perfectly with the State’s planning and belief system, he emphasized.
Telangana has set a goal to become the preferred center of excellence in Asia for life sciences, digital technology, agriculture, and smart manufacturing. Hyderabad Cluster will not just be focusing on big problems but will strive to bridge the gap in the ecosystem and help MSMEs to make India self-reliant.
The State has already brought together agriculture universities, RICH and IT Department to bring effective technologies for farmers to increase their income. The government is also working with Cyient and other organizations to create test beds in hospitals to evaluate new diagnostic kits. Waste-to-wealth centers of excellence are being created. National institutions are also working on improving nutrition for women and children. The State is using IoT and other technologies to address the mosquito menace.
“In the long-term, the government will focus on global leadership through strong research and education focusing on personalized medicine and appropriate nutrition for every citizen. We also will focus on cross-functional capabilities going forward to find solutions not only for India but for the world,” added KTR.
Jayesh Ranjan, IT principal secretary, Telangana said, “We introduced the concept of RICH because we realized that we have an array of R&D institutions located in Hyderabad, which are the best in the world, to ensure that the industry benefits from the presence of these institutions. The Industries Minister envisioned that RICH will not only be able to help the industry but also startups in terms of innovation as they find it difficult to find the doors of R&D institutions open.”
In the last four years, RICH has been able to bring together the interests of the R&D institutions, industry, startups, and the government. The Hyderabad cluster will enable RICH to take part in international projects and collaborations among all the key stakeholders.
Ajit Rangnekar, director-general of RICH, said, “Hyderabad has already fully internalized the concept of the multi-disciplinary cluster. RICH, which has initiated several efforts towards research and innovation, is ready to initiate the works on the Science and Technology Hyderabad Cluster.”
“In the past, work has been initiated on the national reagents consortium and to support new diagnostic development. With the help of the State government, clinical data is being digitized to create bio-banks so that startups can carry out further research using the samples. There are also collaborative efforts on personalized medicine and nutrition,” added Rangnekar.