American tech-giant Cisco has announced that it is setting up a network of Cisco thingQbator labs across India. The labs will be in five academic institutions in India and is aimed at enhancing and developing digital skills and entrepreneurship among students.
The innovation labs, also known as the Internet of Things (IoT) makerspaces are being set up in collaboration with the Nasscom Foundation. These will provide students with the opportunity to get a hands on experience with technology and potentially come up with digital solutions to solve local problems.
The five academic institutions chosen for setting up the thingQbator makerspaces are Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management (IITMK), Kerala, IIT-BHU Varanasi, Amrita University Coimbatore, Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women – Delhi and Trident Academy of Technology Bhubaneswar. The company is hoping to positively impact about 50 million beneficiaries across India by 2025. This is in line with Cisco’s global vision of looking to impact 1 billion lives around the globe by 2025.
Cisco claims to have over 10,000 people in India. They are supposedly engaged with the government and community organisations in the country dealing with various fields like education, economic empowerment and environmental sustainability.
V C Gopalratnam, Cisco Senior Vice President (IT) and CIO, was quoted saying, “We are also supporting N/Core, an incubator for social sector startups, to launch N/Core tech – an exclusive track focussed on incubating early-stage non-profits that leverage digital technology to positively impact society.”
He added, “Cisco will support up to 20 organisations during the first year in two cohorts. Each selected startup will receive an innovation grant of Rs 10 lakh. In addition, the startup will have access to a set of mentors and technology experts from Cisco along with N/Core partners.”