Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, in collaboration with Intel India has launched a new initiative called Fund for Industrial Research Engagement (FIRE). Through this initiative, the Indian research community will soon be able to pursue industry-relevant research opportunities in the areas of deep technologies that are novel, transformative, and can have a ground-breaking impact on a national scale.
The initiative, which a joint government and industry initiative with a co-funding mechanism, aims at increasing research opportunities in the space of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), platform systems, circuits and architecture, Internet of Things (IoT), materials and devices, security, and so on from edge to cloud to promote innovative technology solutions and strengthen academic research through collaboration with key research and development (R&D) organizations in India.
The program that has been conceived in collaboration with Intel India will also be extended to other industry players. Professor Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, DST said: “It is our vision to promote research in the upcoming critical areas of science and engineering with Public-Private Partnerships as elaborated in the draft Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2021. SERB-FIRE is a novel initiative to bring together industry and academia on a common platform to exchange ground-breaking ideas and co-promote innovative research. I believe this collaboration will open many new doors for exploration in scientific research, which could make India a key player in technology-based solutions.”
The program intends to select highly impactful research projects in every cycle (typically once or twice a year), which have breakthrough potential at a national or global level. It will support the best researchers in academia with funding, mentoring, and industry connect. As the next step, the FIRE program will share a Request for Proposal (RFP) and invite the Indian research community to submit research proposals.
Jitendra Chaddah, country manager, global supply chain, Intel India, said: “FIRE is a one-of-its-kind collaborative initiative that aims to transform the culture of research in India and strengthen the technology ecosystem. This is a critical program that will lead to impactful research outcomes in key technology areas like AI, ML, cloud, edge, and security at the national and global scale.”