German enterprise software maker SAP has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) of Niti Aayog to set up Atal Tinkering Labs in India. According to company executives, the lab will function as a platform to showcase emerging technologies like drone, artificial intelligence, blockchain, 3D and robotics among others at different locations in the country. Under this MoU, SAP will set-up about 100 labs across Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. “About 50 labs are already running and 50 more will be added in the year 2018-19,” said Dilipkumar Khandelwal, President, SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, SAP SE & Managing Director, SAP Labs India.
Atal Tinkering Labs is a work space created by PM Narendra Modi government under the leadership of Niti Aayog, where young students from class 6th to class 12th get hands on and learn innovation skills. Under Atal Tinkering Labs, government aims to provide young children a chance to work with tools and equipment to understand the concepts of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Atal Tinkering Labs contains educational and learning ‘do it yourself’ kits and equipment on – science, electronics, robotics, open source microcontroller boards, sensors and 3D printers and computers.
So far 2,400 schools across the country had been selected to set up Atal Tinkering Labs and government aims to take this number to 30,000 in next three years. Currently 1100 labs are operational and by the end of June about 1500 labs will be ready for students. To provide mentoring, government has also roped in about 5,000 individual mentors, said Ramanathan Ramanan, Mission Director, AIM.
“India’s growth for the next few decades will depend on the innovations coming out of these tinkering labs. Tomorrow’s ideas come from students, who will disrupt industries and creative sectors with new technologies and processes which will thrust India into the leadership position for technological creativity and innovation. This is possible only through effective public-private partnership and we are delighted to have SAP partner with us on AIM to nurture the future talent of our country,” said Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog.
So far, Atal Innovation Mission has signed similar agreements with American technology giants IBM and Intel. According to Kant, government is specially looking at companies having significant impact in the areas of emerging technologies. “These partnerships are a win-win situation for AIM and its partners. This partnership shall help support and boost innovations from the ATLs. The support to Atal Incubators will catalyze adoption of the innovations to commercial scales, ensuring deployment of the innovations to the domestic and international markets quickly and efficiently,” said Ramanan.
SAP said its employee will volunteers to coach and mentor students in advanced technology topics, and the design lab of SAP Labs India, will provide training and allow students to gain hands-on experience with technology gadgets. SAP will also provide CSR grants through non-profit partners so that ATLs can provide students with holistic learning experiences that extend their school curriculum.
“Collaborating with governments and academia will allow us to further ignite innovation in India’s large student population through providing the right guidance, knowledge, and infrastructure, which not only improves lives but also advances the technology ecosystem as a whole,” said Bernd Leukert, member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, Products & Innovation.