SAP, the global ERP major announced the signing of a Statement of Intent (SOI) with NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), a flagship programme of the Government of India to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. As part of the SOI, SAP in 2018 will adopt 100 Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATL) to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education among secondary school children across India, specifically in the states of Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. These labs will focus on promoting technology like AI, 3D, Robotics, IoT and Blockchain among young students.
“We are passionate about using technology to improve people’s lives- One example is to empower the world’s youth, working adults, differently abled people and the unemployed with the right skills they need to thrive in the digital economy. 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.
Acknowledging the importance of such collaborations, Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, said, “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”.
The program aims to enable students to learn advanced technology topics relevant to digital transformation and the Internet of Things, Design Thinking methodology, introduction to programming languages and experiential science learning.
Commenting on the partnership, Dilipkumar Khandelwal, President, SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, SAP SE & Managing Director, SAP Labs India said, “In line with the government’s Digital India vision, this partnership with NITI Aayog is part of our ongoing effort towards promoting STEM education among the Indian youth and to equip them with relevant future ready IT skills. In addition, we look forward to working closely with Atal Innovation Mission to also train teachers and other stakeholder groups on the identified areas and design new technology courses and projects to ensure India’s youth are ready for a digital world once they leave the classroom.”
Ramanathan Ramanan, Mission Director, AIM, added, “Such 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.”
SAP employee volunteers will coach and mentor students in advanced technology topics, and the design lab of SAP Labs India, will provide trainings 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.
NITI Aayog’s AIM envisions the creation of a collaborative ecosystem, where students, teachers, mentors and industry partners work to facilitate innovation, foster scientific temper and an entrepreneurial spirit in the children of today, who will go on to become successful contributors to nation-building tomorrow.