The central government's top policy think tank, Niti Aayog, has entered into an agreement with Swiss engineering group ABB to collaborate over artificial intelligence and robotics in manufacturing.
Both parties have signed a statement of intent to support the government’s Make in India programme through advanced manufacturing technologies.
Moreover, ABB said that Niti Aayog will work with the company to prepare key sectors of the economy for digitisation, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. The sectors include power, water utilities, food, heavy industries, transport (rail and metro), and infrastructure.
ABB also said that the partnership will focus on the electric mobility segment. Together, Niti Aayog and ABB will work with government ministries, solicit feedback on critical areas and discuss solutions to industrial automation and digitisation, the company said.
“This collaboration, which will include cross-sectoral understanding of digitisation at ABB’s centres, will be key in driving progress of key sectors in India. This is meant to lead to actionable insights and focused plans that will help India become a centre for advanced manufacturing,” said Amitabh Kant, chief executive of Niti Aayog.
He added that Niti Aayog will facilitate policymakers and government functionaries’ participation in workshops and training programmes organised by ABB India. Such programmes featuring subject-matter experts will aim to sensitise policymakers and government officials towards artificial-intelligence capabilities, and explore ways for revolutionising manufacturing productivity, he explained.
The first workshop for senior government officials, under this collaboration, would be organised in June, at the ABB Ability Innovation Center in Bengaluru. The workshop will focus on the food processing sector, and the following events will focus on other sectors such as power, urban development and transport.
News of the collaboration comes one month after reports announced several steps by Niti Aayog to tap technology for healthcare, predictive analytics and more.
In April, Ethereum co-founder's startup ConsenSys signed a nonbinding agreement to make blockchain prototypes for Niti Aayog across healthcare, education, land registry, supply chain, and more.
In April again, a report said the think tank is looking to deploy the blockchain in order to curb the menace of fake drugs.
In the same month, Niti Aayog tapped IIT-Delhi’s artificial-intelligence tool that is said to reveal and predict socio-economic conditions of areas right down to the district level using satellite images.