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MeitY, Meta selects IIIT-H for XR Startup Program

This initiative focuses on skilling and building tech capabilities for the metaverse and will help shape the ecosystem for the emerging technologies

MeitY, Meta selects IIIT-H for XR Startup Program

MeitY, Meta selects IIIT-H for XR Startup Program

Hyderabad IIIT Hyderabad Foundation Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE) is selected as one of the four implementation partners for XR Startup Program. MeitY Startup Hub (MSH), an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, GoI, and Meta, announced the launch of XR Startup Program to support and accelerate XR technology startups across India.

This initiative focuses on skilling and building technological capabilities for the metaverse and will help shape the ecosystem for the emerging technologies, including Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in the country. The accelerator programme will support 40 early-stage startups working in XR technologies with a grant of Rs 20 lakh each.

Further, the Grand Challenge will encourage early-stage innovators in sectors like Education, Learning and Skills, Healthcare, Gaming and Entertainment, Agritech & Climate Action and Tourism & Sustainability. For the grand challenge the innovators will be provided support to upscale from the R&D phase to developing workable products and services. At first 80 innovators will be shortlisted to attend a bootcamp, out of which, a total of 16 innovators will be provided grants of Rs 20 lakh each and further support to help them develop Minimum Viable Product (MVP)/ prototypes.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology, and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, said: "It is an important day in terms of achieving Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of making the next 10 years as India's Techade - full of opportunities for young Indians. It is also an important milestone in area of Metaverse which is an important part of emerging future of the internet. I look forward to the collaboration with Meta and I hope it provides the necessary impetus towards fueling the growth of investments in future technologies in line with the government vision for making India a trillion-dollar economy by 2025."

Joel Kaplan, Vice President, Global Policy, Meta, said, "India will play a pivotal role in defining future technologies. Decisions and investments made here in India now shape global discussions on how technology can deliver more economic opportunity and better outcomes for people. It is critical that we help to create an ecosystem that will enable India's tech startups and innovators to build the foundations of the metaverse."

The use cases that IIITH will be focusing are from gaming and entertainment domains. Startups will be benefited with mentorship by industry expert, IIITH technology support and research connect as well as opportunity to present at industry events. Extended Reality comes from the combination of AR, VR and MR technologies.

Gaming in the metaverse helps the user experience the game in real time while also allowing them to interact better with other gamers in a multiplayer environment. VR also helps the gamer control the playable characters better unlocking the complete potential of gaming.

For the XR Startup Program, other implementation partners along with IIITH Foundation (CIE) are AIC SMU Technology Business Incubation Foundation (AIC-SMUTBI), Rangpo, Sikkim; Gujarat University Startup and Entrepreneurship Council (GUSEC), Ahmedabad, Gujarat and Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT), IIT Delhi, New Delhi.

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