Category — Innovation(RnD)

Indian Council of Medical Research Partners on Vaccine R&D

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) entered into an agreement with the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) to collaborate on vaccine research and development. India will commit $500,000 annually for a stake in IVI. According to the Memorandum of Understanding, ICMR will focus on research and development of vaccines to combat various infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, chikungunya and influenza, among others.

Image of Vaccines
 ICMR director general Soumya Swaminathan outlined the partnership:
  • Vaccine candidates developed in IVI labs can be transferred to one of the companies in India for further development
  • IVI will facilitate further global testing of vaccine candidates developed in India’s labs by linking developers here with global partners
  • The partnership will help with capacity building for clinical trials within India
  • IVI will support in conducting phase II and III trials for the candidate, if required

Jerome H. Kim, director general of IVI said that India supplies 60% of the world’s vaccines for vaccine-preventable diseases and contributes up to 80% of the United Nations’ annual vaccine purchases, reports the Economic Times. “We look forward to having India’s representation on the IVI Board of Trustees, which will increase engagement with Indian academia and industry even further,” Kim said.

September 1, 2017   No Comments

Microsoft India Innovates for Social, Tech Segments

Bangalore-based Microsoft Research India investigates machine learning, natural language processing, algorithms, cryptography and data sciences for the company. It also explores creating technology for emerging markets. Successful projects are scaled up, and sometimes they are also taken to other markets.

Microsoft Research India Office

CNBC reports on some current projects from the research lab:

Melange: is trying to study multilingual speech that can help to humanize virtual assistants in the future, and make them more accessible to the developing world.

HAMS or Harnessing Automobiles for Safety : uses sensors such as a smartphone’s front-camera, a phone’s GPS and a vehicle’s on-board diagnostics scanner to detect and alert if a driver is distracted or sleepy while driving.

99DOTS: looked at low-cost ways to ensure tuberculosis patients regularly take their medication.

Sangam:   trains blue collar workers.

“One of the things that we’re trying to do in Microsoft Research is to predict and invent the future,” Sriram Rajamani, managing director of Microsoft Research India, told CNBC.


August 21, 2017   No Comments

Amazon’s India Innovations Adopted Globally

Seattle-based Amazon‘s innovations in India are being adopted by its teams from across the globe including its U.S. and European e-commerce arms, Terry Hanold, vice president of Amazon’s international consumer technology, said.

The Times of India reports that a successful innovation, called “seller flex,” allows a seller to make their location available for Amazon to store inventory and help them receive an additional stream of revenue. “We saw customers benefit and that idea has been scaled out to other Amazon marketplaces, allowing us to expand our footprint without having to invest a lot in physical infrastructure,” said Dale Vaz, director of software development at Amazon India.

Amazon’s seller app has tools and features to help sellers do their inventory management and logistics better. “These are India specific tools that we built for sellers to help manage the business more effectively. Now we are rolling this out to other markets including the U.S.,” said Hanold.

To win in India, Amazon shifted focus from Apple to Android mobile devices. “We looked at how we could support customers who are on smaller devices which have less computing power, and we looked backwards, we went into the app and stripped down large portions of it that we believed weren’t useful to the customers. We removed voice search and image search. From 17MB, it came down to 2MB,” Vaz said.
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 To support the sale of used items, Amazon-owned affiliate, Junglee, built a system which enables Amazon to have a product picked up from the seller’s home, vet, pack, and ship it to the buyer using the Amazon India infrastructure. It also built an escrow account, which allowed the company to hold the money until the buyer could verify the product before the money was transferred to the seller’s account.
Now, this is being implemented in other markets of the e-commerce giant.

August 15, 2017   No Comments

Some of IBM’s Biggest Successes Developed in India

New York-based IBM, runs four parallel research organizations: IBM Software Labs, IBM Research Labs, IBM Global Technology Services Labs and IBM Hardware Labs. All the four are present in Bangalore, India.

The Global Technology Services (GTS), the most recent of these labs, was set up in November 2016, and is headed by Gopal Pingali. Within nine months of its formation, the lab, which includes 1,000 researchers spread across 20 countries and all reporting to Pingali, filed for 150 patents and launched 10 products for global markets. “GTS Labs is a worldwide lab with [its] center of gravity in India, which is the services delivery capital of the world. We also have the largest developer (programmer) ecosystem in the world. Therefore, especially for services, it makes sense driving GTS labs from here,” Pingali said.

IBM Logo

Watson — a cognitive software platform that can mimic human brain and help solve problems which the traditional computers have so far been unable to — is driven from India. Scientists from IBM’s research lab in India were part of a core team that did the early ground work on blockchain, the technology behind digital currency bitcoin, for enterprises and business networks. India is a key global center of excellence in this space within the company, reports BusinessLine.

Vanitha Narayanan, chairman, IBM India Private Limited, said, “Our labs in India have been at the forefront in developing solutions like IoT for agriculture, and cognitive fashion which are being leveraged not only by local but global clients as well. In India, we have created a pool of innovations that can be applied both globally and in the domestic market.”

August 12, 2017   No Comments

Accenture Launches Innovation Hub in India

With over 140,000, of Accenture‘s 411,000 employees in India, and a transition to the requirements of new digital technologies, the company launched an innovation hub in Bangalore, India.

The 10-story, 400,000 square feet facility, has wall-sized interactive screens, and large, open work areas. 4,000 people work here using tools for artificial intelligence, blockchain, security, automation, and cloud, in industry areas such as banking, telecom, and healthcare.

Accenture's Cyber Fusion Center

The facility is the first such for the $33-billion IT consulting and outsourcing company. “We set it up in Bangalore because this is where we see the maximum number of client visits in Accenture’s global operations,” Mohan Sekhar, senior managing director of Accenture Technology Services, told the Times of India.

At the occasion, Bhaskar Ghosh, group chief executive of technology services said that the nature of people, process and technology required have changed. “We need automation masters, ethical hackers, neural scientists, data scientists, more PhDs, people with deep industry and technology skills.” The company re-skilled a large proportion of its employees, and made 37 acquisitions since the beginning of 2016 to strengthen its capabilities in the new digital areas. Today, about 50% of its revenues come from the new digital, cloud, and security services spaces, and this space is growing at strong double digits.

August 9, 2017   No Comments