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BTS2021 : E V Ramana Reddy Says ER&D And Startup Spur Innovation In Karnataka
Government of Karnataka Additional Chief Secretary to Department of Electronics Information Technology Biotechnology and Science & Technology E V Ramana Reddy,  IAS is driving his initiatives to reinforce the status of Bengaluru and Karnataka as the innovation capital and innovation state in India respectively. In an interaction with NFAPost E V Ramana Reddy states BTS2021 will further fuel in Karnataka government’s efforts to forge a global alliance with the state and the growing presence of ER&D centres and PSU companies along with startup help Karnataka to be centre of innovation in India bringing overall disruption in life and business. He also said this is happening at a time when 5G is clearly bringing a paradigm shift in both startup, enterprise and government entities. Excerpts from the interview.

World over there is a wide currency for the word Bangalored. It means the job is shifted from across the globe to Bengaluru. From offshoring jobs to Bengaluru, the city and city has emerged as the innovation capital of the world? Please share your thoughts on it?

Karnataka is leading India in information technology and biotechnology. Information technology exports constitute 40% of Indian IT export. 35% of the market share of Biotech is from Karnataka. Bengaluru is the innovation capital of the country. Bengaluru is recognised as the most dynamic cities in the world and the city has the most conducive ecosystem which enables the startup to launch themselves on to the global platforms. Bengaluru tech ecosystem has 400 plus research labs, 400 plus Fortune 500 R& D labs, 20,000 plus automotive engineers, 10,000 plus aeronautical engineers, 100,000 PhDs in various specialisations, 200000 chip designers. The city has a good Biotech innovation ecosystem and it has world class accelerators.

Karnataka ranks no 1 in India innovation Index. We are the first state in 2019-2020 to come up with sector specific policy in Information Technology, Biotechnology, Startup, Audio Visual Graphics and Animation, ESDM, Electric Vehicle etc. Bengaluru is listed in the top 15 cities in the world attracting highest number of VC funding. During the first half of 2021, Bengaluru attracted 800 million of finch funding.

Can you share some details on the contribution of IT and Biotech industry in the state?

Karnataka is leading India in information technology and biotechnology. Information technology exports constitute 40% of Indian IT export. Karnataka contributes over Rs 58 lakh crore (US$ 58 billion) in exports as it is home to over 5,500 IT/ITeS companies. Also, 35% of the market share of Biotech is from Karnataka.

Bengaluru is the innovation capital of the country. Bengaluru is recognised as the most dynamic cities in the world and the city has the most conducive ecosystem which enables the startup to launch themselves on to the global platforms.

Bengaluru tech ecosystem has 400 plus research labs, 400 plus Fortune 500 R& D labs, 20,000 plus automotive engineers, 10,000 plus aeronautical engineers, 100,000 PhDs in various specialisations, 200000 chip designers. The city has a good Biotech innovation ecosystem and it has world class accelerators.

Bengaluru Tech Summit is the flagship summit of the Government of Karnataka. Global tech summit brings together innovators, industry experts, academia, and policy makers on to

How do you view the Engineering Research and Development (ER&D) happening in the state?

Global engineering R&D is registering exponential growth and likely to grow $1.5 trillion by 2025. India is also in the forefront of designing core engineering and design capabilities. Indian 31 billion by 2021 and to reach $60 billion 2026. Karnataka holds the key in driving global engineering India research and development. More than 40% of these centres are looted in Karnataka.

India and Karnataka have emerged as a potential area of choice but still there is potential untapped areas to increase India’s contribution in ER&D area. This sector is a perfect complement for government Make-in-India initiative. There is a concerted effort from Nasscom to quadapul ER&D export to touch $100 billion and create additional 1.4 million workforce by 2029. Karnataka government is aligned with this vision in ER&D space. Karnataka is the only state in the country to come up with ER&D policy to accelerate the sector about a year back. The initiative has features like mathcing

Over the years the state of Karnataka has gained the reputation of being an innovation powerhouse ranging from IT, Biotech, ESDM, AVGC to startup. Bengaluru has emerged as semiconductor design hub of the world. The city’s semiconductor ecosystem is poised to growth three times by next five years with appropriate enablers supported by industry, academia and government.

India is witnessing a boom in fintech space. How it is refleced in Karnataka?

Fintech ecosystem in India got a massive boost after post cover-19 pandemic era as more and more people are opting digital and contactless payment. So digital India initiatives are gaining momentum and virtual transactions are here to stay. The confluence of technology and finance during the last decade really transformed Indian economy. And, I would like to say that fintech is at the centre of this change. Even though one in every eight Indians are unbanked and wholistic financial inclusion is driving finch innovation in the country. Indian fintech sector is valued at $35 billion and it is expected to grow to $84 billion by 2025, registering a compound growth of 24%.

Covid-19 pandemic really gave a booster shot for finch ecosystem in the country. India witntnessed the dispatch of credit cards in 1950s and 10 year later ATMs have changed the way via which cash is withdrawn in banks. The proliferation of internet in 1990s really took finch to a new level. Electronic installed frame work, web based business model, web-based shopping, potable banking and digitisation of banks brought about a significant revolution. It is a reality that finch and banking will have a collaborative relationship.

Indian finch ecosystem has wide section of sub segments, including payment, lending, wealth tech, personal finance management, insure technology, regulation technology etc. As on July 2021, India’s Unified Payment Instrument (UPI) has seen participation of 224 banks and recorded 2.6 billion transactions, registering a 50% jump in just 3 years.

Karnataka ranks no 1 in India innovation Index. We are the first state in 2019020 to come up with sector specific policy in Information Technology, Biotechnology, Startup, Audio Visual Graphics and Animation, ESDM, Electric Vehicle etc. Bengaluru is listed in the top 15 cities in the world attracting highest number of VC funding. During the first half of 2021, Bengaluru attracted 800 million of finch funding.

We are joining hands with various countries via our global innovation alliance programme for cooperation and tech transfer where ever possible. The state has complete ecosystem for startup in finch space. Karnataka is the breeding ground for many striking innovation. Currently, the state has 787 startups in finch space.

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