The All India Council for Robotics and Automation (AICRA) has announced the launch of a new initiative, dubbed AICRA Tech Startup Programme. As the name suggests, the programme will act as an incubation environment for startups and other early stage adopters working on robotics and robotic process automation (RPA) in India, in a bid to expand the entire industry with increased urgency. Announced at the 5th edition of the competition-workshop, Technoxian 2019, the startup programme aims to offer a holistic environment for businesses to grow.
Raj Kumar Sharma, president of AICRA, told News18, "Today, on September 23, we have launched AICRA Tech Startups to cater to the essential needs of a startup. These include technology, funding, market placement support, and promotion. As AICRA, we offer technology support in the RPA space in collaboration with our partners, such as UiPath. We are also tying up with venture capitalists, and sourcing funds from CSR activities as per the Indian finance minister’s announcement of using CSR funds to set up incubation centres."
Sharma also added, "AICRA will also be tapping into its list of members, which include those from industries as well as the education sector, in order to help these startups find clients to sell their products to. We will further host events to facilitate B2B and B2C contacts, such as the AICRA STEM Summit & Awards."
Elaborating on India's present standing in the global industry of robotic process automation, and why it is important to give a boost to this industry at the moment, Sharma said, "RPA is growing very fast globally. The ecosystem of RPA has two primary pillars — the industry and the education setup. Gradually, we can see the changes in the government’s policy to take up robotics programmes and initiatives in schools. They’re also setting up AI labs across sectors. It is the need of the hour, since we are far, far behind any other country, if we compare ourselves in terms of adoption of RPA to China, Korea, Japan and USA."
Extensive details regarding the startup incubation programme, as well as ways for prospective startups to apply for it, can be found at AICRA's website, here. The body enjoys a unique, central position in the scheme of adoption of automation technology, acting as a bridge between government initiatives, localised initiatives, startups, education advances and international companies alike. Going forward, it aims to bring robotics within the purview of the Indian education system from school grades, which it hopes will bring Indian RPA standards in line with global standards.