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Memorandum of Understanding for Establishment of a Center of Excellence in AR/VR

On 19th January 2018 IIT Bhubaneswar signed a Memorandum of Understanding, in the august presence of the Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik, with the Government of Odisha (represented through the MS&ME Department), the Software Technology Park of India (STPI), Bhubaneswar and the well-known writer philanthropist Shrimati Susmita Bagchi for establishing a Center of excellence for Virtual and Augmented Reality (VARCoE).

The Hon’ble Chief Minister, on the signing of this MoU expressed his appreciation for the efforts of Smt. Susmita Bagchi in kick starting the initiative by making the generous contribution of Rs. 2.50 Crore for setting up of the Center of Excellence. He said that the partnership among MSME department, STPI, Smt. Bagchi and IIT Bhubaneswar will be a fruitful one and this center will be one of its kind in the country to be set up with such kind of collaborative partnership.

Shri L.N. Gupta, Additional Chief Secretary, MS&ME Department said: “We are committed to realize Government of Odisha’s vision of supporting 1000 start-ups by the year 2020 and develop Odisha as a start-up hub.”

Director General, STPI, Shri Omkar Rai, said: “It is a privilege to be a part of this great initiative. India is a strong IT destination and we are required to transform our economy from one of service based to product creation based industry. Such CoEs, working in the cutting edge technologies, are critical in this regard in bringing together academia, industry and government to one platform.”

Prof. R. V. Rajakumar, Director IIT Bhubaneswar, expressed his vision to create abundant incubation facilities to promote technological innovation, entrepreneurship, research, and manufacturing of commercial products through this center. In order to promote startup activities and research work in AR/VR and other related emerging areas, IIT Bhubaneswar has intended to establish VARCoE. He said: “We are engaged in and embarked upon taking this Institute to figure itself amongst the global class of Institutes as soon as possible through several innovative initiatives. We also endeavor to help the State specially and the country in general. This initiation is very special in many ways. In a first, a philanthropic support from Susmita Bagchi supported by her husband Shri Subroto Bagchi, MS&ME department of the Government of Odisha, and STPI have come together in shaking hands with IIT Bhubaneswar in creating an Incubator, and a startup center in a very important and futuristic area of Virtual and Augmented Reality. This domain has a lot of potential for new entrepreneurs to come up with start-ups.” Director, IIT Bhubaneswar informed that research work has been going on in this area in the Institute and he acknowledged Shri Subroto Bagchi’s initiative in establishing the CoE in this specific domain. He then pledged a strong commitment to make this initiative to go steeply high and become successful in days to come.

Smt. Susmita Bagchi, said: “IITs are one of the few major forces that has shaped modern India. Government’s role is paramount and what we are paying back is a tiny bit of the huge debt that we owe to the State. The future of our own State would depend hugely on our ability to create entrepreneurs at many levels. In this regard, our small contribution in setting up this CoE is an invitation to others to engage with the Government to bring about large scale changes.“

All the Schools of IIT Bhubaneswar spearheaded by the School of Electrical and Mechanical Sciences will be participating towards realizing the vision and achieving the goals of the Center.