Indian government along with India's IT and ITES industry body Nasscom is planning to develop five Internet of Things (IoT) startup incubation centres across India. These IoT-specific incubation centres will allow a set of connected devices running on software and sensors to exchange data.

Confirming this announcement, a top government official, said at least two of these incubation centres would come up in rural areas to develop solutions for smart agriculture.

These five IoT incubation centres would help in reducing Research and Development (R&D) costs by providing a facility that would be able to manage and coordinate different types of Internet of Things related research works in the country. The idea behind these centres is to build talent, entrepreneurial ecosystem for IoT as well as provide an ecosystem for innovation, apart from reducing dependency in import on IoT components and promote indigenisation.

Though the locations of these incubation centres have been kept under wraps, sources said one of the centres might come up in Maharashtra, while the other could come up either in Uttar Pradesh or West Bengal. The official added that the paperwork to set up these start-ups is already underway and within the next six months ground work would begin.

Notably, the government has already launched a centre of excellence (CoE) for IoT in Bengaluru to incubate start-up companies and innovative applications across verticals for the country's needs like smart city, smart health, smart manufacturing and smart agriculture. The Bengaluru CoE is a joint venture by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) and Education and Research Network (ERNET). It is run on a public-private partnership (PPP) model with seed fund from the government and is managed by Nasscom.

Last year, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has drafted an IoT policy (pdf), with the goal of creating an IoT industry in the country worth $15 billion by 2020.

The policy aimed to increase the connected devices in the country from around 200 million to over 2.7 billion by 2020, to develop human resources and technology for IoT relevant skill-sets, to undertake research and development is IoT relevant fields.

The DeitY is additionally undertaking the project 'International IoT Research collaboration scheme' to collaborate and initiate treaties with other countries for joint R&D projects on 50% contribution basis.

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