Following up on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream of making the whole of India digital, the state of Gujarat has decided to accelerate its digital transformation progress. In order to make this possible, Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT), and the International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology (iCreate) have signed an MoU each with global networking giant Cisco.

The MoUs aim to establish an Internet of Things (IoT) Innovation hub with iCreate at its campus near Bavla, Ahmedabad, and deliver a smart city project in GIFT. With this, the state government aims to provide a platform for local talent and innovation.

The IoT innovation centre will enable innovative entrepreneurs and startups to build smart city and IoT-based solutions. Cisco's team of experts will collaborate with some of the most talented industry partners and startups to develop proof of concepts, rightfully narrow down the functionalities and features that would be needed for digital solutions, and it would adopt rapid prototyping method.

Already recognised all over the world as one of India's greatest manufacturing hub, the IoT innovation lab can help put Gujarat on India's technology map and speed past other states
in terms of usage of innovative technology solutions to significantly increase the efficiency and competitiveness of industries.

The two MoUs were signed in the due presence of Gujarat's Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Gujarat's Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Bhai Patel and Dinesh Malkani, President, Cisco India and Saarc.

According to Dinesh Malkani, President, Cisco India and Saarc, Digitization and Innovation are two of the key drivers of the Indian economy, leading to growth, jobs, and long-term prosperity in the country. Commenting on the MoUs signed by his company, he said,"The announcement underlines Cisco's commitment to enable Gujarat to capitalise on digital opportunities, strengthen the vibrant innovation ecosystem in the state, enhance quality of life of citizens and accelerate the digital transformation of the state."

Being developed as the country's first greenfield smart city, the GIFT City flaunts several unique features like District Cooling solution - a first-of-its-kind utility tunnel and availability of a next-generation data centre.

GIFT and Cisco are currently exploring ways through which they can deploy several smart city applications like smart transport, smart parking, traffic analytics, public Wi-Fi, smart environmental sensors along with the City Digital Platform (CDP), Remote Expert Government Services (REGS) and smart kiosk.

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