The week saw the Karnataka government announcing the launch of a first-of-its kind initiative, an all exclusive Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Data Sciences and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Bengaluru.

Expected to go live early next month, industry body Nasscom has been assigned the duty of managing the programme. It will be bringing together industries, tech players, entrepreneurs, among others to work on the project. The funds for the projects are being provided by the Karnataka government, which has also taken the additional duty of getting some of the startups that it has already funded onboard for the project.

Speaking with Deccan Herald, Priyank Kharge, Karnataka Minister for IT and BT divulged that the CoE for AI will give a major push to the state government's ambition of transforming Karnataka, particularly Bengaluru, into a hub of next-gen technologies such as AI, machine learning, robotics and neuroscience etc.

He further shared that the state government will be providing Rs 50 crore as financial support for the project. He also added that they're expecting a further boost in funding from companies that are heavily invested in the development of AI. According to him, the CoE for AI could present an excellent opportunity for data sciences and AI companies to avail the exceptional talent pool available in the state.

Talking about the project, K S Viswanathan, Nasscom Vice President-Industry Initiatives said that the main objective of the centre with the project is to increase the adoption of analytics and to create a data science ecosystem in the state of Karnataka.

The announcement of the CoE for AI comes at a time when Bengaluru is firming its feet in the ground as an emerging AI hub in the Indian subcontinent. The city became the centre of attention around the tech world when Google recently acquired the city-based AI startup Halli Labs for an undisclosed amount.

A recent report by Assocham India and PwC highlighted that Data science is driving the AI market in the world as organisations are looking for opportunities to leverage AI capabilities for predictive modelling.

The report also shared that when it comes to Indian academics, researchers and entrepreneurs working in the AI filed, they have to face much more acute challenges than corporates as the infrastructure available for an AI revolution in the country is less than ideal.

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