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Michelin in collaboration with DPIIT and Startup India present the Michelin AI Startup Challenge

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Mumbai: Michelin, world’s tyre technology leader, announced its collaboration with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry to launch the sector’s first AI Startup Challenge, aiming to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

The AI Challenge was launched in presence of Shri Sanjiv, Joint Secretary DPIIT and Shri Sumeet Kumar Jarangal, Director DPIIT and hosted by Dr Ambica Rajagopal, Michelin Group Chief Data and AI Officer and Shri Shantanu Deshpande, Managing Director, Michelin India. A special recorded address was given by Shri Rajesh Kumar Singh, Secretary DPIIT.

The AI Startup Challenge aims to select, mentor, and collaborate with leading AI startups in India. Hosted on the Startup India portal, this 12-week challenge invites startups to submit applications showcasing their capabilities. Selected startups will receive mentorship, and the top 8 will pitch at a demo day in Delhi in September 2024. The top 3 startups will receive paid pilot projects from Michelin, with upto INR 5 lakh per project, and the opportunity for long-term global contracts and incubation support from Michelin leadership. The AI challenge will go a long way in encouraging Indian Startups to co-build solutions in areas such as manufacturing, supply chain, operating software and infrastructure.

Rajesh Kumar Singh, Secretary, DPIIT shared, “Michelin and Startup India, through the AI Challenge, invite Indian startups to co-build technical solutions using large language models for business use cases. The Michelin AI Startup Challenge offers opportunities to develop solutions in manufacturing, supply chain, operating software, and infrastructure, leveraging AI and robotics to enhance manufacturing processes, improve product quality, boost safety, and reduce defects. This initiative aims to create sustainable products and expose Indian talent to global contexts and clients. I encourage all DPIIT-recognized startups to apply for the program and wish them the best.”

Sanjiv, Joint Secretary, DPIIT highlighted the importance of public private partnership and the key role that manufacturing companies like Michelin play in bringing the right set of resources to help elevate the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the country. He also focused on the Department’s commitment in empowering startups to scale their innovations and make a lasting impact on a global scale.

Sumeet Kumar Jarangal, Director, DPIIT spoke about the importance of AI and the government’s focus on advanced manufacturing and automation. He congratulated the Michelin team for developing a program completely synergistic with the nation’s vision.

Dr Ambica Rajagopal, Michelin Group Chief Data and AI Officer at Michelin India, expressed her excitement about the collaboration, stated, “There has never been a more exciting time for startups in the AI world and we are delighted to contribute significantly to advancing India’s technology sector. It is a proud moment for us to strengthen our commitment to the AI industry in collaboration with the government’s visionary Startup India initiative.”

Commenting on this initiative, Mr. Shantanu Deshpande Managing Director, Michelin India stated, “At Michelin, we are committed to a greener future where sustainability and innovation are at the forefront of our efforts. We eagerly anticipate the participation of Indian startups in the AI challenge as we co-build global solutions together.”

This initiative will be conducted in multiple stages, starting with outreach and applications in July 2024, followed by shortlisting and mentorship until September 2024. The grand finale will feature shortlisted startups presenting their solutions to a panel of judges from Startup India and Michelin India.

DPIIT has been proactively working towards mobilizing startups in the manufacturing space, and to provide them with early-stage support necessary for their growth. The Department is building an initiative to bridge the gap between industry and startups, by supporting with setting-up of incubators and incubation programs led by the industry. The initiative aims to empower manufacturing startups with innovative technologies and sustainable practices, enabling them to become leaders in the global market through incubation supported by the industry.

The AI challenge also marks a significant initiative within Michelin’s broader innovation program in India, focusing on fostering collaboration with local startups in digitalization, commercialization, mobility, advanced materials, and sustainability.

This collaboration between DPIIT and Michelin India is an important catalyst in providing manufacturing startups the platform to pilot and finetune their technologies, allowing for larger participation in the manufacturing ecosystem by startups. It will also act as a catalyst to further the positioning of Bharat as a manufacturing nation through partnership between public and private sector.

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