The Department of Information Technology (IT) and Biotechnology (BT), Government of Karnataka, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Embassy of Finland in Bengaluru today. The innovation cooperation between Karnataka and Finland, called Karnataka – Finland Innovation Corridor, offers a virtual platform facilitating the exchange of information and expertise in the fields of science, research, innovation and skill development.
As regional hubs for innovation and startups, Karnataka and Finland are natural partners for connecting companies, entrepreneurs, students, researchers, officials, academia as well as investors from India and Finland. Karnataka – Finland Innovation Corridor envisions identifying mutual interests and organising joint projects, such as startup incubation programmes, research programmes, events, competitions and exposure visits.
Karnataka-based i-SAMARTH programme, initiated by Nokia, will act as an informal focal point for IoT-related Indian and Finnish companies to collaborate in the fields of Research and Development (R&D) and innovation. Further, to meet the growing demand for quality human capital in technology, Karnataka and Finland plan to organise suitable skill development programmes.
As per the MoU, a high-level steering committee, constituted to oversee the pace and progress of the Karnataka – Finland Innovation Corridor, will meet at least once in six months. This committee will be co-chaired by the signatory participants of the MoU, Shri Priyank Kharge, Hon’ble Minister of IT, BT & Tourism, Government of Karnataka and Nina Vaskunlahti, H.E. Ambassador of Finland to India, based at the Embassy of Finland in New Delhi. The Principal Secretary of the Department of IT & BT, Government of Karnataka and the Counsellor (economic & commercial) from the Embassy of Finland in New Delhi will be the secretaries of the steering committee.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Priyank Kharge, Hon’ble Minister of IT, BT and Tourism, Government of Karnataka, said, “The Karnataka – Finland Innovation Corridor heralds a new age of collaboration and knowledge sharing between the two regions. Besides organising industry events, exposure visits, startup–incubation programmes, competitions and research programmes, the MoU envisions providing landing pads (temporary office space and other assistance at a reasonable price) for startups when a company from one side plans to explore the market on the other side. Our aim is to facilitate collaborations between startup incubators and accelerators from Karnataka and Finland. Over the next few months, we’ll be organising matchmaking events where startups and large corporations from Karnataka and Finland get a chance to interact and work with each other.”
H. E. Ambassador Nina Vaskunlahti, representing the Embassy of Finland in New Delhi, further added, “With this MoU, we wish to develop and intensify our mutually beneficial cooperation with Karnataka in the fields of innovation, science and research, and skill development. We look forward to organising a joint official and company programme along the sidelines of the Bengaluru Tech Summit, Bengaluru India Nano and Nokia Innovation Day in Bengaluru. The purpose is also to enhance the people-to-people connectivity, whereby students, researchers and company R&D professionals from Karnataka and Finland can connect, cooperate and meet on a regular basis. To promote and highlight each other’s innovation and startup ecosystem, delegation visits and media visits from both sides will be planned.