The government of Karnataka has partnered with France-based utility company SUEZ, Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and Paris-headquartered innovation hub NUMA, to launch ‘DataCity Open Innovation Programme’ in collaboration with startups and corporates.
The idea behind the collaboration is to solve for challenges faced by global cities, with regards to smart mobility, water and waste management, energy, smart buildings, transparency and security, and pollution management.
Starting with Bengaluru, also known as the IT city or Silicon Valley of India, the 7-month long programme will call in applications from the startups to experiment the solutions, on basis of data collected from Bengaluru-citizens and problem statement created by corporates.
According to Shyam J Bhan, MD and CEO, SUEZ India, the collaboration with NUMA will support the group’s digital strategy for the development of resilient and sustainable cities.
“70% of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2050. We need to address today our urban challenges to build the cities of tomorrow,” Souad Tenfiche, CEO, NUMA, Bengaluru added.
A similar initiative was taken by Flipkart last year when it organised Gridlock Hackathon calling all the fellow startups to help find a solution to curb traffic congestion in Bengaluru.
A recent study identified Bengaluru as the city with the maximum number of job opportunities in the tech domain. However, due to a population boom in the last decade, residents have to face major issues such as traffic, pollution, and water crisis. The startups and the government are working together to improve the city’s infrastructure.
The Karnataka government has also taken subsequent steps to groom the startup ecosystem of the city, thereby encouraging new age entrepreneurs to bring in solutions to the existing problems.
This includes extending a credit line of $282.63 Mn (INR 2000 Cr) with an aim to host at least 20,000 startups by 2020, one of the largest incubation programmes ‘Elevate’ as well as the Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) signed with multiple countries including Germany, France, Finland and Australia.