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Karnataka Ties Up With Bahrain To Boost AI, Fintech Startup Ecosystem

The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Department of Information Technology; Biotechnology; and Science & Technology, Government of Karnataka, on Friday (January 24), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote cooperation in artificial intelligence (AI), fintech and other emerging technologies to foster innovation and startup growth.

The agreement was signed at the World Economic Forum’s 50th Annual Meeting at Davos. It aims to help build robust fintech, AI, IoT and cybersecurity ecosystems. This means that it plans to enable startups and technology firms to engage in external partnerships with corporates, universities, research institutions, technology experts and government agencies.

Further, the MoU also aims to develop education programmes and curriculum related to fintech, AI, IoT and cybersecurity. This is expected include facilitating and enhancing cooperation between relevant authorities such as universities/research institutions, technology experts, and government agencies.

Khalid Humaidan, chief executive of Bahrain Economic Development Board, said, “With today’s MoU signing at Davos, we look forward to further strengthening those links and welcoming innovative Indian firms seeking to access and scale across the growing $1.5 Tn GCC market.”

Karnataka said that while Bahrain will benefit from Karnataka’s expertise in emerging technologies such as AI and cybersecurity, Karnataka will have access to Bahrain’s renowned Fintech prowess. Both the countries will also collaborate on facilitating SMEs, including startups, through incubation and ecosystem exposure visits.

Dr. EV Ramana Reddy, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary at the Department of IT, BT and S&T, Government of Karnataka, said, “We are indeed pleased to sign this agreement with Bahrain Economic Development Board. Parties of today’s cooperation are setting the foundation for a long-term partnership in the fields of fintech, IoT, AI and cybersecurity.”

In the NITI Aayog’s first-ever India Innovation Index, Karnataka topped the charts among major states in the country. Thanks to Bengaluru, Karnataka is already one of the leading states in India for startups.

The state is also looking to formalise a legal framework for a regulatory sandbox. On the lines of the regulatory sandbox being tested by RBI, the Karnataka government’s initiative will allow technology entrepreneurs to test the viability of products in a live situation before going for the launch of their startups


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