Kerala IT partners with Army at expo

The event, which focused on transformation to Atmanirbhar Bharat in defence technology, was aimed at identifying the core fields of competency in the industries and academia for supporting the Indian Army, paving the way for indigenization, which is expected to open big opportunities for MSMEs and startups especially.

| Updated: 11 March, 2024 3:22 pm IST
Expo at Pangode Military Station

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala IT ecosystem collaborated with the Army for the Southern Star Army Academia Industry Interface (S2A2I2) expo with IT/ITES companies of Technopark, startups supported by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), Digital University Kerala (DuK) and other academic participants making a compelling case for forging a strong Defence- Industry-Academia linkage.

The IT/ITES companies and startups participated in the industry segment. In contrast, the academia segment was represented by DuK, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and Trinity College of Engineering in the March 7-8 expo held at Pangode Military Station here.

The event, which focused on transformation to Atmanirbhar Bharat in defence technology, was aimed at identifying the core fields of competency in the industries and academia for supporting the Indian Army, paving the way for indigenization, which is expected to open big opportunities for MSMEs and startups especially.

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The event commenced with the keynote address by Brigadier Salil M.P., Station Commander, Pangode Military Station. Speaking on the occasion, Col Sanjeev Nair (Retd), CEO, of Technopark, gave an insight into fostering Defence entrepreneurship through the iDEX platform and the recently launched ADITI and DISC 11 challenges under the iDEX scheme.

Col Sanjeev Nair (Retd) said the IT/ITES companies from Technopark and KSUM-backed startups can play a major role in fulfilling the requirements of the Defense technology sector through their innovative solutions and products. He also stressed buttressing the ‘Army Industry Academia’ connection.

In his address, Dr Guruprasad, former Director General of, the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), focused on increased induction of cutting-edge technology-driven inventories into Defence forces like autonomous unmanned systems and swarm.

Besides, Army Headquarters and Southern Command Regional Technological Node (RTN) speakers explained how the Army drives the Atmanirbharta initiative by promoting indigenization and innovation through Indian defence industries, MSMEs and startups.

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There was active participation from the industry including IT companies, KINFRA Defence Park, MSMEs, startups and academia exhibiting their products/solutions at the expo where the Army had also displayed its equipment. Equipment display at the exhibition area was inaugurated by Major General Akhilesh Kumar, SM, GOC 54 Infantry division.

A panel discussion on “Challenges faced by Industry & Academia concerning meeting expectations of Indian Army” was also held.  The panelists included Col Sanjeev Nair (Retd), Shri Anoop Ambika, CEO, KSUM; Dr Arun Surendran Principal, Trinity College of Engineering; Dr Alex James, Dean Academics, DuK; Mrs Sheela D S, Co-founder, Space Labs Analytical & Dynamics; Ms Lakshmi Das, Co-founder & COO, Prophaze and Shri Abhilash Gopalakrishnan, Amrita Vidyapeetham. The event concluded with the closing address of GOC, 54 Infantry division and felicitation of all speakers and participants.

The first such event organised by Pangode Military Station, the two-day expo showcased the immense potential of defence-industry-academia synergy, besides orienting startups and tech firms towards benefiting from the flagship programmes of the Ministry of Defence like Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) and Technology Development Fund (TDF).

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