Developing and progressing automation, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), drones, AR, VR – what’s coming-up?
Cutting edge technologies are coming and going out of the market ever since the introduction of the Internet and more recently Smartphones. Only ten years down the line approximately, several technologies have been introduced in the market which now has faded into oblivion. Every country has participated in the rate race to leave back their mark. India is also competing hard to get a strong foothold in the market after the world leaders namely US, China, Japan and Europe. It needs to go a long way in order to establish itself in the market of technology. It needs to take more effort to incorporate deep tech into its startup ecosystem.
Learning about Deep Tech
Though deep tech has recently become the buzzword in the Indian startup ecosystem, many are yet to be thorough with the meaning of the term. Actually, deep tech stands for deep technology that startup companies undertake by developing and progressing automation, block chain, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), flying cameras (drones), etc.
It can be defined as technology-based on researches and scientific advances or engineering innovation. It has strong enabling power. They are quite opposed to companies whose main function are delivery of standardized technologies, incremental refinement and makes use of a business model to generate prospects. As already mentioned, it can work on several technological aspects and influence diverse applications. These can be the computing architecture innovations, processing, improvements in semiconductors, power electronics, electronic systems, vision and speech algorithms including techniques like haptics and artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Deep tech is in use in almost all the sectors as in legal, health, logistics, security, etc. Companies dealing with the same have only multiplied over time. Thus, players in the sector are expecting advancement.
It is worthwhile to mention here that technological advancements have opened up numerous prospects for today’s world. Experts believe that there are many more things yet to explore in this field even though the contribution to the current tech space has been huge. In the long run, improved AI can minimize the chances of cyberattacks and maximize protection of users online. It will also eliminate unnecessary information. 2020 might also see AI democratization in the health-tech space with smartphone-based cognitive behavioural therapy.
By leveraging more of augmented reality and virtual reality, it did not only solve the industry’s unique problem statements but will continue to do so along with ensuring transparency and minimizing costs across different sectors.
India and Deep Tech In 2020
With the introduction of digital marketing the need for a strong cloud network emerged. Slowly and gradually companies started taking their businesses online to capture the global market. And why not, if one could deal with global audiences without having to set up additional physical outlets or having to a move to a new destination.
Consequently, more emphasis was laid on offering seamless customer experience stressing on AI and ML. introduction of automated chatbots is one of a milestone discovery of the field. Websites and mobile apps powered with chatbots help to understand the individual need of customers and tailor-made services accordingly. The year 2020 and the decade thereafter will further emphasize on improving online interactions and transactions between companies and their customers.
As per NASSCOM data, deep tech has seen widespread embracement from Indian startups. In 2014, there was only 8 percent adoption out of the total number of companies in contrast to 2019’s 18 percent (out of the 1300 startups), the compound annual growth rate being 40 percent in the last five years.
With every passing minute, the competition is getting fierce. More and more players are joining the market every now and then with their innovation. However, the industry is facing a major setback. Insufficient funds are obstructing the path of its progress. Reports show that inspite of the need for developing deep tech, this industry remains the least valued startup vertical in India with investment lower than the quarterly average.
Funding a Challenge for Deep Tech
You might be surprised to learn that the Indian startup ecosystem already has 27 unicorns but none belongs to the deep tech sector. This is largely because of insufficient funding and deep tech talent pool. In the first quarter of 2019, the start-up ecosystem was obliged with a total investment of $3.42 billion and deep tech with just $9.58 million. This was just 1 percent of the whole ($958 million in e-commerce) received within the period. Surely, there is a lack of institutional support in the startup ecosystem. In fact, the industry experts say that deep tech has not been the main objective.
Thankfully, the India Central Government is encouraging deep tech adoption. As per reports, in the earlier half of 2019 NITI Aayog asked for funding of INR 7,500 crore for the development of artificial intelligence and research in India. INR 400 crore was promised to promote partnership with private industries and testing infrastructure for pilot projects.
The government has also proposed to invest in 5 centers of research excellence (CORE), 20 international centers for transformational AI (ICTAI), and set up AIRAWAT (Artificial Intelligence Research, Analytics and knowledge Assimilation platform) which is a cloud computing platform to be made accessible for everyone. Push from the private and public sector will ensure to increase the speed of growth of deep tech in the Indian startup ecosystem from this New Year.
Deep Tech Across The Globe
From March 9 to 13, 2020 there is a global call for Deep Tech Week in Paris, Europe’s largest innovation hub. The organizers are inviting companies from the world of civil society, research, and industry who haven’t yet participated to take part, collaborate, contribute to the technology-driven week.
Last Impression The deep tech ecosystem in India is yet to mature. 2020 is expected to turn out to be a year where deep tech methods would help contribute to the progress of the country in the global market.