BT and Indian Institute of Science kick off new phase of UK-India research collaboration

By Oliver Rice

UK India Business Council member, BT, and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), one of India’s leading research institutions, today kicked off a new phase of UK-India joint research with the opening of a new collaborative research centre in Bengaluru (Bangalore), focused on the development of the next generation of cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI), mobility and software engineering technologies.

The new BT India Research Centre (BTIRC) will join BT’s network of collaborative research facilities around the globe, including centres in Northern Ireland, China, the US, and the UAE. This global innovation network is centred on the BT Labs at Adastral Park, Suffolk, UK, one of the world’s leading centres for telecommunications research.

The BTIRC will operate multiple research tracks, focused primarily on artificial intelligence, mobility and software engineering technologies for use in BT’s strategic programmes, products and services. Future areas will include cybersecurity innovations. BT is one of the global research leaders in communications technologies and AI, filing the highest number of AI-focused patents amongst all UK companies with the UK patent office over the last 20 years.

The centre will build on these strong credentials, following a well-established model used for the company’s other global research locations, combining academic, industry and government partnerships and BT’s own commercial and research expertise.

Professor Tim Whitley, Managing Director for Research at BT, said:

“The opening of this new centre is the start of an exciting new chapter for BT, and for UK-India research. The technologies we’ll be developing here, in fields such as AI, mobile and software engineering will accelerate the delivery of exciting innovations to our customers around the globe, taking advantage of the brilliant intellectual capital in Bengaluru.”

Richard Heald, OBE, CEO of UKIBC, said:

“I heartily congratulate our BT and IISc on their announcement today. This goes to show the immense potential for digital-based collaboration between the UK and India, something that we hope to grow through a Personal Data Protection Bill that paves the way to greater investment in digital innovation”

And British Deputy High Commissioner to Bengaluru, Dominic McAllister said:

“India is fast becoming one of the most data-rich countries in the world, with a rapidly evolving tech ecosystem which is especially strong in Bengaluru. The launch of the BT India Research Centre underlines the value of strengthening collaboration between the private sector and academic institutions to push the boundaries of innovation in critical areas of technology. This exciting collaboration between BT and the IISc in Bengaluru is already promoting and encouraging cutting-edge developments across various areas of the technology sector, including artificial intelligence, mobility and cyber-security.”

BT has a long history of working with leading Indian universities on the development of new technologies and is a significant employer of highly-skilled IT and technology experts in Bengaluru and other locations across India including Gurugram, where the company opened a cutting-edge cyber-security centre in 2018.

The BTIRC will complement BT’s existing relationship with the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi, which is focused on elastic optical networks and quantum key distribution technologies.

UKIBC believes that this announcement illustrates the clear potential for strong UK-India business collaboration in digital and data-based innovation. As UKIBC’s report, ‘Data: The Foundation of Intelligent Economies‘, highlights, there are immense complimentarities between our countries, needs, abilities, and data-based ambitions that India’s proposed Personal Data Protection Bill has the potential to facilitate.

For more information about UKIBC’s work in the digital sector, please do get in touch with our Digital Sector Manager, Meghna Misra-Elder at meghna.misra-elder@ukibc.com

For more information about BT and their new Bengaluru Research Centre, please refer to their website and press release here.

 


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