The state department of IT, BT and Science and Technology has signed an MoU with the Deputy Mayor of The Hague, Netherlands, Ms Saskia Bruines for setting up the Karnataka Hague Innovation Corridor, renewing an earlier MoU the two had signed in 2016. The MoU, signed in the presence of Mr Gert Heijkoop, Consul-General of The Netherlands, during the Tech Summit 2019, will focus on identifying partnerships for tech innovation facilitation, start-up exchanges and nurturing talent on both sides. During an interaction with Vishaka V. Warrier, Ms Bruines gave an insight into the plans of action in sectors that will strengthen the economies.
Which are the sectors that will strengthen the economy? Does the MoU speak of collaborations in these sectors?
The MoU is only a documentation to say that we do something together and are not city bound. There are certain concerns that cities across the world are subjected to on similar grounds. If we work towards exchange of talent and ideas, we can collectively find solutions. The MoU lists out four sectors of collaboration… cybersecurity, agri tech, health, peace and justice. Development in these sectors has the potential to fuel economic growth.
With the rise in technology and digitalisation, there is an element of cyber threat. Can this collaboration work towards ensuring fair and trusted cyber security?
Cyber security threats are a global concern. Data leakages and owner of data are concerns that are seriously dealt with. As a city, we engage ethical hackers to try to hack our municipality systems at regular intervals to check on how to fix the possibilities of data leaks and also ensure strength of the systems. We could offer this knowledge to Bengaluru. We are also working with Leiden University and signed MoUs to address the issue of cyber security. We have summer schools which provide information about cyber security, the threats they face and create a platform to exchange ideas through soft landing projects where the start-ups working in India would be facilitated to navigate into our ecosystem.
What is E-Health? How can it address the needs of healthcare systems?
With technology involvement in healthcare systems, we could address the demands of the time. For example, elderly people are of late are subjected to reduced outdoor activities. They are largely unable to make regular visits to clinics. Technology can address this where they could be connected to their doctors at any point of time through their TV, have sensors that call for help during emergencies, etc. With limited specialty surgeons in the globe, surgeries can be done by robots based on instructions from surgeons from a different part of the globe.
How would you like to address unemployment?
You should remind yourselves about the potential market of 1.3 billion people in India which is of huge economical potential which attracts the start-ups to come here. The country and city should be growing in sectors that are capable of creating employment. We should start providing skills right from school.
Has the new MoU evolved from the one signed in 2016?
In 2016, we touched on multiple areas like elderly care, soft landing of Indian companies in our city, and exchange of talent. I felt the elderly care could have been better addressed. 2016 can be considered as a precursor to the renewal. Back then, the approach was government to government. Now, governments will provide a favourable ecosystem for institution-to-institution and business-to-business collaborations.