India’s very first Centre of Excellence(CoE) dedicated to gaming, VFX, computer vision, and artificial intelligence (AI), was launched in Hyderabad on Monday, February 17th. Known as IMAGE, it is also the first incubation centre in India for businesses which deals with IP in gaming, VFX, AI, and computer vision set up by Software Technology Park of India (STPI).
STPI-IMAGE entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with five partners at the launch, Telangana VFX, Animation and Gaming Association(TVAGA), Hyderabad Angels, Hyderabad Software Exporters Association (HYSEA), and IIIT-Hyderabad. This is aimed at helping it encourage and support startups and promising entrepreneurs with mentoring and technology support, along with the required infrastructure and funding.
The facility spreads over 10,000 square feet, and is situated inside the existing STPI facility. It aims to incubate as many as 25-30 start-ups, every year, for the next five years. To this end, Rs 19.68 crore would be invested for the CoE as well as on existing infrastructure, over 5 years.
Omkar Rai, director general of STPI, said, “The CoE will bring a paradigm shift in revving up research and innovation in gaming, VFX, computer vision and AI through a robust ecosystem in collaboration with tech partners, industry, investors, industry associations and government, and will bolster indigenous product development while propelling the growth of tech entrepreneurship in the country. By collaborating with industry associations, academia and angels, we have ensured the IMAGE incubation model is built on a solid foundation to realising our mission to build world-class gaming, animation, and deep tech providers to the world.”
The selected startups will receive funding support via a seed fund of Rs 5 lakh, with 20 start-ups being onboarded in the programme in the first year. Each of them would be able to make use of state-of-the-art infrastructure and R&D lab facilities. This would help in the development and validation of design and prototyping solutions, in order to democratise innovation, along with the newly established and first of its kind motion capture lab in the facility.