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Michelin Partners with DPIIT to Launch First-Ever AI Startup Challenge in India

Michelin, in collaboration with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and Startup India, has announced the launch of the Michelin AI Startup Challenge, a pioneering initiative designed to foster innovation in the AI sector.

Challenge Highlights:

  • Duration: July to September 2024
  • Focus Areas: Emerging AI technologies, including large language models (LLMs) and AI agents
  • Rewards: Paid pilot projects worth up to INR 5 lakh, long-term global contracts, and mentorship from Michelin leadership

Launch Event:
The initiative was officially unveiled by Shri Sanjiv, Joint Secretary of DPIIT, and Shri Sumeet Kumar Jarangal, Director of DPIIT. The event was hosted by Dr. Ambica Rajagopal, Michelin Group Chief Data and AI Officer, and Shri Shantanu Deshpande, Managing Director of Michelin India. Shri Rajesh Kumar Singh, Secretary of DPIIT, also delivered a special recorded address.

Challenge Objectives:
The Michelin AI Startup Challenge aims to identify, mentor, and collaborate with leading AI startups across India. Hosted on the Startup India portal, this 12-week challenge invites startups to demonstrate their AI capabilities. Selected startups will receive comprehensive mentorship, and the top eight will present their innovations at a demo day in Delhi in September 2024. The top three startups will secure paid pilot projects with Michelin, with the potential for long-term global contracts and additional support from Michelin leadership.

Statements from Key Figures:
Shri Rajesh Kumar Singh emphasized the initiative’s role in encouraging Indian startups to develop AI solutions for business applications, particularly in manufacturing, supply chain, operating software, and infrastructure. He highlighted the challenge’s potential to enhance manufacturing processes, improve product quality, and promote sustainability.

Shri Sanjiv stressed the importance of public-private partnerships and the role of companies like Michelin in strengthening India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. He reiterated DPIIT’s commitment to empowering startups to scale their innovations globally.

Shri Sumeet Kumar Jarangal highlighted the government’s focus on AI and advanced manufacturing, praising Michelin’s program for aligning with national priorities.

Dr. Ambica Rajagopal expressed excitement about the collaboration, underscoring Michelin’s dedication to advancing India’s technology sector and the AI industry.

Shri Shantanu Deshpande emphasized Michelin’s commitment to sustainability and innovation, looking forward to the contributions of Indian startups in the AI challenge.

Program Phases:

  • Outreach and Applications: July 2024
  • Shortlisting and Mentorship: Until September 2024
  • Grand Finale: September 2024, where shortlisted startups will present their solutions to a panel of judges from Startup India and Michelin India

DPIIT’s Role:
DPIIT has been actively supporting startups in the manufacturing sector, providing early-stage support and building initiatives to bridge the gap between industry and startups. This includes setting up incubators and incubation programs led by the industry, aiming to empower manufacturing startups with innovative technologies and sustainable practices.

Michelin’s Innovation Program:
The AI challenge is part of Michelin’s broader innovation program in India, focusing on digitalization, commercialization, mobility, advanced materials, and sustainability. This initiative seeks to provide manufacturing startups with a platform to refine their technologies and integrate into the larger manufacturing ecosystem, further positioning India as a manufacturing hub through public-private partnerships.

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