Telecom giant BT and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), on Thursday, said that they have started a new phase of UK-India joint research with the opening of a new collaborative research centre in Bengaluru. The centre would focus 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 opening of this new centre is the start of an exciting new chapter for BT, and for UK-India research,” said Professor Tim Whitley, managing director for research at BT. “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,” said Whitley.
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 said it 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.
“IISc looks forward with great anticipation to being an academic partner to the new collaborative research centre being established by BT in Bengaluru,” said Professor Anurag Kumar, Director IISc. “The proposed research topics of mobility and artificial intelligence, with the associated software engineering, are sure to attract strong interest from the IISc faculty and students. I look forward to the many discoveries and innovations that will no doubt emanate from such collaboration,” said Kumar.
British Deputy High Commissioner to Bengaluru, Dominic McAllister said that 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,” said McAllister.
BT has a long history of working with leading Indian universities on the development of new technologies. In 2018, the company opened a cyber-security centre in Gurugram. 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.