Micron Technology, one of the largest semiconductor companies in the world, is forming collaborations with some of the top institutes in the country to foster innovation in technology. The US-based company has introduced the Micron University Research Alliance (URAM), that would focus on building talent in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It aims to reach over 10,000 students.
Micron, with a legacy of more than 43,000 patents, will guide the programme’s efforts to bridge collaboration across different institutions. It would advance research and development in 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT) and autonomous driving. Micron provides memory and storage solutions to various industries and its technology is being used in precision medicine, smartwatches, and vehicles.
“Micron’s University Research Alliance is a testament to our long-term investment and commitment to India,” said Anand Ramamoorthy, managing director of Micron India, in an interview. “We see tremendous potential in India’s engineering talent pool and aim to employ approximately 5,000 team members over the next four to five years to strengthen and accelerate critical engineering capabilities tasks, data analytics, machine learning and smart manufacturing,” he said.
To begin with, URAM has been rolled out at various IITs, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, BITS, NIT Tiruchirappalli, Chennai Mathematical Institute and IIIT Hyderabad.
Micron said that URAM will bring together academic institutions, advanced research labs, industry associations, start-ups and government agencies. Students from partner universities will benefit from access to Micron labs, technical training, academic support and mentorship from Micron experts.
“We welcome Micron’s University Research Alliance at IIT Madras,” said Professor Bhaswar Chakrabarti from the Department of Electrical Engineering at IIT Madras. “Micron’s expertise and our student talent will come together to further research in growing fields of technology,” he said.
URAM will align and enhance efforts with the policy think tank NITI Aayog, Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge and T-Hub initiatives. In addition, URAM adheres to standards established by the IT industry body Nasscom and Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association to build talent and advance skills.
India provides Micron with the opportunity for value-added growth and access to a large pool of engineering talent. The company said the quick ramp-up of its design and engineering teams is a testimony to the talent India has developed in this space. Micron said it has decided to honour all 200 offers made in the last campus cycle and continue to hire aggressively in this year’s campus season.
Micron's Ramamoorthy also said that the curriculum followed at some of the institutes was not industry-focused and the company was trying to address the gap. This gap includes limited knowledge about technologies that the industry uses for making products such as designing chips or firmware.
“Instead of training students once they join Micron, they are trained on research projects,” said Ramamoorthy. “By the time they decide to join us, they are already in good shape to contribute to the programme. URAM would ensure that we are able to provide funding to some of these initiatives,” he said.
He said one such area of research is security at the chip level, at a time when an increasing number of devices are collecting personal information.