The Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector has emerged as a vibrant sector of the Indian economy, contributing more than 29% to the GDP, 50% of the country’s total exports, and employing over 150 million people. However, MSMEs have undergone tremendous stress in recent times due to demonetization and the after-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Amrita Technology Enabling Centre (TEC) of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, supported by the Government of India’s Department of Science & Technology (DST), provides innovative and cost-effective solutions to the challenges faced by MSMEs. Amrita TEC works closely with various industry & trade associations and MSME clusters in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, such as plywood, rice mill, cashew, agricultural implements, foundries, and coir, as well as other sectors, such as medical devices, healthcare, and machinery, developing affordable technology solutions to address their primary concerns. Some of these solutions include:

  • Smart Ply, an automation product for the plywood industry used for monitoring the quality of plywood during manufacturing
  • Affordable patient mobility solutions such as hooded and foldable wheelchair
  • Affordable healthcare devices such as glucometers and lab on a chip
All these technologies are in the process of commercialization and available at very affordable costs for the common man. 
Although women represent half the population and around 48% of the general workforce, the number of women professionals is only about 20% of the total cybersecurity workforce. Of those women, only 1% percent of female cybersecurity workers are in C-suite leadership positions, and this glass ceiling is even higher for women of color. The future of the cybersecurity industry depends on its ability to attract, retain and promote women, who represent a skilled and under-tapped resource.  To fill the world’s open security positions, it is necessary to aim for 50% of women in cyber over the next decade.
ShaktiCon is a completely free global conference focused on inspiring, training, and upskilling women in cybersecurity. ShaktiCon includes keynote sessions, training, contests, and workshops. The 2021 edition of the 3-day conference attracted over 5000 participants from over 72 countries and featured over 35 talks and training from the best in the industry. Born out of an understanding that cultural circumstances do not always encourage women to flourish in male-dominated fields, ShaktiCon is committed to creating a suitable environment to showcase the range of women’s talents in cybersecurity. By doing this, it is envisaged to train a new generation of women to be more actively engaged in the field and enter the cybersecurity workforce. ShaktiCon is all about women role models encouraging young & aspiring women hackers to attain their goals without any fear. Flagship programs of ShaktiCon include:
  • Workshops & training sessions organized for scouting, nurturing & empowering women talents in the field of Cyber Security
  • Talks, panel discussions, keynotes, and motivational sessions by leading women in Cyber Security
  • Women-only Capture the Flag (CTF) hacking contest for showcasing talent
India has one of the largest higher education systems in the world with 1000+ universities and 50,000+ colleges. A significant number of colleges are in rural settings. Some of them do not have the facilities or resources to set up advanced laboratories and instrumentation facilities.  Virtual Labs project is an initiative of the Ministry of Education, Government of India to address this problem as a paradigm shift in ICT-based education. Under the Virtual Labs project, over 100 Virtual Labs consisting of approximately 700+ web-enabled experiments were designed for remote operation and viewing. The intended beneficiaries of the projects are:
  • All students and Faculty Members of Science and Engineering Colleges who do not have access to good lab facilities and/or instruments.
  • High‐school students, whose inquisitiveness will be triggered, possibly motivating them to take up higher studies. Researchers in different institutes can collaborate and share resources.
  • Different engineering colleges can benefit from the content and related teaching resources.

Virtual Labs do not require any additional infrastructural setup for conducting experiments at user premises. The simulations-based experiments can be accessed remotely via the internet. AMRITA Vishwa Vidyapeetham is one of the 12 academic partners in the consortium along with IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Bombay, etc.  AMRITA has developed virtual labs in biomedical and biotechnology, engineering, chemical sciences, and physical sciences. Over 7+ million users are registered on the platform as of 2022. 

Amrita has hosted a series of webinars for technology awareness titled, ‘AMRITA Tech Trends’ on the latest technology trends, such as IoT, 5G, Block Chain, AI, Big Data, and Industry 4.0, for young graduates, academicians, industry professionals, and entrepreneurs. These webinars empower them with cutting-edge knowledge of emerging technologies and also provide a valuable learning experience with valuable insights and practical knowledge to the participants.  It also provides insights into how these technologies can address the problems and needs of society. Over+ 100 webinars have been organized since 2020.  Over 5000+ participants have benefitted as a result of these webinars. These webinars also open opportunities for technology development for industry and R&D opportunities for research aspirants.

Although there has been a thrust toward innovation amongst Indian universities and colleges, a significant number of them need handholding and guidance towards technology development as also bridging the gap between industry and academia. Towards this, Amrita Technology Enabling Centre (TEC) has conceptualized an academic partnership program for technology enablement for the benefit of colleges in Kerala and Tamil Nadu with the following avenues of support: 
  • Technology mining (Improve Prototypes and working models)
  • Technology Assessment (Readiness level and maturity assessment of university IP) 
  • Technology Potential (Market study & potential)
  • Technology Development & Transfer (Legal, IP & industry support) 
  • Technology Eco-system (Collaboration & networking with stakeholders, MOU, events)
  • Technology Knowledge Exchange (Seminars, workshops, tech showcase, hackathons)
250+ technologies from these colleges have been mined and assessed for Technology Readiness Levels (TRL). 10% of these technologies are on the path toward technology commercialization. As part of this TEC academic connect, technology showcases & exhibitions, seminars, hackathons, boot camps & workshops on design thinking, TRL, ideation, innovation, and entrepreneurship have been conducted, benefitting thousands of students.

The world is facing an Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution. Data can be likened to crude oil in that it fuels the AI engine. PwC estimates that AI will contribute 15.7 trillion dollars, or a 26% increase, to the global economy by 2030. As the world moves towards a new age of automation, world leaders and governments must consider both the positive and negative ramifications of this new technology.

While AI has immense potential to solve problems and provide creative solutions, there has been a lack of transparency and accountability in cases where it has created biases against underrepresented people and communities. We must identify the pitfalls and potential consequences of AI to develop harmonious policies that will enable rapid innovation while protecting the vulnerable citizens of the world.

As AI proliferates the world with automated decision-making across all sectors, it does so oftentimes with data given and generated by users in exchange for seemingly free services. While this paradigm has yielded tremendous growth, it has its flaws. Citizens need a reasonable understanding of the agreements they make with large tech companies when signing up to use their services.

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Amrita Technology Enabling
Centre (TEC)
ShaktiCon Cyber Security Conference,
Training & Capture the Flag (CTF)
for Women
Amrita Tech Trends: Webinars
for Technology Awareness
Virtual Labs
TEC Academic Connect

Working Group Coordinators

Dr. Krishnashree Achuthan

India Coordinator
Dean, Post Graduate Programs and Director, Centre for Cyber Security Systems & Networks, Amrita University, India

Dr. Nava Subramaniam

India Coordinator
Dean, School of Business, Amrita University, India and Professor Emeritus, RMIT University, Australia

Ms. Alison Richards

International Coordinator
Director, oneAPI Initiative, Software Products Team, Intel Corporation

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