‘IMAGE’, India’s first Centre of Excellence for Gaming, VFX, Computer Vision & AI, launched in Hyderabad3 years ago Saritha Keshamoni
IMAGE Centre of Excellence set up by STPI, backed by MeitY and The Government of Telangana, to incubate over 25-30 start-ups each year, 140 over the next five years; Signs MoU with 5 Partners
Hyderabad, India, February 17, 2020: IMAGE, India’s first Centre of Excellence for Gaming, VFX, Computer Vision and AI, opened in Hyderabad today. This is also the first Incubation centre for companies focussed on IP in Gaming, VFX, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision set up by Software Technology Park of India.
STPI-IMAGE also signed MoU with 5 partners TVAGA (Telangana VFX, Animation and Gaming Association), Hyderabad Angels, HYSEA, IIIT- Hyderabad, and TiE Hyderabad with an objective to nurture and promote start-ups and budding entrepreneurs by offering resources like mentoring, technology support, infrastructure like Plug & Play Incubation, Mocap, CVAI labs and funding.
The 10000 Sq ft, IMAGE-CoE, inside the existing STPI facility targets to incubate up to 25-30 start-ups per year for the next five years. A total investment of 19. 68 Cr shall be spent over a period of 5 years for the CoE in addition to existing infrastructure in the STPI facility.
The start-ups will be mentored by a group of accomplished industry and academic pioneers, led by the Chief Mentor and aided by a strong Governing Council (GC) & Project Management Group (PMG) consisting of top technology industrialists, investors and academicians.
Benefits to Start-ups
Applications to get on board in the CoE (image.stpi.in) is open and closes on March 31st, 2020. The start-ups will undergo various levels of evaluation before selection. On selection, they will be assisted with a seed fund of Rs. 5 lakhs after due diligence by the PMG. This fund will be released to start-ups during the structured accelerated program, at regular intervals, based on achieving set milestones.
In the first year, 20 start-ups will be chosen for on boarding this program. Each start-up will be given access to best-in-class infrastructure and R & D lab facilities, for development and validation of solution from design to prototyping to democratize innovation, including the newly set up first of its kind Motion Capture Lab. They will also be provided access to funding, mentorship, and marketing.
Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary of the Industries & Commerce (I&C) and Information Technology (IT) said, “Hyderabad is fast emerging as the best global destination for Gaming and AI landscape. That’s one key reason we believe STPI chose to set up its CoE in Hyderabad, and as partners, we are fully committed to this initiative. ” “We have a strong eco-system, as the city of Hyderabad hosts established world-leading-gaming companies, global scale events such as IndiaJoy, The India Game Developers Conference (IGDC) plus India’s biggest IMAGE towers readying to open in Hyderabad.”
Stating that Hyderabad was a natural choice to set up the IMAGE CoE due to its inherent industry strengths, Omkar Rai, Director-General, STPI expressed,“The CoE will bring a paradigm shift in revving up research and innovation in Gaming, VFX, Computer Vision & 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 realise our mission to build world-class gaming, Animation and Deep Tech providers to the world.”
“Setting up STPI-IMAGE CoE is great news for the Gaming sector, especially startups as they now have access to game development, funding, foster strategic partnerships with game development companies and global gaming publishers, TVAGA will play an active role in promoting the gaming sector and support IMAGE mission .”Rajiv Chilaka, President, TVAGA & Founder and CEO of Green Gold.
Congratulating Software Technology Parks of India, Hyderabad, for setting up the Centre of Excellence in animation and gaming as well as in computer vision and AI, Shashi Reddy, Chief Mentor of IMAGE CoE and VP Engineering, Qualcomm India, in his address said, “Hyderabad has a lot of animation and gaming companies, and the industry has been maturing over the years. This is a great opportunity for new start-ups to build, nurture innovation at STPI-IMAGE and accelerate the growth of gaming and animation in the city.”
“I am really excited about the future, as the new Computer Vision and AI at CoE will propel Deep learning techniques and help grow the CV and AI areas, as well as augment new Startup,” Shashi added.
I am very happy to see the STPI CoE become operational. We have been working on it for many months now. It is a very unique endeavour where we have STPI and the Telangana State, we have IIIT, we have industry association HYSEA, we have a large company like Qualcomm and the gaming and animation association TVAGA, all involved. We will be supporting the start-ups from IIIT, from both research and as well as the innovation centre stand point. We are hoping to find very interesting start-ups that are using Computer Vision & AI to solve different problems for different industries. The opportunities are huge from medical solutions to industry for point solutions to safety and security related. Expressed, Ramesh Loganathan, Professor of Practice, Co-innovations at IIIT-Hyderabad.
Highly Value Partnerships
IMAGE is a collaboration between industry associations, academia, and angels, the model is built on a solid groundwork.
TVAGA will lend support in funding game development start-ups and fostering strategic partnerships between game development start-ups and global gaming publishers. In addition, TVAGA will be sponsoring Gamelab related resources such as cloud and advertising credits for gaming start-ups being accelerated at CoE.
HYSEA will help provide seed funding, strategy guidance, market access besides helping the start-ups on matters related to Product definition,
On their part, Hyderabad Angels will provide strategy, mentoring, and help to raise funds for the start-ups. IIIT-H: will extend technology mentoring support.
The State Government will aid in strengthening the CoE goals with industry-friendly IMAGE policies and may also consider providing grant-in-aid to meritorious start-ups.
Gaming Industry’s Market Potential
Year 2020 will see social interactive gaming and eSports become mainstream. India ranks fifth among the world’s top mobile gaming markets and is expected to move to the top 3 in the next 3 years. Mobile gaming is anticipated to be a $105Bn opportunity by 2023 and outpace China which is estimated to be at $73B. From 2MM gamers in 2016 to 100MM gamers by the end of 2019, the momentum will likely continue.
The average gamer spends 60 mins on mobile games with OTT platforms seeing 45 mins spent. Add to the fanatic user engagement is the repetitive behaviour where 40% of men and 35% of women play mobile games at least five days a week in India.
60% of online gamers are in the 18-24 age bracket who want to make quick money and also don’t hesitate to spend. Tencent’s PUBG makes a mind-boggling $7MM a month from India.
Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence Market Potential
According to a market research report, the global Artificial Intelligence (AI) market size in 2018 stood at USD 20.67 Billion, and it is projected to reach USD 202.57 billion by 2026. The report also stated AI based services to gain momentum during the forecast period in India also.
AI in Computer Vision Market Overview: AI in Computer Vision Market alone was valued at USD 3.32 Billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 68.11 Billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 46.64 % from 2019 to 2026.
The Computer Vision market is expected to reach approximately USD 48.32 billion by 2023 at a CAGR of 31.65% from 2017 to 2023. The market has been divided into hardware and software, it is based on components, applications, verticals, and region. The rapid development of technology, declining chip prices, and with the growing connectivity are other major factors, for propelling computer vision technologies. APAC region is expected to hold the largest market size during the forecast period.