With a partnership between British and Indian companies and agencies, the new centre aims to increase IoT penetration in India
HyperCat, a London-headquartered consortium of companies for the Internet of Things industry (IoT), launched a new accelerator and incubator last week in Hyderabad. The project is in conjunction with several UK agencies, the Indian government and the University of Surrey.
HyperCat is a public-private consortium led by IoT and operational intelligence (OI) company Flexeye and the public organisation Innovate UK, along with the office of the Mayor of London and the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC). The consortium is pushing a new industry standard, or ‘specification’ of an open, lightweight JSON-based hypermedia catalogue format agreed upon by the consortium, for applications to be used in IoT technologies and smart cities.
The Hyderabad hub was opened in a formal ceremony led by British Deputy High Commissioner in Hyderabad, Andrew McAllister; Srinivas Chilukuri, MD at Flexeye India; and Justin Anderson, CEO of Flexeye. Other technology partners with HyperCat supporting the centre are BT, KPMG, and TechMahindra.
“There is an important and growing tech cluster in Hyderabad, especially in Tech City, with an excellent skills base,” Flexeye’s Marketing Director, Nick Monnickendam, told Geektime. “It is also a good location to engage with and involve Indian startups. Flexeye’s Indian operation was already based in the city and our new offices are co-located with the HyperCat accelerator and incubator.
Monnickendam went on to explain the need to come up with standards for pushing IoT interoperability forward:
“Typically, existing apps have been developed in silos and it is difficult to find and re-use data in new applications – which slows down innovation. HyperCat provides a form of cataloguing or referencing approach so that machines can rapidly locate and use data that is needed for new apps. For example, if a new transport-related app needs to take data from traffic management systems, mobile/cell accelerometers and in-vehicle telemetry, HyperCat makes it a lot easier and faster to discover and access these data sets and, therefore, accelerates the development of the new app.”
The purpose of the initiative
In the meantime, the team is still working on the details, like the length of the programme and how much of a stake — if any — HyperCat will take in participating companies. The first group will probably see a typical programme of three or four months, though. The application process for the first cohort is still open.
The centre will provide a course in smart cities designed in partnership with the University of Surrey, one of the founding members of HyperCat. The incubator will focus on access to potential investors while the accelerator will try to provide quick access to emerging opportunities in the smart city market. The British government would be committing GBP40 million (US$ 60.7 million) to the new centre and the space will accommodate 40 startups, officials told the press at the launch.
A recent analysis by McKinsey gave an astronomical value to the economic impact of IoT at somewhere between US$4 trillion and US$11 trillion by 2025 — a number that reflects the penetration of IoT across the economy beyond just verticals and companies’ collective values. One of the messages of the consultancy’s analysis is that interoperability is essential to making that impact as high as possible, affecting between 40 per cent and 60 per cent of the entire IoT industry.
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There are a number of other IoT accelerators that are already active in India: Cisco’s and Larsen & Toubro’s Internet of Everything programme (IoE) in Bangalore; another Cisco programme in conjunction with Rajesh Sawhney’s GSF Accelerator; Intel India’s Maker Lab, HK-based Jaarvis’ India branch, and two Tech Mahindra-backed programmes in partnership with Bosch and Texas Instruments, respectively.
Besides the members mentioned, other founding members include the city of Westminster, IBM, Intel; and the Universities of Bristol, Birmingham and Cambridge.
The article New IoT accelerator could make Hyderabad one of India’s first smart cities first appeared on Geektime.
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