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MeitY Startup Hub and Meta selects IIIT Hyderabad Foundation (CIE) as the implementation partner

MeitY Startup Hub (MSH), an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, GoI, and Meta, on 14 Sept 2022, announced the launch of XR Startup Program to support and accelerate XR technology startups across India. This initiative, focuses on skilling and building technological capabilities for the metaverse and will help shape the ecosystem for the emerging technologies, including Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in the country.

Launch of XR Startup Program by MeitY Startup Hub and Meta

IIIT Hyderabad Foundation (CIE) is selected as one of the 4 implementation partners for the program across the country.

The Accelerator Program will support 40 early-stage startups working in XR technologies with a grant of Rs 20 lakhs each. Further, the Grand Challenge will encourage early-stage innovators in sectors like Education, Learning & Skills, Healthcare, Gaming & Entertainment, Agritech & Climate Action and Tourism & Sustainability. For the grand challenge the innovators will be provided support to upscale from the R&D phase to developing workable products and services.

At first, 80 innovators will be shortlisted to attend a bootcamp, out of which, a total of 16 innovators will be provided grants of Rs 20 lakhs each and further support to help them develop Minimum Viable Product (MVP)/ prototypes.

Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology, and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, "It is an important day in terms of achieving Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's vision of making the next 10 years as India's Techade - full of opportunities for young Indians. It is also an important milestone in area of Metaverse which is an important part of emerging future of the internet.

I look forward to the collaboration with Meta and I hope it provides the necessary impetus towards fueling the growth of investments in future technologies in line with the government's vision for making India a trillion-dollar economy by 2025."

Speaking on how the Digital India Programme launched in 2015 has transformed citizen's lives, governance and democracy, catalysed India's Digital economy and created significant capabilities in emerging technologies, the Minister said, "According to PM's Digital India vision, it is clear that India is no longer going to be a consumer of technology but become a leader in producing emerging technologies."

Emphasising on the potential of Indian Startups from tier 2/3 cities and how the Narendra Modi government is committed in encouraging them, the Minister further added, "Young Indian Startups, especially from