Karnataka will soon set up an innovation authority to empower startups for the ease of doing business, said Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Thursday.
"The Karnataka Innovation Authority (KIA) will be set up through a law with powers to overcome legal hurdles the startups face in innovating technologies and ideas," Kumaraswamy said while inaugurating the 21st edition of the "Bengaluru Tech Summit 2018" in the state capital.
The innovation authority will be headed by the Chief Minister.
"We are also setting up a legal framework to protect Intellectual Property (IP). A blockchain-based IP registry will be formed to protect smart ideas for commercialising them," said Kumaraswamy.
The JD-S-Congress coalition government is backing the IT industry to ensure its innovation thrives and the southern state retains its leadership in the transformation of the country through digitisation.
"The state government is also granting seed capital up to Rs 50 lakh to each startup with innovative ideas to provide socio-economic solutions to the people, facing several challenges," the chief minister told the gathering of industry leaders, executives, geeks, officials and entrepreneurs.
Kumaraswamy, who also holds the Finance portfolio, provided Rs 16 crore in the state budget for the fiscal 2018-19 to promote startups in the state.
The state government has also set up the Accelerated Assisted Elevate for the startups in backward areas, including the Hyderabad-Karnataka region in the state's northern parts, about 500 km from Bengaluru.
About 10 startups from the old region were selected for funding, this year.
"As innovation and entrepreneurship will be the driving forces, we have set up 58 K-Tech Innovation Centres across the state to encourage and nurture innovations in the farm sector," said Kumaraswamy.
Technology sharing and promoting joint research projects are key strategies being adopted to engage with the leading innovation ecosystems.
"We have set up a framework for innovation engagements with global leaders to ensure a strategic approach to developing and leveraging our international partnerships," said Kumaraswamy.
As designing will be the engine of growth, a Centre of Excellence for designing technology products will be set up in Bengaluru.
The state government is also forming global innovation alliances with countries developing the ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Bengaluru is ranked 20th among the world's innovation cities.
Lauding the IT and BT (biotech) sectors for providing a million direct and 3 million indirect jobs in Bengaluru alone, the chief minister said the number of multinationals in this tech hub had touched nearly 1,000 till 2018.
"A study by consulting firm Zinnov revealed that 65 per cent of the MNCs are from the US and 37 per cent of them have set up global in-house centres in the city, proving that Karnataka is the first choice for technology investments in the country," recalled Kumaraswamy.
Admitting that startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) would have to be supported, the chief minister said the state government through its startup policy was encouraging them to innovate solutions in healthcare, education, agriculture and energy sectors.
"The new technologies such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain and automation help in providing solutions in diverse sectors and addressing societal needs," he added.
Organised by the state government in partnership with industry associations at the sprawling Bangalore Palace grounds in the city centre, the three-day flagship IT and BT event is focusing on "Innovation and Impact of Disruptive Technologies".
"The summit has become a platform of choice for innovators and industry leaders to converge and showcase new and emerging technologies. Our policies for the IT, BT, electronics, animation and gaming are framed keeping in view the disruptive technologies," said state IT-BT and Industries Minister KJ George on the occasion.