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Karnataka, Austrian govts initiate talks to enhance tech and startup collaboration

The Karnataka state government and the Austrian government initiated negotiations on February 19 to elevate their collaboration in technology, innovation, and startup initiatives.

An Austrian delegation, led by Minister for Labour and Economy Martin Kocher, highlighted the emerging quantum research ecosystem in Austria during their visit to Bengaluru. They engaged in discussions with state IT department officials, providing insights into the country’s evolving economy.

Karnataka’s IT-BT Minister Priyank Kharge expressed Karnataka IT department’s eagerness to collaborate with the visiting country. He announced plans to establish a Center of Excellence for Quantum Computing, emphasising the potential for boundary-pushing collaborations.

Kharge expressed confidence in Bengaluru’s tech industry, asserting its capability to develop skilling programs tailored to international markets. “We can customise programs specific to the Austrian market, accounting for cultural nuances, showcasing Karnataka’s commitment to becoming a significant player in the technology arena alongside Austria,” he said.

As part of the Global Innovation Alliance initiated by the Karnataka government in 2017, the state has expanded its partnerships from 10 countries in 2018 to over 30 countries in 2023-24. Recent discussions with a US delegation explored mutual interests in the IT and semiconductor space.

Despite its modest size, Austria boasts hosting over 3,300 startups that have emerged in the last decade, employing more than 30,000 individuals, securing the 25th global ranking in the startup ecosystem index.

The bilateral meeting outlined key initiatives, including a dedicated market-access programme during the Vienna UP’24 tech event from June 3 to 9, a start-up exchange program under the India-Austria Start-up Bridge, and collaborative efforts in skilling and semiconductor ecosystems.

Discussions provided insights into Austria’s ecosystem, focusing on key industries such as manufacturing, finance, tourism, energy, healthcare, and IT. Emerging areas include sustainability, life sciences, mechatronics, and energy, a statement from Karnataka IT department said.

Leading Austrian companies, including AT&S (chips and semiconductor), Geba Cable (cable technology for elevators and solar plants), Plansee (metals, advanced materials), and Frauscher (railway-signaling), operate in Bengaluru, it adds. Moneycontrol

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