NITI Aayog, ABB facilitate adoption of AI technologies by MSMEs

NITI Aayog and ABB India jointly organised a workshop to facilitate the adoption of artificial intelligence-based technologies by small, medium and micro enterprises (MSMEs) across various sectors.

The workshop, held at the ABB Ability Innovation Centre (AIC) in Bengaluru, brought together entrepreneurs, policymakers, state government functionaries and technology experts from sectors such as pharmaceuticals, textiles, electrical and electronics, food processing and manufacturing.
The workshop, which is in line with the national objective of ‘AI for All’, focused on three key areas that included addressing sector specific issues such as regulatory, financial and policy concerns relating to adoption of automation by the MSMEs.
The workshop explored innovative business and economic models (plug and play, cluster approach, shared manufacturing approach) to accelerate technology adoption by MSMEs, while optimising costs. Besides, it tried to address potential impacts of automation and AI on the workforce and steps that could be taken to educate, train and reskill the workforce.
“At NITI Aayog we are no longer working on one-way policy plans, we have wide and deep interactions with those for whom the policies are intended to focus on. At ABB Ability Innovation Centre we have brought all stakeholders of MSME value chain to identify the roadblocks they face in growth, be it in business models, financing or skilled labour, and together find ways in which we can address the same using tools ranging from policy to technology,” said Anna Roy, senior adviser at NITI Aayog.
“India can leapfrog and show the way when it comes to innovative AI applications. Working with MSMEs and the eco-system is critical for the industrial and manufacturing adoption of such technologies. With its established history of working with them for several decades and driving the change with new digital solutions,  ABB would be the perfect catalyst,” said Sanjeev Sharma, managing director, ABB India.
Last year, NITI Aayog and ABB signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) to support the Indian government to realize its ambitious vision of “Make in India” through advanced manufacturing technologies that incorporate the latest developments in robotics and artificial intelligence.