Bhubaneswar: Susmita Bagchi, an eminent writer and a philanthropist, has joined the state MSME department, the  Software Technology Park of India(STPI) and the IIT Bhubaneswar to set up an incubator –Centre of Excellence for Virtual & Augmented Reality (VARCoE) in the state.

Bagchi along with the MSME department and STIP singed an MoU with IIT Bhubaneswar for establishment of the VARCoE in IIT campus.

Bagchi, who is the wife of Mindtree CEO Subroto Bagchi,  has chipped in Rs 2.5 crore as part of the initial fund for the establishment of the Centre.

Gracing the MoU signing ceremony the chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, the VARCoE would be a landmark initiative for promoting research, technology incubation and product development in the country. The Centre will cater to the startups and new generation entrepreneurs working in the area of virutal augmented reality for immersive visualisation and allied areas.

The Centre will undertake state-of-the-art research, develop testing facility/laboratories for advanced algorithms, applications and methods in aid of Virtual and Augmented Reality for Immersive Visualization and allied areas. It will also offer highly focused courses on AR / VR to the students. It will help in developing application platforms for specific skill development programs based on the industry need and relevance.

MSME minister Prafulla Samal called upon the high net worth individuals of the state to follow the example of Susmita Bagchi, who is an eminent writer,  in promoting such socially benefiting ventures. He asserted that the state is committed to achieve the vision of supporting 1000-Startups by 2020.

The  Additional Chief Secretary, L.N. Gupta,  informed that since the launch of Startup Odisha Portal on May 1, 2017 by chief minister, 162 Startups ranging from health care & life sciences to HR & household services, IT and IOT to Finance Technology & Food Services are registered under the Startup Odisha Initiative and 20 of them are getting benefits. Besides, four recognised and 20 other incubators are working across the state for incubation of the startups.

Director general STPI Omkar Rai said  the incubatees and startups graduating from the IIT Bhubaneswar would be encouraged to join STPI. He added, STPI would work along with IIT Bhubaneswar in empowering the startups and entrepreneurs working in the area of AR/VR for the benefit of industry.

IIT Bhubaneswar director R.V. Rajakumar and Sasmita Bagchi also spoke on the occasion.