FutureTech, a business unit of 3i Infotech Limited, as the accelerator and transformation partner for the company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Computer Science at SRM Valliammai Engineering College, Chennai. This partnership aims to establish a path-breaking AI Lab within the institute’s campus. The collaboration will foster a mutually beneficial relationship for both the partners through promoting knowledge exchange, research opportunities, and academic growth. This Campus to Corporate initiative expands the idea of FutureTech to bridge the learning gap between academia-industry. In early 2022, 3i Infotech opened its office in IIT Madras Research Park, Chennai to establish FutureTech business labs to work on next-gen technologies.
The MoU was signed at the IIT Madras Research Park in the presence of Dr B. Chidhambararajan, Director SRMVEC, Dr M. Murugan Principal SRMVEC, Dr B. Vanathi, Professor and Department Head of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), Dr B. Muthusenthil, Professor and Department Head of AI & Data Science (DS), and faculties from the Departments of CSE and AI & DS.
The scope of this partnership will be expanded to include other departments within the college, such as Information and Technology, Artificial Intelligence and Data Science. Each batch is expected to include 50 students with a faculty strength of 27 professors. The course structure will range from Level 1 – Level 4 encompassing – Introduction to AI and Data Science, AI Foundations, Introduction to AI Techniques, and AI in Production. This will further be extended to specializations in AI in healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture, energy, communication, transportation, environment, and education.
Additionally, the initiative of making the students industry ready will be highly leveraged through the well-rounded internship programme that will further be split into two stages: (1) Train the trainers: Training for the professors who want to constantly upskill on AI/ML/DL and other relevant technologies. (2) Train the students: Training, practical learning, and internship opportunities for the students on technologies and tools.
Speaking on the alliance, Mr Thompson P. Gnanam, MD & Global CEO, 3i Infotech said, “We believe this academia-industry partnership will be a gamechanger to bridge the skill-gap in the industry and will pave the way for many more such initiatives. With the world rapidly progressing towards adopting AI, it’s important that an intervention of this nature between academia and industry is made paramount. While we are excited to announce this future-ready learning program, tailored for passionate and qualified students who are eager to explore the realms of AI/ML/DL research, we also strongly believe that it is important for Professors of Practice to be brought into this curriculum design to ensure ‘Campus to Corporate’ is a smooth transition.”
Speaking at the signing event, Mr Damodharan Padmanaban, Global Head Cognitive Computing, 3i Infotech said, “The very core structure of technology will remain the same irrespective of the extent of its development over the years. The gamechanger aspect of tech will only be an enhanced problem-solving mechanism in the complex business solutions, where we can make the AI work for us instead of being overtaken by it. In the contemporary world, a facet of utmost importance is the real-world application of learning. However, being trained through a certain course is distant from actually performing a task in the ever-evolving complex business scenarios. It is here that this AI Lab will play a pivotal role in making the learning realistic and future ready”.
Speaking on the initiative, Dr S. Ramachandran, Director Academic, SRM Group said, “SRM has a rich legacy of academic excellence with a strong bent towards research and innovation. Our professors are highly regarded within the country’s educational ecosystem, who are always eager to upskill and stay abreast around emerging trends and technologies. In this endeavor, we are delighted to partner with FutureTech in setting up a next-gen innovation lab that will completely upskill and give our students a competitive advantage in the market. This initiative will inspire curiosity among our students and hopefully generate new knowledge and discoveries. To achieve this, the learners will be offered comprehensive resources and ample technical guidance for them to learn and innovate. They will have access to essential resources such as servers, deployment support, and a suite of powerful AI developer tools”.
Other propositions offered by the programme are the holistic support system, social entrepreneurship, and decentralized learning ecosystem for the students where they will be trained in terms of their ability to solve real-world business problems through use cases. The training model will facilitate an ecosystem where the students and professors will have the flexibility and control over their educational journeys. Individuals can choose their preferred learning resources, pathways, and pace, fostering a personalized and self-directed learning experience. It will also enable learners to connect and interact directly with one another, fostering knowledge sharing, collective problem-solving, and the development of social networks based on shared interests or expertise.