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Press Release · DC19-136 - 04 Jul 2019

BT and India Institute of Science kick off new phase of UK-India research collaboration

Research will focus on AI, mobile and software engineering to help BT deliver cutting edge innovation globally.

BT and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), one of India’s leading research institutions, today kicked off a new phase of UK-India joint research with the opening of a new collaborative research centre in Bengaluru (Bangalore), focused on the development of the next generation of cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI), mobility and software engineering technologies.

The new BT India Research Centre (BTIRC) will join BT’s network of collaborative research facilities around the globe, including centres in Northern Ireland, China, the US, and the UAE. This global innovation network is centred on the BT Labs at Adastral Park, Suffolk, UK, one of the world’s leading centres for telecommunications research.

The BTIRC will operate multiple research tracks, focused primarily on artificial intelligence, mobility and software engineering technologies for use in BT’s strategic programmes, products and services. Future areas will include cybersecurity innovations. BT is one of the global research leaders in communications technologies and AI, filing the highest number of AI-focused patents amongst all UK companies with the UK patent office over the last 20 years.  

The centre will build on these strong credentials, following a well-established model used for the company’s other global research locations, combining academic, industry and government partnerships and BT’s own commercial and research expertise.

Professor Tim Whitley, Managing Director for Research at BT, said: “The opening of this new centre is the start of an exciting new chapter for BT, and for UK-India research. The technologies we’ll be developing here, in fields such as AI, mobile and software engineering will accelerate the delivery of exciting innovations to our customers around the globe, taking advantage of the brilliant intellectual capital in Bengaluru.”

Professor Anurag Kumar, Director IISc said: The Indian Institute of Science, one of India's premier institutes for education and research in science and engineering, looks forward with great anticipation to being an academic partner to the new collaborative research centre being established by BT in Bengaluru. The proposed research topics of mobility and artificial intelligence, with the associated software engineering, are sure to attract strong interest from the IISc faculty and students. I look forward to the many discoveries and innovations that will no doubt emanate from such collaboration. I wish the new BT research centre and the proposed IISc-BT collaboration the very best of success.

British Deputy High Commissioner to Bengaluru, Dominic McAllister said: “India is fast becoming one of the most data-rich countries in the world, with a rapidly evolving tech ecosystem which is especially strong in Bengaluru. The launch of the BT India Research Centre underlines the value of strengthening collaboration between the private sector and academic institutions to push the boundaries of innovation in critical areas of technology. This exciting collaboration between BT and the IISc in Bengaluru is already promoting and encouraging cutting-edge developments across various areas of the technology sector, including artificial intelligence, mobility and cyber-security.” 

BT has a long history of working with leading Indian universities on the development of new technologies and is a significant employer of highly-skilled IT and technology experts in Bengaluru and other locations across India including Gurugram, where the company opened a cutting-edge cyber-security centre in 2018.

The BTIRC will complement BT’s existing relationship with the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi, which is focused on elastic optical networks and quantum key distribution technologies.

For further information

Aleksander Straunik, Head of External Relations, Global.

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