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Microsoft Academia Accelerator Program Fosters Digital Transformation At Grassroot Levels

Students showcase innovative disaster management solutions based on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Mixed Reality and Natural Language Processing.

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IIT Madras winners for UAVs for Disaster Management - Ayush Maniar, Rajat Singhal, Pranav Pawar. (L-R)

Microsoft India today hosted AXLE, a Microsoft Academia Accelerator an annual showcase of collaboration between Microsoft and academia. This year’s AI for Good theme packed in a rich agenda of keynotes, tech talks and student projects that showcased innovative ways of using technology to solve real world challenges. The event brought together Computer Science faculty, Microsoft leaders and employees, several industry influencers and students from top engineering colleges of India who showcased innovative ways of building state of the art technology to predict or manage natural disasters better.  

Academia Accelerator is Microsoft’s comprehensive campus engagement programs aimed at building a deep, long-term association between industry and academia in India and reiterates the company’s mission to enable people to realize their full potential. From just ideas at the campus level, Academia Accelerator Showcase builds on the best through mentor support, publishing support and pitch support provided and eventually provides the opportunity for the best among India’s student developers to hone their CS skills further. 

Microsoft believes that among the new technologies that offer huge potential to ensure build richer, cleaner, healthier societies, AI could be considered the foremost. It can transform the output of people and organizations across every sector including better management of catastrophes and disasters and delivering relief materials where required. Keeping in line with this, the theme for Codefundo++ National Challenge under Academia Accelerator was “Build state of the art technology to predict or manage natural disasters better”. The challenge received great response with 5000+ participating students across 21 colleges, and 350 + new projects as Academia Accelerator program celebrated its seventh year of collaboration with students and faculty in India. Top 21 teams showcased their solutions today at the new Microsoft Campus in Bengaluru. 

To further explore more possibilities around the same, topics such as AI for Earth: Solutions for Global Environmental Challenges, Health Data Collaborative Enabling AI Network and AI on the Edge and for the Edge to Design Smarter Cities were amongst the favored themes which were discussed during the keynote sessions at the Showcase today. 

“Academia Accelerator aims to provide insights to students about important technology trends and practices and adding industry know-how to the existing Computer Science curriculum. At Microsoft, we see unique ways of how AI can be used to improve products, services and how fostering the dialogue on the beneficial use of AI can help in enabling long term sustainable solutions to large scale challenges.” said Chitra Sood, Director Business Management, Microsoft India (R&D) Private Ltd.

“India has immense potential to be a hub of development for AI driven solutions. Microsoft’s engagement with the Academia reiterates our commitment to engage and enrich the innovation journey of students in Engineering schools. It makes AI and its benefits accessible and drive digital transformation at the grassroot level. We are excited by the enthusiasm shown by students using AI and anticipate that they will apply their learnings from this challenge through their career,” she added.

Academia Accelerator highlights the concepts of teamwork and collaboration as well as multi-disciplinary focus that took students beyond pure technology or code into other equally important determinants of success, such as user experience, design, customer value propositions. 

Microsoft is committed to fostering innovation and creating a real impact on communities. In line with this, the key focus is on empowering students to think innovatively to craft solutions for real time challenges. Initiatives such as the Microsoft Academia Accelerator represent a tremendous learning opportunity for students. In addition to skills and training that launch incredible careers, students receive unparalleled hands-on experience, guidance and mentorship from industry luminaries, potentially opening doors to a future as an entrepreneur, innovator or technologist. Through these programs, students are empowered to dream big, build creatively, learn through competition and boldly bring their ideas to life as they gain lifelong career skills throughout their journey. 



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