UP Walks The Talk: Invites Bid To Develop Lucknow As India's 1st AI City

Is Uttar Pradesh leading India's AI revolution? Which city will become India's first AI city? How is UPECL planning to do so? Will this propel UP into a major AI and tech hub, aligning with UP's vision for a $1 tn economy? Read on for all the details.

Swati Dayal
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Lucknow AI city

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In keeping with the promise made to the people of Uttar Pradesh, the state government is in the process of developing Lucknow as the country's first AI city.

As the world grapples with the transformative power of artificial intelligence (AI), Uttar Pradesh, India's largest state, has set an ambitious plan in motion. The capital city, Lucknow, is poised to become India's first AI city, demonstrating the state's commitment to fostering innovation. The initiative includes the creation of plug-and-play infrastructure, office spaces for incubators, start-ups, and corporates, along with various other facilities.

UPECL Invites Bid To Develop AI City

The Uttar Pradesh Electronics Corporation Ltd (UPECL) has taken a groundbreaking step by inviting bids from real estate developers to shape Lucknow into an AI-centric urban space. The vision is to integrate cutting-edge technology, research centers, and educational institutions, creating a hub where ideas flourish, and the future workforce is nurtured.

Building the Foundation for Innovation

The Expression of Interest (EoI) issued by UP Electronics Corporation Ltd. outlines the development plan, emphasizing the creation of plug-and-play infrastructure and Grade A office space for incubators, start-ups, and corporates. The government's focus is on fostering a culture of creativity and entrepreneurship, aligning with the global AI market's projected compound annual growth rate of 37.3% from 2023 to 2030, valued at $137 billion in 2022.

Lucknow's Thriving AI Ecosystem

Lucknow, already home to Centers of Excellence in AI and MedTech, boasts significant AI integration. The AI Center of Excellence at IIIT Lucknow supports over 15 AI/ML start-ups, showcasing the city's commitment to cultivating a dynamic environment for technological innovation.

Government's Supportive Measures

To ensure the success of the AI city project, the Uttar Pradesh government is providing 40 acres in the Nadarganj Industrial Area, free from encumbrances and equipped with necessary clearances. Financial incentives, including one-time Capex support and stamp duty exemptions, underscore the government's commitment to propelling Lucknow as a major AI hub.

Diversifying Urban Landscape: Beyond Infrastructure

The EoI emphasizes the need for a balanced urban landscape, incorporating luxury and affordable housing complexes, creating a walk-to-work model. Dedicated spaces for top engineering and management institutes aim to promote industry-academic collaboration, and AI-enabled internal modes of transport will enhance connectivity within the AI city.

UP's Vision: A $1 Trillion Economy and Global IT Hub

Aligning with its goal to become a $1 trillion economy in the next five years, Uttar Pradesh identifies IT and ITeS as core sectors. The state, already the sixth-largest in terms of the IT ecosystem, seeks to bolster Tier 2 cities like Lucknow as emerging technology hubs, leveraging AI as a key growth driver.

Tech Giants and Academic Excellence

Lucknow's thriving tech ecosystem, with major players like HCL and TCS, is enriched by a skilled workforce of over 75,000 tech professionals and renowned educational institutions such as IIM-Lucknow, IIIT-Lucknow, BBDU, and Amity. The city's tech prowess makes it an ideal candidate for the AI city initiative.

U.P.'s Startup Ecosystem: A Force to be Reckoned With

Recent data reveals UP as the fourth-largest startup ecosystem in India, with eight Unicorns and two potential Soonicorns. Surpassing its target of 10,000 startups by mid-2023, the state's achievements, including hosting unicorns like Paytm, India Mart, and Innovaccer, showcase its prowess in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.

Uttar Pradesh's Ascent into the Future

As Uttar Pradesh paves the way for India's first AI city, it positions itself at the forefront of global technological innovation. Lucknow's transformation into an AI hub will shape the future, where technology and innovation drive economic growth and societal progress. The journey toward a $1 trillion economy and a flourishing AI ecosystem marks a significant chapter in Uttar Pradesh's vison towards becoming a global leader in technology and innovation.

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