HyperCat, a London-headquartered consortium of companies for the Internet of Things industry (IoT), launched a new accelerator and incubator on Wednesday in the Indian city of Hyderabad. The project is in conjunction with several UK agencies, the Indian government, and the University of Surrey.
HyperCat is a public-private consortium led by IoT and operational intelligence (OI) company Flexeye and the public organization Innovate UK, along with the office of the Mayor of London and the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC). The consortium is pushing a new industry standard, or “specification” of an open, lightweight JSON-based hypermedia catalog format agreed upon by the consortium, for applications to be used in IoT technologies and smart cities.
The Hyderabad hub was opened in a formal ceremony led by British Deputy High Commissioner in Hyderabad, Andrew McAllister; Srinivas Chilukuri, managing director at Flexeye India; and Justin Anderson, CEO of Flexeye and Chair of HyperCat. Other technology partners with HyperCat supporting the center are BT, KPMG, and TechMahindra.
“There is an important and growing tech cluster in Hyderabad, especially in Tech City, with an excellent skills base,” Flexeye’s marketing director, Nick Monnickendam, told Geektime. “It is also a good location to engage with and involve Indian startups. Flexeye’s Indian operation was already based in the city and our new offices are co-located with the HyperCat accelerator and incubator.
Monnickendam went on to explain the need to come up with standards for pushing IoT interoperability forward.
“Typically, existing applications have been developed in silos and it is difficult to find and re-use data in new applications – which slows down innovation. HyperCat provides a form of cataloging or referencing approach so that machines can rapidly locate and use data that is needed for new apps (e.g. if a new transport related app needs to take data from traffic management systems, mobile/cell accelerometers and in-vehicle telemetry HyperCat makes a lot easier and faster to discover and access these data sets and therefore accelerates the development of the new app).”
In the meantime, the team is still working on the details, like the length of the program and how much of a stake — if any — HyperCat will take in participating companies. The first group will probably see a typical program of three or four months though. The application process for the first cohort is still open.
The center will provide a course in smart cities designed in partnership with the University of Surrey, one of the founding members of HyperCat. The incubator will focus on access to potential investors while the accelerator will try to provide quick access to emerging opportunities in the smart city market. The British government would be committing 40 million GBP to the new center and the space will accommodate 40 startups, officials told the press at the launch.
A recent analysis by McKinsey gave an astronomical value to the economic impact of IoT at somewhere between $4 and $11 trillion by 2025 — a number that reflects the penetration of IoT across the economy beyond just verticals and companies’ collective values. One of the messages of the consultancy’s analysis is that interoperability is essential to making that impact as high as possible, affecting between 40% and 60% of the entire IoT industry.
There are a number of other IoT accelerators that are already active in India: Cisco’s and Larsen & Toubro’s Internet of Everything program (IoE) in Bengaluru; another Cisco program in conjunction with Rajesh Sawhney’s GSF Accelerator; Intel India’s Maker Lab, HK-based Jaarvis’ India branch, and two Tech Mahindra-backed programs in partnership with Bosch and Texas Instruments respectively.
Besides the members mentioned, other founding members include the city of Westminster, IBM, Intel; and the Universities of Bristol, Birmingham and Cambridge.
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