Xerox Research Centre India Concludes XRCI Open 2015

Xerox Research Centre India (XRCI), Xerox’s latest global research location that captures innovation opportunities for Xerox in xerox_printersemerging markets to advance Xerox’s position as the leading global provider of document and business process services conducted the 2nd edition of XRCI Open Innovation Symposium 2015 in Bangalore. The event saw participation from eminent institutes, namely IISc Bangalore, IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, IIIT Hyderabad, IIIT Delhi, IIM Indore, amid others as a part of panel discussions, keynotes, and poster presentations.

“With the availability of abundant computing power, proliferation of data from sensors and increasing digitization of data, there are amazing opportunities to apply technology towards making a difference to the world at large”, said Dr. Manish Gupta, Vice President, Xerox Corp and Director of Xerox Research Centre in India during his welcome address. Manish spoke about innovations from Xerox Innovation Group in industry verticals like healthcare, transportation, education and banking, and opportunities for partnership.

Xerox has actively engaged in productive collaborations with Indian academia through a number of initiatives such as research grants and open innovation projects. The goal of XRCI Open is to establish stronger partnerships with the universities and the startup community.

The opening keynote address was delivered by Prof. Anurag Kumar, Director, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, who presented advances and open challenges in the  design and deployment of IEEE 802.15.4 (“Zigbee”) Networks for applications of the Internet of Things. Prof. Krithi Ramamritham from IIT Bombay gave an insightful keynote talk on leveraging technology for developing smarter real-time systems while optimizing cost, comfort and energy.

The event also witnessed a stimulating panel discussion featuring leading computer science researchers from India, Prof. P J Narayanan, Director, IIIT-Hyderabad, Prof. Jayant Haritsa, Chairman, Computer Science and Automation, IISc Bangalore and recent Infosys prize winner, Prof. Ashwin Srinivasan, and Dr. Rajeev Shorey on the topic “Taking good research to great heights”. The audience, which included numerous PhD students and researchers, picked up several pearls of wisdom from the distinguished panelists.

Other highlights of the event included a Ph.D. Symposium, which provided a forum for Ph.D. students to present their work. XRCI provided cash awards worth over INR 2 lakhs for the best doctoral dissertations and poster presentations.

The second day included a panel discussion on “Bridging the innovation gaps between Corporations & Start-ups” with Shyam Vasudeva Rao, President & CTO, Forus Health Pvt. Ltd, Abhijit Bose, CEO and Co-Founder, Ezetap, Parul Gupta, Co-Founder, SlideRule and Shashank ND, Founder & CEO, Practo.

Commenting on the event, one of the renowned panelists, Mr. Shashank ND said, “Healthcare as an industry is in need of innovation to help improve consumer healthcare experience and improve their ability to make better informed healthcare decisions. Strategic collaboration with corporates and government helps us cater to the healthcare requirements of the consumer in a more comprehensive way. The symposium organized by Xerox Research Centre India is a wonderful platform for corporates to engage and understand different needs of today have evolved consumers and how innovative technology can help us to access their requirements, optimise services and make lives better.”

The third keynote address focused on Design Innovation. The audience was addressed by Ashish Deshpande, Co-founder, Elephant, sharing the value of design thinking and attributes like empathy with end-user and frugal approach that he has successfully applied in his own award-winning work.

The event concluded with the Research Innovation Challenge that went beyond the conventional coding contests/hackathons and was aimed at harnessing the creativity of students to solve some of the pressing problems in India.  The finalist teams presented solutions for problems like ambulance scheduling and reducing traffic congestion, receiving an iPad Mini for their efforts. The winning team also received a gift voucher worth INR 40,000 and an opportunity to intern at Xerox Research Centre India.

The essence of the symposium was to encourage students and researchers from industry and academia to discover opportunities to collaborate and develop pioneering solutions that matter to the world.

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