Microsoft India under its sustainable and self-reliant rural market
initiative, Project Saksham, today announced the launch of Rural Innovation Fund
The Fund setup in partnership with IDRC's telecentre.org initiative at the 3rd
Annual meeting of the M S Swaminathan led Mission 2007 will help local software
application development vendors in smaller towns to create and provide localized
applications and solutions customized for the needs of the rural communities.
It will initially focus on verticals like telemedicine, education and
agriculture, areas which are of maximum interest to the rural communities.
The fund is a collaborative effort between
and IDRC, a Canadian Development organization and will be managed by a
committee set up under Mission 2007, comprising of eminent people from the
industry, academia and government. The program committee will choose the various
applications for the programs in the next 6 months.
The Rural Innovation Fund will have a two-pronged benefit. It will empower the
local software industry by promoting individual or organizational endeavors
towards low cost innovative applications and at the same time enable the
development of rural applications in a few areas.
Commenting on the initiative Ravi Venkatesan, chairman,
said, "We are confident that this will generate a new generation of local IT
entrepreneurs who will build localized and customized solutions for rural
communities. The Rural Innovation Fund is yet another step in the direction of
empowering people to achieve their potential."
Prof. MS Swaminathan, chairman, Swaminathan Foundation added, "Microsoft and
IDRC have taken tremendous initiatives to bring technology closer to the
marginalized sections of the society, especially the rural communities who could
immensely benefit by the proper utilization of technology. I am confident that
the launch of this Fund will create an entire network of rural IT entrepreneurs
who would develop local software specific to the needs of the rural communities.
It will lead to an entrepreneurship revolution in rural India and will help to
retain educated youth in villages. "
Commenting on IDRC's partnership, Dr Basheer Ahmad Shadrach, Senior Program
Officer, International Development Research (IDRC) & Secretary, Mission 2007
said, "We are excited to be a part of the Innovation Fund which will create IT
solutions for the rural areas and help build localized solutions for them. We
look forward to this partnership with Microsoft towards enabling the rural
ecosystem for building IT solutions for them. The idea is to scale innovations
Â© CyberMedia News
Microsoft partners IDRCR for Rural Innovation Fund