IBM and Gujarat Government Collaborate to Establish AI Cluster at GIFT City

By Ritwik Ghosh,Kolkata India

IBM and Gujarat Government Collaborate to Establish AI Cluster at GIFT City

The Gujarat government has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IBM to create an artificial intelligence (AI) cluster at the Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City. This initiative aims to leverage IBM’s GenAI platform, watsonx, to drive innovation and foster collaboration among financial institutions within the City.

Under this agreement, IBM will assist financial institutions by providing proof of concept and access to AI Sandbox, AI literacy programs, and digital assistant solutions. This will enable financial institutions to fine-tune large language AI models (LLMs) in a secure sandbox environment and deploy customized LLMs through digital assistant solutions.

IBM also plans to develop an AI-centric curriculum for schools and universities across Gujarat. Additionally, certification programs will be offered to professionals in the state to enhance their skills in emerging technologies. This initiative is part of IBM’s broader goal to train 30 million people globally by 2030, including 2 million learners in AI by the end of 2026.

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel stated, “This MoU with IBM will help Gujarat lead the country in AI adoption and digital transformation.” IBM India and South Asia Managing Director Sandip Patel added, “By establishing this AI cluster, our aim is to make the latest AI solutions easily accessible to the growing number of financial institutions in GIFT City.”

These initiatives are expected to significantly boost GIFT City’s development, with GenAI playing a key role. The announcement coincided with Nifty IX reporting its highest-ever monthly turnover of 21.23 lakh contracts worth INR 7.97 Lakh Cr ($95.55 Bn) in June.

The Indian financial services and fintech sectors are rapidly adopting AI technology to improve customer service, enhance efficiency, and reduce costs. Vatsal Kanakiya, CTO at 100X.VC, highlighted the potential of GenAI to automate redundant manual business processes within the sector. However, building company-specific LLMs from scratch can be challenging.

This growing interest in GenAI has spurred a wave of new Indian startups focused on the sector, such as, Slang Labs, Vitrai.AI, and Alltius. Consequently, the Indian GenAI space is attracting significant investor interest, with homegrown startups raising over $600 million between 2019 and 2023.

The Centre’s efforts to promote GIFT City as a global financial hub and virtual offshore destination for startups and investors are also gaining momentum. Recently, Chennai-based VC firm Unifi Capital launched two new funds at IFSCA, and the union government, along with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), signed a $23 million loan agreement to support research and innovation in the fintech sector at GIFT City.

This collaboration between IBM and the Gujarat government marks a significant step towards advancing AI adoption and digital transformation in India, positioning GIFT City as a leading hub for financial technology innovation.


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