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Qualcomm India Private Limited, a subidiary of the US semiconductor giant Qualcomm, plans to initiate and conduct the Qualcomm Semiconductor Mentorship Program (‘QSMP’) 2022 for select startups from the semiconductor space in India, with an intent to provide and facilitate mentorship, technical training, and industry outreach, an official release said on Tuesday.

For 2022, Qualcomm India has announced a collaboration with the C-DAC, an autonomous scientific society of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India, who will be an outreach partner for the programme and facilitate exposure for the participating startups.

According to a press release from MeitY, under this collaboration, C-DAC and Qualcomm India intend to work towards the following broad objectives:

Nurture technical advancements and intellectual-property-driven innovation and product development required for semiconductor design in the Indian ecosystem

Help reduce risks in innovation; accelerate the pace of business development; and develop soft skills and knowledge base of Indian startups engaged in semiconductor design

Facilitate access for the selected startups with domain experts, VCs, accelerators, incubators, industry associations and large companies that could help them scale up their business

Create platforms and forums that provide opportunities to work with high-growth-potential small businesses and startups who have potentially disruptive technologies that could develop or reshape semiconductor supply chains in the future

Qualcomm India will shortlist up to 10 Indian semiconductor startups for QSMP 2022.

Each shortlisted startup will be paired with a Qualcomm India leader for mentorship on product planning and development. The startup and the mentor will meet on a periodic basis either in person or through online meetings.

Qualcomm India will also facilitate “Masterclass” workshops for the shortlisted startups on semiconductor design aspects such as design, testing, and verification packaging, as well as on non-technical topics such as pitches, IPR, marketing, government incentives/opportunities, and scaling up teams.

C-DAC and Qualcomm India will facilitate exposure for these startups to government stakeholders through meetings, webinars, seminars, or tradeshows, the release said.

“The semiconductor supply chain has underlined the demand to find domestic solutions for the needs across industries. Semiconductors are an essential building block for most technology platforms and connected devices There is a huge opportunity for Indian semiconductor startups due to the incentives provided by the Government," said Rajen Vagadia, VP and president of Qualcomm India & SAARC.

"Qualcomm India is committed to help semiconductor design startups capitalize on India’s design and engineering talent to drive innovations that will power the intelligent, connected future we foresee, not only for India but the world," he added.

“The semiconductor industry is crucial for the growth of many other industries. We encourage Indian startups to come forward and meet the current and projected domestic demand for semiconductors with the support of Government-led programmes such as “Make in India” and the Design Linked Incentive (DLI) scheme," said E Magesh, director general, C-DAC.

"The prevailing global and domestic environments present opportunities for both established companies and startups. The joint initiative with Qualcomm India will enable us to identify, interact with, and support the scale-up of the most promising Indian semiconductor startups," Magesh added.