Automation in the steel industry is the need of the hour, said Atul Bhatt, CMD, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) on Thursday.

While launching ‘open challenge program 2.0’, Bhatt said that the scope of growth of automation and robotics is immense.

"The equipment developed by the startups will give returns on investment by RINL very fast as they help in energy savings and will also help in running the process safely," Bhatt added.

The project, center of Excellence (CoE) on Industry 4.0 is being taken up jointly by the software technology park of India (STPI), the Ministry of Electronics & IT, RINL, and the Andhra Pradesh government.

He added that this is expected to make India ‘Atamanibhar’ in the field of Industry 4.0 technologies.

The CoE will incubate around 175 startup companies over a period of 5 years. About 50 startup companies will be incubated in physical mode and 125 companies will be incubated in Virtual mode.

The startup firms along with industry mentors will work on the problems of RINL and other industries in and around like HPCL, NTPC, BARC, HSY, and BHEL.