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Bhubaneswar: An incubator "Centre of Excellence for Virtual and Augmented Reality" (VARCoE) will be set up on the IIT-Bhubaneswar, campus, said an official on Friday.

The MSME Department of Odisha government, along with Software Technology Park of India (STPI) and Susmita Bagchi, a noted Odia writer and philanthropist, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IIT-Bhubaneswar, in this regard on Friday.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the centre would be one of its kind in the country, being set up with a unique collaborative partnership between the state government, union government through STPI, a philanthropist and an IIT.

He added that the incubator on Virtual Augmented Reality at IIT-Bhubaneswar would be a landmark initiative for promoting research, technology incubation and product development in the country.

The centre will cater to the startups and new generation entrepreneurs working in the area of Virtual Augmented Reality for immersive visualisation and allied areas.

It will undertake sate-of-the-art research, develop testing facility/ laboratories for advanced algorithms, applications and methods in aid of Virtual and Augmented Reality for Immersive Visualization and allied areas.

It will help in developing application platforms for specific skill development programs based on the industry need and relevance.

On this occasion, a cheque of Rs. 2.5 crore was handed over to the Director, IIT- Bhubaneswar as a contribution from the state government's Startup Odisha Initiative for setting up the Centre.

MSME Minister Prafulla Samal stated that the proposed incubator at IIT-Bhubaneswar would focus on futuristic field of Virtual and Augmented Reality.

MSME Secretary L.N. Gupta said since the launch of startup Odisha portal in May last year, 162 startup had registered under the Startup Odisha Initiative and 20 of them were getting benefits.

Susmita Bagchi hoped that the incubator would be one of its kind in the country to promote research and technology development for the benefit of industry and the society.

STPI Director General Omkar Rai said that STPI could encourage the incubatees and startups graduating from the IIT-Bhubaneswar to join the STPI.

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