Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Tuesday lay the foundation stone for the over ₹1,500 crore Digital Science Park, touted to be India’s first, and coming up close to the Digital University of Kerala at Technopark Phase IV-Technocity near Thiruvananthapuram.

Located adjacent to the Digital University of Kerala on around 14 acres of land, the park has been conceived as a multidisciplinary and cluster-based and interactive and innovation zone focused on digital technologies, an official spokesman said. It is expected to be completed in two years. 

Centres of Excellence

It will house two buildings with a total area of two lakh sq ft. The first one will spread out over 1.5 lakh sq ft across five floors and host Centres of Excellence, including research labs and a digital incubator. The second will house the administrative office and digital experience centres. 

The Park will start its operations from the 10,000 sq ft space in the Kabani building located at Technopark Phase IV in next couple of months. The first centre on electronics system design focusing on analog and mixed signal systems, very large scale integration (VLSI) and artificial intelligence (AI) processors and allied areas will come up soon after. 

Responsible AI

The UK-based semiconductor and software design company ARM has signed an agreement with the Digital University on academic, research and startup-related activities. The proposed Centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI) will focus on both the hardware and software aspects of Responsible AI, where leading multinational company NVIDIA will to join as a partner.

In a related development, the Digital University has signed on the University of Manchester, The University of Oxford and The University of Edinburgh.

In the 2022-23 Budget, the State government had announced the establishment of the Digital Science Park over an area of 10 lakh sq ft in two blocks. Of total outlay of ₹1,500 crore, it has already sanctioned ₹200 crore. The rest will be generated from other sources, including industry partners, the spokesman said. 

Triple helix pattern

The park will develop and leverage a network overlay of communications built over a triple helix involving universities, the industry and the government. Initially, it will host industry and business units as well as technology start-ups from the domains of AI, robotics, electronics, smart hardware, sustainable and smart materials.

One of its four thematic pillars is the digital Industry with a focus on industry 4.0, covering electronics, semiconductors and very-large-scale integration (VLSI) and 5G communications, smart materials and medical materials. The second pillar is digital applications that deals with e-mobility and digital health, while the third is digital deep-tech with focus on AI, Blockchain and security, geo-and sustainable informatics. The fourth pillar is digital entrepreneurship encompassing new products, capacity and jobs.

High-end research

The high-end research facilities will include cleanrooms, material characterisation facility, integrated sensor labs, energy labs, motor and drives labs, RF and wireless testing labs, an unconventional computing centre, a high-end data centre, robotics labs, an electronic design centre, software development labs, informatics and computing labs, and blockchain and cybersecurity labs, the spokesman said.