Kerala allots land to Nissan Motors for setting up digital innovation hub

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on June 26, 2018 Published on June 26, 2018

Nissan’s digital hub will function as the nerve centre of the company’s research in electric and automated vehicles.

The Kerala Government has allotted space and land to Japanese automotive major Nissan Motors to set up its digital innovation hub in Technocity at Technopark here. This would be Nissan's fifth digital hub after Yokohama in Japan, China, Paris and Nashville in the US, an official spokesman announced here.

Nerve centre

The digital hub will be a research and development facility that will be shared by Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, a Franco-Japanese strategic partnership.

Nissan’s digital hub will function as the nerve centre of the company’s research in electric and automated vehicles. It will host a team of engineers and scientists, working to create innovations in automated and electronic vehicles space.

The company will initiate research and development work in Artificial Intelligence, cognitive analytics, machine learning and other digital technologies. On setting up of operations, the company is expected to generate 3,000 direct and multiple times as many indirect employment opportunities. This campus will be named as ‘Nissan Knowledge City’.

According to a government order, 30 acres of land will be allotted in the first phase and another 40 acres in the second.

Initial operations

Nissan Motors will initially begin operations in 25,000 sq.ft space at Yamuna building in the Technopark Phase III campus as well as another co-developer space. The company will also be taking up space in the IT building that is coming up in Technocity.

Nissan chose Kerala to set up its digital innovation hub owing to multiple factors ranging from available talent pool in IT and engineering, airport connectivity, cost-effectiveness, quality of life, social amenities, and lack of traffic issues to positive feedback from successful IT companies at Technopark.

Hrishikesh Nair, CEO, Technopark, said that the State Government’s vision of creating a hub of emerging technologies is fructifying through this Knowledge City.

"With Nissan’s strategic engagement, we are confident that we will be able to rope in a host of IT companies also to our State,” he added.

The next step will be entering into an MoU between Nissan and Technopark, which is expected to happen by the month-end or the first week of July.

Major milestone

Entry of Nissan into Kerala marks a significant milestone in the concerted campaign taken up by the State Government to market Kerala as a global IT destination, the official spokesman said.

As a directive of IT policy, the Government had constituted a hi-power IT Committee, which meets every quarter under the guidance of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Its agenda is developing Kerala as a digital state, by bringing in big ticket companies/IT investments and thereby generating IT employment/revenue in the state.

The 12-member committee has Infosys Co-Founder SD Shibulal as Chairman, along with industry stalwarts in IT, including Anthony Thomas, then Group CIO of GE India.

In late 2017, Thomas had joined as CIO in Nissan Motor Corporation and has been instrumental in initiating the process in Nissan to zero in on Thiruvananthapuram to host its first digital tech hub in India.

Nissan along with its auto making partners Renault and Mitsubishi, is aiming to launch a $1-billion fund for auto tech start-ups across the globe and has plans to launch 17 electric models to achieve an annual vehicle sales of 14 million units by 2022.

Published on June 26, 2018
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