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Kerala Startup Mission to launch South Asia’s largest product development centre

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on September 16, 2021

Initially, the Digital Hub in Kochi will accommodate 200 start-ups

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is to inaugurate Digital Hub set up by the Kerala Startup Mission at Kochi, with the aim of hosting a vibrant ecosystem comprising incubators, accelerators and Centres of Excellence in emerging technologies.

Occupying 2 lakh sq ft of built-up space at Kalamassery, the hub has the capacity to support 200 start-ups, besides the 165 start-ups hosted in the adjoining Integrated Startup Complex. Housing a design incubator, healthcare incubator, Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Mouser Electronics, co-working spaces, design studios, investors’ hive and an innovation centre, the Digital Hub is conceived to emerge as one of South Asia’s largest product development centres for technology start-ups.

As a destination for designing and prototyping, the hub will be open to international organisations and institutions, said John M Thomas, KSUM Chief Executive Officer.

The CoE aims to groom shelter-related ideas and innovations, and will function as a one-stop centre for all product-design and development activities for software and hardware components. These include all sectors and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented reality/virtual reality, the Internet of Things and natural language processing.

Initially, the Hub will accommodate 200 start-ups, giving direct employment opportunities to 2,500 , he said.

The digital hub is being launched at a time when Kerala is focussing on building end-to-end process from the ideation to the prototype stage of a product. The hub will upgrade the skills of younger generations in design for manufacturing as well as for rapid prototyping, in association with super fablab and academic institutions. It will design studios established as a plug-and-play facility for designers, by leveraging the existing fablabs and mini fablabs. It will help map talent pools and private prototyping centres to meet demand from the existing system.

Further, the digital hub can minimise entry barriers for hardware start-ups to relocate, thus creating more opportunities for designers. It can help widen the consumption base and channelise the inventory supply chain to cater to the prototyping consumable needs.

It is the latest addition to KSUM’s Technology Innovation Zone (TIZ) as a global innovation hub for several technology sectors. The zone aims to create world-class infrastructure facilities for multi-sector technology incubators for their start-ups and to support homegrown enterprises, he added.

Published on September 16, 2021

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