To come up in Kochi with initial investment of Rs.100 crore

The government proposes to set up an ‘Innovation Zone’ in Kochi with an initial investment of Rs.100 crore to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship in the State, Governor H.R. Bhardwaj said in his address to the Assembly on Friday.

He said this was being done in the light of the encouraging success of the Business Incubation Centre at the Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram and the Start-up Village in Kochi. In the first phase, the Innovation Zone would provide three lakh sq ft of space at nominal rates to budding entrepreneurs and in specialised technology areas such as microelectronics and biotechnology.

The government would also form a ‘Handloom Village’ in Ernakulam district near to the major tourism circuits to improve the marketing of handloom, handicrafts, and coir products. A special provision of funds had been made to ensure timely payment of arrears due to artisans.

Industrial promotion

Reiterating the government’s commitment to industrial promotion, the Governor said several industrial projects were in the pipeline following the Emerging Kerala summit held in Kochi last year. The government would set up a ‘National Industrial Manufacturing Zone’ and a ‘Petroleum, Chemicals, and Petrochemicals Industrial Region’ as part of the measures to create new industrial infrastructure.

He said the performance of public sector industrial units had improved significantly. A number of proposals had been approved for their strengthening, and profitability was set to improve further.

The government had set for itself a target of creating five lakh jobs in the IT sector. The Technopark, Infopark, and Cyberpark would build additional IT space to achieve this. The first phase of the SmartCity project too had been initiated and it would be completed in a time-bound manner, he added.