In a bid to give an impetus to the development of Tamil software, the Tamil Virtual Academy in Kotturpuram is starting an incubation centre on its premises for entrepreneurs who have interesting ideas and are awaiting resources for implementation.
The incubation centre, set up at a cost of Rs. 45 lakh allotted by the government, will be the first of its kind working exclusively for Tamil computing, said P.R. Nakkeeran, director of the academy.
“We have set up 12 cubicles for individual projects and we hope to initially give preference to students,” he said.
Applications for the incubation centre will be examined by an expert committee of Tamil software developers and professors associated in the field.
The not-for-profit setup has fixed, what Mr. Nakkeeran termed, a “nominal” monthly service fee of Rs. 1,000 for students, Rs. 4,000 for individuals and Rs. 10,000 for small entrepreneurs. The service fee was only to take care of maintenance of the facility, sources at the academy said.
There are several incubation centres being run by government organisations like Software Technology Parks of India or even other private universities. However there are not enough language computing tools being developed in a country where the digital divide is huge.
In a concept note, the academy, an autonomous body established by the State government, has also promised entrepreneurs that if the software developed by them gains popular acceptance with a large cross-section of the online audience, the incubation centre would consider slashing or repaying some of their monthly service fee.
The incubation period for the project could range from six months to a year.
Those wanting to apply can approach the Tamil Virtual Academy directly, or at www.tamilvu.org.
This article has been corrected for a factual error.