Plans are afoot to set up a nano park in Kochi where a consortium of companies, institutes as well as educational institutions will set up facilities for research, educational and commercial activities based on nanotechnology. It will be the first of its kind in India, according to sources associated with the establishment of the park.

The park was likely to come up along the seaport-airport road and efforts were on to acquire land, Charles Taylor, a US-based lawyer, told The Hindu.

The park could begin its activity with a nano lab to facilitate research, said Mr. Taylor, who focuses on international legal cases involving intellectual property rights. He is working with Indian and foreign entrepreneurs and scientists in the field.

A Kochi-based entrepreneur as well as a few of the internationally reputed scientists in nanotechnology, hailing from Kerala and presently working abroad, had charted out a course of action for the formation of the park.

The idea of forming a nano park was initially floated by a think tank of scientists and entrepreneurs who are active in the field. It had gained further prominence at informal deliberations at an international conference

of nanotechnology experts and entrepreneurs engaged in developing products based on nanotechnology, held in Kochi recently. Several prominent scientists hailing from Kerala and doing internationally acclaimed work in the subject abroad had participated in the conference.

They included Pulickel M. Ajayan, a scientist at Rice University, Texas, U.S., and Suresh Valiaveetil, Associate Professor of National University of Singapore.

The initial investment involved in the setting up of the park would be to the tune of $1 million, Mr. Taylor said. It will have about 100-150 employees to start with. The primary facilities are to be arranged within a year, according to him. As more groups join the venture, the investment would grow up to $5-10 million. The park would be able to bridge the gap between technology and industry, he said.

“Nanotechnology is a budding area and there is a big need to give a thrust to it,” he said.

As to why Kochi was being selected for the project, he said it was an upcoming city with sea port and airport facilities and had easy access to the Middle East and Europe.

The park would have a lab with cutting edge research tools and hardware. Venture capital would be another source of funds, according to the proponents of the project.

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