The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the establishment of a national centre for molecular materials in Thiruvananthapuram at a cost of Rs. 76.7 crore.

The centre will be the first of its kind in the country, pursuing high-end science and developing technologies in niche areas such as sensors for biomedical devices, materials for better harvesting of solar energy, and space electronics.

It will collaborate with other academic institutions and actively interact with industry and other user groups. It will come up on a 40-acre land provided free of cost by the State government.