The 11{+t}{+h}edition of Connect, an Information and Communication Technology event, will focus on promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in the State, said S. Mahalingam, chairman, Connect 2011 on Monday.

Connect 2011 is being organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) jointly with the State Government at Chennai Trade Centre on December 20 with the theme ‘Towards innovation and emerging entrepreneurship – Tamil Nadu leads the way' and the focus areas will be eco system for technology led innovation, emerging technologies, emerging opportunities, ICT infrastructure needs and next generation e-governance for empowering citizens.

Talking to reporters, he said it was a two-pronged strategy to convert Tamil Nadu into a silicon plateau to garner at least 25 per cent of market share in software and services by 2020 from the present 12 per cent and cash in on the presence of prominent educational institutions, hardware and software firms and venture capital funding.

“Over the last 10 years, Connect has emerged as a key catalyst for Tamil Nadu to become the preferred destination for IT companies. While there is still a considerable amount of infrastructural improvements that remain to be made, we are at a stage for accelerated growth through entrepreneurship and innovation. Besides, Connect showcased Tamil Nadu's capacity in the ICT and secured 11 per cent of IT sector in India to make it the second largest software exporter by value after Karnataka,” he said.

Mr. Mahalingam said that they were examining the possibilities of connecting small and medium enterprises with the emerging technologies such as sensor and social areas of networking. By 2020, software sector turnover would be $300 billion and Tamil Nadu hopes to garner about 25 per cent of it.