Design incubator envisioned to become global destination for startups

Industries Minister P. Rajeev views a robot set at the launch of the Digital Hub of the Kerala Startup Mission in its Kalamasserry-based Technology Innovation Zone (TIZ) on Saturday.  

Imagine global technology giants like Google or Apple hosting their product launch in Kochi a few years down the line.

While it may sound preposterous, the Digital Hub of Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) launched at its Kalamasserry-based Technology Innovation Zone (TIZ) on Saturday, is fired by an ambition to turn the State into an intellectual hub for technology startups.

A design incubator is located at the heart of the hub, spread over 2 lakh sq.ft, being set up at an investment of ₹10 crore. “It’s a logical next step after setting up a couple of fablabs, 20 mini-fablabs in campuses and then a Super Fablab at TIZ. The design incubator is envisioned to emerge into the world’s biggest incubator for startups for turning their ideas into products by facilitating product design and rapid prototyping,” said Ashok Kurian Panjikaran, manager (business development and incubation), KSUM.

TIZ boasts of only the second Super Fablab across the world after the one at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It offers sophisticated machinery for turning ideas into products.

Rather than restricting themselves to a design incubator, the Digital Hub has proposed a slew of other innovative projects in the years to come. A significant proposal is a healthcare incubator primarily for cancer research with which Kochi Cancer Centre will associate. Efforts are also on to bring in more partners into the project.

A Memorandum of Understanding has been entered into with the global electronics giant Mouser Electronics Inc for setting up a Centre of Excellence at the Digital Hub, where technology startups will be provided the expertise. The idea is to turn it into an electronics hub for electronic hardware, chips, components and much more.

Talks are also progressing with the US-based Habitat Foundation for establishing a shelter incubator for innovative, sustainable and disruptive construction methods. “Innovative solutions from across the globe will be identified through scouting and handheld,” said Mr. Panjikaran.

Besides, the hub will have co-working space for startups and a 500-seater state-of-the-art theatre that can host multiple conferences and global product launches.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 9:28:02 PM |

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