South Asia’s Largest Product Development Centre at Kerala
Kerala has a unique combination of assets. The coastal state, with its logistical and maritime advantage, has a rich talent in engineering design and fabrication. The Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM)’s Digital Hub, unveiled online by Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister at Kalamassery in Kochi on 18th September 2021, seeks to benefit from these distinctive assets. It is also the state government’s latest in a series of moves to democratise digital design and fabrication.
Ideal Destination for Designing & Prototyping
The Digital Hub will function as a one-stop facility for all product design and development activities for software and hardware components. This will involve a range of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented reality/virtual reality, internet of things and natural language processing. “As a destination for designing and prototyping, the hub will be open for international organisations and institutions to build world-class products,” says KSUM’s CEO, Mr John M Thomas.
The Digital Hub is conceived to emerge as one of South Asia’s largest product development centres for technology startups. Occupying 2 lakh square feet of built-up space, the state-of-the-art facility houses a design incubator, a healthcare incubator, a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Mouser Electronics, co-working spaces, design studios, an investors’ hive and an innovation centre. It has the capacity to reach out to 200 startups, giving direct employment opportunities to 2,500 persons. Besides, the hub supports 165 startups hosted in the adjoining Integrated Startup Complex (ISC).
Latest Addition to KSUM’s TIZ
The Digital Hub is the latest addition to KSUM’s Technology Innovation Zone (TIZ) coming up on a 13.2-acre land at KINFRA Hitech Park, Kalamassery. TIZ has a total built-up area of 4 lakh sq. ft. The first phase, with an overall built-up area of 2.3 lakh sq. ft., is now operational. It comprises two facilities — the ISC, mentioned before, and the Biotechnology Incubation Centre.
The online inaugural event was also presided over by Minister for Law, Industries and Coir Shri P. Rajeev and Shri Hibi Eden, MP. The other speakers were Chief Secretary Dr V.P. Joy and Infosys Co-founder Shri Kris Gopalakrishnan, besides Kalamassery Municipal Councillors Smt Seema Kannan and Smt Salma Aboobacker. Principal Secretary (Electronics & IT) Shri Biswanath Sinha, along with KSUM CEO John M. Thomas.
Founded in 2006, KSUM is the nodal agency for Kerala’s entrepreneurship development and incubation activities. It has been primarily designated to establish and operate the TIZ. With the landmark inception of the Digital Hub, Kerala’s startup ecosystem has come of age.