In­dia’s largest startup ecosys­tem in­au­gu­rated in Ker­ala

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KOCHI: In­dia got its largest startup ecosys­tem Sun­day when Ker­ala Chief Min­is­ter Pi­narayi Vi­jayan in­au­gu­rated here a 1.8-lakh-square-feet fa­cil­ity hous­ing in­cu­ba­tion set­ups across a string of seg­ments in mod­ern tech­nol­ogy.

The In­te­grated Startup Com­plex un­der the Ker­ala Startup Mis­sion (KSUM) in­cludes the ul­tra mod­ern fa­cil­i­ties of Maker Vil­lage that pro­motes hard­ware star­tups, the Bion­est that pro­motes med­i­cal tech­nolo­gies, BRINC which is the coun­try's first in­ter­na­tional ac­cel­er­a­tor for hard­ware star­tups; BRIC which aids de­vel­op­ing so­lu­tions for can­cer di­ag­no­sis and care, and a Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence set up by in­dus­try ma­jors such as UNITY.

Over­all the Ker­ala Gov­ern­ment is work­ing for the state to have a to­tal area of 2.3 crore sq ft of IT space (up from 1.3 crore sq ft last year). The open­ing of the new com­plex at the Tech­nol­ogy In­no­va­tion Zone (TIZ) is a ma­jor step to­wards achiev­ing the ob­jec­tive, Vi­jayan said in his speech at KINFRA Hi Tech Park, Kala­massery.

"We are also plan­ning to give di­rect jobs to 2.5 lakh in IT," he said, adding that the gov­ern­ment was work­ing to en­sure that in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy fos­ters so­cial devel­op­ment.

Af­ter the com­ple­tion of three more projects, Ker­ala will have startup and in­cu­ba­tion space of 5 lakh sq ft, which will be the largest of this type in the world.

No less than 30 ap­pli­ca­tions for patent has gone from star­tups with the 13.5-acre TIZ, the CM noted, laud­ing it as a sign of the high-qual­ity work in the zone. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, Ker­ala was sens­ing in­creas­ing op­ti­mism in boost­ing soft­ware ex­port from the state.

M Si­vasankar, sec­re­tary, IT (Ker­ala), pointed out that the en­tire space at the TIZ fa­cil­ity has been sold out.

"This has never hap­pened in our coun­try, where it usu­ally takes a cou­ple of years for an in­cu­ba­tor to get the whole area oc­cu­pied," he said. "The first three floors of the new com­plex have been fur­nished, while the rest of the floors have al­ready got al­lot­ted to var­i­ous star­tups."

"The cam­pus has an­other in­cu­ba­tor com­plex com­ing up and it will be opened early next year," Si­vasankar said.

Be­sides the Maker Vil­lager with its 30-odd star­tups, the fa­cil­ity has nascent firms work­ing in fields such as biotech­nol­ogy, com­puter-aided de­sign, aug­mented/vir­tual re­al­ity and ad­vanced com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

Kala­massery MLA Ebrahim Kunju, in his pres­i­den­tial ad­dress, said Ker­ala has been prov­ing to be a su­per­power in south In­dia in the field of IT and in­cu­ba­tion. "We ex­pect more help from the gov­ern­ment in its re­lated en­deav­ours," he added.

Er­naku­lam MP Prof K V Thomas launched Bion­est, which is a startup the KSUM has es­tab­lished in as­so­ci­a­tion with Ra­jiv Gandhi Cen­tre for Biotech­nol­ogy with fi­nan­cial aid from BIRAC, un­der the union gov­ern­ment's De­part­ment of Bio Tech.

It has 20 com­pa­nies in­volved in deep re­search in biotech­nol­ogy and al­lied fields.

The BRIC, which was in­au­gu­rated by Ker­ala Health Min­is­ter K K Shailaja, will chiefly work in fight­ing can­cer. The state has 50,000 ad­di­tions to its can­cer pa­tients ev­ery year, the min­is­ter noted, adding that the BRIC will work in ac­cor­dance with a Can­cer Strate­gic Ac­tion Plan and funds to­talling Rs 350 crore.

Of­fi­cials pointed out that TIZ was set to be­come the coun­try's largest Work-live­play space ex­clu­sively ded­i­cated to star­tups.

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