In a major boost to the startup ecosystem, the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) is preparing to launch a product development centre at the Technology Innovation Zone (TIZ) in Kalamassery, Kochi.
It will be set up in an area of 2 lakh sqft space with the capacity to support at least 200 startups.
The centre, which is named Digital Hub, is all set to be inaugurated virtually by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on September 18. An adjoining facility at the TIZ supports over 160 startup firms.
The 'Digital Hub' will be home to a design incubator, healthcare incubator, Center for Excellence (CoE) for Mouser Electronics, design studios, co-working spaces, investors hive and an innovation centre, KSUM CEO John M Thomas said at a press conference.
Digital Hub To Provide Employment Opportunities
This development is expected to provide direct employment opportunities for 2,500 people. The 'Digital Hub' is even planned as a destination for designing and prototyping. Thomas also shared that it is open to global institutions to create world-class products.
Its launch is important as it highlights Kerala's efforts to strengthen the end-to-end process of a product, from ideation to building a prototype for nascent startups. The state is already home to a Digital Fabrication Network, a Super Fablab, a hardware incubator named Maker Village and small-scale manufacturing clusters.
Thomas also said that the state machinery had taken efforts to democratise digital fabrication methods through such initiatives. He further added that this gives Kerala an opportunity to become the ideal destination for designing and prototyping.
The CoE, as part of the Hub, has the potential to act as a one-stop centre for all product design and other activities for software and hardware components, covering a wide range of new technologies like AI, IoT and AR/VR.