Kerala draws up blueprint to become knowledge society

Tech labs, incubators, dedicated Net connectivity via K-Fon to add charm to Kerala’s tech dream of a knowledge society

Technology labs and incubators that will play a critical role for nascent firms to transform Kerala into a knowledge society are to come up, as the state draws up an ambitious plan in the start-ups arena.

The state’s road map towards creating 15000 start-ups in five years, as announced by the Chief Minister last week, will require dedicated efforts in terms of infrastructure development and sprucing up of connectivity. The start-up road, in fact, targets a four-fold increase, which Kerala believes is achievable.

At the inauguration of the Digital Hub in Kochi, the Chief Minister spoke as if all such concerns are being taken into consideration and effectively addressed. He acknowledged the “growing importance” of knowledge, innovation and creativity so that the best ideas end up the winners.

In a bid to address the crucial concern regarding internet connectivity, Kerala has already kick-started efforts to make projects such as K-Fon a reality. The government is also looking at make available an equitable distribution of resources as it goes about building an innovation ecosystem.

Digital Hub for incubators, accelerators

“We are particular that shortage of funds should not stand in the way of conversion of a brilliant innovative idea into marketing reality,” he said, referring to Digital Hub’s prospective emergence as one of South Asia’s largest product development centers for technology startups. The Digital Hub anchored by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), will host a vibrant ecosystem comprising incubators, accelerators and Centres of Excellence in emerging technologies.

 Apart from the interest-free loans offered to startups by the KSUM, venture funding with a corpus of Rs 750 crore will be made available to the new entrepreneurs with great ideas. Apart from this, capital worth Rs 250 crore is anticipated from financial institutions such as Kerala Bank, KSIDC, KFC and KSFE.

Further, the Centre of Excellence at the Digital Hub will groom shelter-related ideas and innovations, and will function as a one-stop centre for all product-design and development activities for software and hardware components. All sectors and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented reality/virtual reality, internet of things and natural language processing will be included.

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