Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of India’s first Digital Science Park in Kerala as part of state’s major infrastructure push worth Rs 1,500 crore.
Not only for the Digital Science Park, but PM Modi visited Kerala for the inauguration of various projects including Vande Bharat and Water Metro. During his address, PM Modi stated: “Along with physical connectivity, there is a need for digital connectivity. Projects like Digital Science Park will expand the Digital India initiative.”
The third-generation Science Park will be built near Kerala’s Digital University at Technopark Phase IV – Technocity in Thiruvananthapuram on around 14 acres. The entire project is expected to be completed in two years, while within the next several months, the park will begin operations from a 10,000-square-foot site in Kabani.
The Kerala government announced the building of the project in two blocks in the 2022-23 budget. The state has already allocated Rs 200 crore towards the total project cost, with the remainder coming from various sources, including industrial partners.
As of now, British semiconductor giant ARM has agreed to collaborate with Digital University Kerala on academic, research, and start-up-related activities as part of the facility. Additionally, the Universities of Manchester, Oxford and Edinburgh have also signed MoUs with DUK to participate in the construction of the Digital Science Park.
It is believed that industries such as artificial intelligence, robotics, electronics, smart hardware, as well as sustainable and intelligent materials will be supported by Digital Science Park, as well as technology start-ups.
Mithun Kadam, Vice President of Digitalisation at Applied Cloud Computing, said: “The facility will provide a platform for AI start-ups and companies to collaborate, innovate and create new AI-based products and services, with providing necessary infrastructure and resources to support AI research and development.”
Additionally, he believes that the facility will be a hub for robotics companies and start-ups to showcase their products and services, collaborate with other like-minded companies, and conduct cutting-edge research in the field.
He said: “The park will be an ideal place for start-ups and businesses to develop sustainable and smart materials that can be used in various applications. It will provide access to state-of-the-art research facilities, funding and collaboration opportunities, as well as provide facilities for testing and prototyping smart hardware.”
According to Kadam, this infrastructure will also help electronic companies, mainly start-ups to collaborate with each other, share ideas and knowledge, and access state-of-the-art infrastructure and resources to develop products that can be commercialised.
Another industry insider, Saurav Kasera, Co-Founder of CLIRNET, told News18 that this facility has immense potential for fostering the growth of tech start-ups.
“Design thinking, which plays a critical role in application development for AI, robotics, electronics, and other fields, requires a combination of cutting-edge technology, trained professionals, and advanced systems. By creating an ecosystem of such units, the Digital Science Park can provide a platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration among industry players,” he added.
He also believes that by connecting innovators, implementers, funders, marketers, and users on one platform and accelerating the development and go-to-market cycles, the park can act as a hub for these groups.
Kaushik Khanna, co-founder of BluePi, also believes that the Kerala facility is one of its kind and will provide a platform for start-ups and businesses in various sectors. “There is no doubt that this initiative will help accelerate innovation across all areas of data science, driving growth and propelling India towards a technology-driven future,” Khanna said.
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