Kerala has got a state- of-the-artAccelerator for Electronics Technologies (ACE), which is expected to boost the southern state”s startups, striving to scale up as sustainable enterprises. As a joint initiative of Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), ACE willdevelop itself as a leading accelerator in the country”s electronics technologies. This will nurture the development of high-tech startups in electronics and allied disciplines, official sources here said. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the accelerator through an online functionhereon Monday.
The state continues to hog the reputation of owning the countrys best IT climate, which is demonstrated even during COVID times, he said after launching the facility. The accelerator would be complementary to theKSUM- supported incubator in electronics technologies established in Kochi with the assistance of the Union Ministry of Electronics and IT, the Chief Minister pointed out. “CADC will mentor for a specific period the startups by providing them access to the new facility”s physical and intellectual infrastructure,” he added. Mandated to facilitate software infrastructure that support the research and development of high-end electronic systems, tools and services, the 50,000 sq-ft facility would provide 1,000 direct employment opportunities this month. Restrictions of various kinds to check the spread of the coronavirus has not impeded the prospects of Kerala”s growth in the IT sector, Vijayan said, citing the government-run Technopark in the state capital as an example. There is a large demand for KSUM”s scale-up space in Technopark, with 20 startups having already been allotted space recently, he said. The plug-and-play space would be offered at subsidised rates. The Future Technology Lab will catalyze the accelerator programme. ACE, the Chief Minister said would be “highly beneficial” to young entrepreneurs, enabling them to steady their ventures that show prospects of flourishing. At a time when Kerala is working towards doubling the space for IT firms, the accelerator would help software infrastructure earn support for research and development of high-end electronic systems, tools and services, Vijayan added.
While KSUM is the state”s nodal agency for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities, CDAC is a premier research and development institution under the Union Ministry of Electronics and IT. Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran, who presided over the online programme, called on top officials to ensure prompt help to entrepreneurs, and decried manipulations by vested interests to jeopardize the state government”s action plan to boost IT. CDAC Executive Director Magesh E said the autonomous scientific body was keen to partner with any rising startup in the state to take the entrepreneurs to the next level by guiding them till hitting the market with the product. K Mohammed Y Safirulla, state IT and Electronics Secretary, said Kerala currently had 3,000 startups and a space of 4 lakh square feet for them. Kerala has 40 incubators, 226 mini incubators, one future technology lab and MIT super fablab each and 22 fablabs, he said adding that the state”s investment in IT stands at Rs 2,000 crore in the past five years.