The Fab Lab to be set up at the Startup Village here is likely to provide a fillip to manufacturing of tech-enabled products.
The state government has allocated `7.10 crore for setting up electronic Fab Labs at Startup Village and the Technology Business Incubation Centre at Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram. Both these entities will get `3.55 cr each to set up the fabrication facility.
Fab Labs (Fabrication Laboratories) are facilities where people with minimal training can design and manufacture any product using advanced manufacturing machines linked to a computer.
These labs will follow the specifications and directions of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, where the concept was originally launched.
The state government also has plans to start 19 Fab Labs in various engineering colleges in the state this year.
A Fab Lab could cost between `1 crore and `5 crore, depending on the number of tools.
“The setting up of a Fab Lab will enhance the service provided at Startup village. The product manufacturing facilities will help more people to start their own companies. The Fab Labs have the potential to empower individuals to create smart devices for themselves. These devices can be tailored to local or personal needs in ways that are not practical or economical using mass production,” experts pointed out. Out of the total `3.55 cr allotted for the product, `2.25 cr will be spent on purchase of hardware and computer equipments.
The infrastructure cost will be `1.05 cr and the materials cost is `50 lakh. As per the government order operating/recurring costs will be met from own funds.
An MoU will be signed between the MIT and Government of Kerala or TBI for implementing the project. The Fab Lab will also seek the support of the central government.