KOCHI: The ‘Integrated Startup Complex, Maker Village & Bionest’, the eight-floor facility spread across 1.82 lakh sqft area at Kalamassery, will beat Station-F of Paris to emerge as the world’s biggest technology hub after its full expansion in 13 acres, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said after inaugurating it on Sunday.
The Kochi facility has beaten the status of Bhamashah Techno Hub, Jaipur, boasting an area of one lakh sqft, as South Asia’s largest startup hub, Pinarayi said.
Station-F in Paris has an area of 3.67 lakh sqft. Telangana is building a technology hub under the brand ‘Creator’ in 3.5 lakh sq.ft.
The Integrated Startup Complex, under the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), houses ultra modern facilities of Maker Village that promotes hardware startups, Bionest that promotes medical technologies, BRINC which is the country’s first international accelerator for hardware startups, BRIC which is country’s first cancer technology incubator developing solutions for cancer diagnosis and care, and a Centre of Excellence set up by industry majors.
Pinarayi said the Kerala Government is working to have a total area of 2.3 crore sqft of IT space across the state (up from 1.3 crore sqft last year).
“We plan to give direct jobs to 2.5 lakh in IT,” he revealed, adding the government was working to ensure information technology fosters social development.
TIZ now houses 100 startups
The Technology Innovation Zone (TIZ), being built over a 13-acre plot at Kalamassery, will create five lakh sqft space over seven phases, which when completed will emerge as the world’s largest technology hub.
“For Kerala, this is a proud moment. Once again, the state has become a role model for the country,” Pinarayi, who handles the IT portfolio, said.
The TIZ now houses over 100 startups, which have filed 30 patent applications in the last 12 months alone. “Perhaps, this will be India’s biggest facility now based on Intellectual Property applications,” he said.
IT (Kerala) Secretary M Sivasankar said the entire space at the TIZ facility has been sold out. “This has never happened in our country, where it usually takes a couple of years for an incubator to get the whole area occupied,” he said. “The first three floors of the new complex have been furnished and the remaining floors allotted to various startups.”
MP K V Thomas launched BioNest, a startup the KSUM has established in association with Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology with financial aid from BIRAC, under the Union Government’s Department of Bio-Tech. It has 20 companies involved in deep research in biotechnology and allied fields.
The BRIC, inaugurated by Health Minister K K Shailaja, will work in fighting cancer. The state has 50,000 additions to its cancer patients every year, the minister noted, adding the BRIC will work in accordance with a Cancer Strategic Action Plan and funds totalling Rs 350 crore.