Kerala to launch scaled-up electronic hardware incubator in Kochi on January 13

Billed as India’s largest electronic hardware incubator, Maker Village will be launched here in a scaled-up form on January 13 with a string of improved facilities that would facilitate the hardware startup community in the country in setting up their businesses, filing patents for their innovative designs and fashioning their ideas into market-ready products.
The ultra-modern facility, spread over an increased physical space of 60,000 sq ft, will be officially launched in the presence of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan along with the inauguration of the "Integrated Startup Complex" at Kalamassery here.
Maker Village, the Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) facility and Hardware Incubator, is a joint initiative of the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Government of Kerala and IIITMK, Thiruvananthapuram. It has currently 65 hardware startup companies from across the country developing a range of exciting products in cutting edge technologies, 
A total of 25 (both national and international) patents have been filed by 14 companies from Maker Village and another eight companies are in the process of filing patents in the next two months. As many as 17 startups located here have been able to generate their first purchase orders and already started selling in the market. 
“The cumulative investment in startup companies of Maker Village during the last year is about Rs 16 crore and it will increase manifold with the new facilities,” said Mr. Prasad Balakrishnan Nair, CEO, Maker Village. 
The startup companies of Maker Village work in divergent areas such as automation, robotics, drones, Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, bio-medical instrumentation, and energy Management while anchoring on cutting edge technologies like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Augmented Reality /Virtual Reality. 
“In order to facilitate creating a robust and sustainable hardware ecosystem for prototyping, product design and development, it is in the process of creating a collaborative platform where sharing of talent, ideas, technology, equipments, services and exchange of best practices can be facilitated,” Mr. Nair pointed out.
As part of this initiative, Centers of Excellence (CoE) enabling hardware product development by top global technology solution providers are being instituted at Maker Village. The first such CoE by Altair, a globally renowned engineering solution provider, with key focus on engineering design through simulation driven innovation, will be launched along with the inauguration of a scaled-up Maker Village.  
“Such collaborations with global players will help the hardware ecosystem to mature faster and would address many of the pain points typical of hardware startups,” he said. 
Recently, Maker Village got sanction for Nidhi Prayas scheme of Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. The scheme seeks to provide the necessary support in terms of grants, labs and equipments for early-stage hardware startups to pursue their ideas without fear of failure.  
The Prayas centre at Maker Village would provide the right kind of pipeline of talents for the incubator, and it will also be launched during the event.
While the Prayas centre would cater to the early-stage startups, the proposed international hardware accelerator of BRINC, Hong Kong, which is to be launched next month, is to provide the vital support to the startups for accessing markets.  
“This would make Maker Village an end-to-end facility to enable the hardware startups to traverse the entire journey from idea-to-market ready products,” Mr. Nair said.
A host of senior Government officials including Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and IT, Aruna Sunderarajan, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications and corporate leaders from across the country are expected to be present on the occasion.

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