Kerala got the country’s first Construction Innovation Hub (CIH) that seeks to promote affordable and sustainable building facilities so as to foster collaboration, innovation and knowledge-sharing among the stakeholders.
Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) will be responsible for the CIH’s overall programme management, including the identification and recruitment of the nascent companies as well as providing them housing-related technical mentorship and connections, besides program design and facilitation. Set up in association with Habitat for Humanity India (HFHI), which is an American non-profit organisation building homes and providing housing-related services to low-income families, the CIH is set to be based in Kochi — also KSUM’s headquarter city.
KSUM Chief Executive Officer Anoop Ambika, while speaking at the launch ceremony at Chennai on Thursday, said CIH will help consolidate worldwide knowledge pertinent to construction. “This will ensure that we gain in the aspects of cost, quality and timeliness while building the infrastructure,” he noted, highlighting their role in accelerating the speed of development in Southeast Asian economies.
KSUM and the 1976-founded HFHI, which is based at Americus in Georgia State and functions in 70 countries, will focus on shelter technology while going ahead with CIH. This cooperation will augment KSUM’s upcoming technological assignments, Shri Ambika added in his keynote address as the Sheltertech Summit India in the Tamil Nadu capital.
The hub, which will be accessible to startups across India and is envisaged to initially function virtually, gives KSUM a decisive role in setting up a secretariat at the nodal agency to handle its administrative tasks and identify a full-time point to contact person for the CIH. The facility will enable the KSUM to realise startup space at KTIZ in Kochi, promote events, marketing, publicity and reach out to target audience. It will help provide digital platform for KSUM’s innovation lab, liaise with different government departments and industries to identify pilot projects related to low-income housing as well as construction skilling, its finance and other connects to startups/scaleups as needed.
KSUM will have the power to call for application of startups/students/MSMEs and evaluate their initial screening. It can hold road-shows and reverse pitch sessions for the participants to get best startups nationally. With the launch of the hub, KSUM is set to form an advisory council comprising pertinent stakeholders, with early-stage innovators reaching out to college students and conducting challenges and knowledge sessions to promote shelter in the first year.
Today’s Sheltertech Summit also hosted sessions on ‘Innovating for the Next Billion Homes’, ‘Nurturing an Ecosystem and Value Chain for the Next Billion Homes’ and ‘Beyond Bricks and Mortar — Exploring the Future of Green Building Materials’, besides a Demo Day of ShelterTech startups with Villgro Innovations Foundation.
KSUM is Kerala government’s nodal agency for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.