In a significant partnership that will give an impetus to developing an augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) ecosystem in the State, the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) has joined hands with US-based Unity Technologies to launch a Centre of Excellence for AR/VR and gaming.
The Centre will come up in the newly-inaugurated Integrated Startup Complex, Kalamassery. An MoU in this regard was signed by Dr Saji Gopinath, CEO, KSUM, and Anumukonda Ramesh, Asia Pacific (APAC) Head, Unity Education and Centre of Excellence Initiatives, in the presence of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, on the sidelines of the inaugural of the country’s largest Integrated Startup Complex the other day. Hubert Larenaudie, Vice President-Asia Pacific, Unity Technologies, was also present on the occasion.
Through this Centre, Unity Technologies will extend support to startups developing products, services, and games on platforms including mobile, PC, and various AR/VR hardware. This Centre of Excellence will also have a special focus on providing different levels of training on AR/VR developer tools to students and professionals in the State. The partnership is a significant step forward for developing an AR/VR ecosystem in Kerala.
“The AR/VR market is expected to witness huge growth globally in the next 5-6 years. This growth in demand for AR/VR content and solutions will be accompanied by the sprouting up of a new set of businesses. This Centre of Excellence for AR/VR Developer tools with Unity Technologies is a step taken by the Government of Kerala towards creating an ecosystem for new businesses to grow and cater to the global demand,” said M Sivasankar, Secretary, Department of IT and Electronics, Government of Kerala.
Sivasankar also said that ICT Academy of Kerala and C-DIT has an important role to play in the creation of this ecosystem in Kerala.
“Unity is at the center of the AR/VR ecosystem, powering more than 60 per cent of all content. We see this industry growing significantly over the next few years,” said Hubert Larenaudie.
Talking about the tie-up, Dr Saji Gopinath said KSUM is committed to creating an enabling ecosystem for young ventures working on various emerging technologies. “This emerging industry will create new jobs that require new sets of skills. We will be working with ICT Academy of Kerala for skilling interested students and professionals on these design and development tools,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Santhosh Kurup, CEO, ICT Academy of Kerala, said: “In the Industry 4.0 world, AR/VR is a vital technology that has applications in multiple domains. Youth with skills and competencies in AR/VR will have a unique advantage in the future job market.”
KSUM is the nodal agency of Government of Kerala for technical entrepreneurship in the State.