Kerala’s Accelerator for Electronics Startups Inaugurated by Chief Minister

Kerala today got state-of-the-art Accelerator for Electronics Technologies (ACE), as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the facility that will boost the state’s startups striving to scale up as sustainable enterprises.

The state continues to hog the reputation of owning the country’s best IT climate, which is demonstrated even during COVID times, he said after inaugurating the accelerator through an online function.

ACE, as a joint initiative of Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), will develop itself as a leading accelerator in the country’s electronics technologies. This will nurture the development of high-tech startups in electronics and allied disciplines.

The accelerator will be complementary to the KSUM-supported incubator in electronics technologies established in Kochi with the assistance of the Union Ministry of Electronics and IT, the Chief Minister pointed out.

“CADC will mentor for a specific period the startups by providing them access to the new facility’s physical and intellectual infrastructure,” he added.

Mandated to facilitate software infrastructure that support the research and development of high-end electronic systems, tools and services, the 50,000 sq-ft facility will provide 1,000 direct employment opportunities this month.

Restrictions of various kinds to check the spread of the coronavirus has not impeded the prospects of Kerala’s growth in the IT sector, Shri Vijayan said, citing the government-run Technopark in the state capital as an example.There is a large demand for KSUM’s scale-up space in Technopark, with 20 startups having already been allotted space recently.

The plug-and-play space will be offered at subsidized rates. The Future Technology Lab will catalyze the accelerator programme.

ACE, the Chief Minister said, will be “highly beneficial” to young entrepreneurs, enabling them to steady their ventures that show prospects of flourishing. At a time when Kerala is working towards doubling the space for IT firms, the accelerator will help software infrastructure earn support for research and development of high-end electronic systems, tools and services, Vijayan reiterated.

While KSUM is the state’s nodal agency for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities, CDAC is a premier research and development institution under the Union Ministry of Electronics and IT.

Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran, addressing the 30-minute function that was streamed live, called upon top officials to ensure prompt help to entrepreneurs, and decried manipulations by vested interests to jeopardize the state government’s action plan to boost IT.

Presiding over the online ceremony, he flayed certain corporate houses seeking to check the administrative advances in realizing the Rs 1,550-crore K-Fon (Kerala Fiber Optic Network) project that aims to provide high-speed internet connection by next month to the state’s more than 20 lakh people living below the poverty line. “We need to fight the anti-development forces,” he added.

CDAC Executive Director Magesh E said the autonomous scientific body was keen to partner with any rising startup in Kerala to take the entrepreneurs to the next level by guiding them till hitting the market with the product.

K Mohammed Y Safirulla, Secretary, IT & Electronics, Government of Kerala, said in his welcome speech that Kerala currently had 3,000 startups and a space of 4 lakh square feet for them. The state has 40 incubators, 226 mini incubators, one future technology lab and MIT super fablab each, and 22 fablabs. Kerala’s investment in IT stands at Rs 2,000 crore in the past five years, he revealed.

KSUM Chief Executive Officer Sasi PM proposed thanks. UBI Global had last year recognized KSUM as World No.1 Public Business Accelerator.