India’s first third-generation Digital Science Park, for which foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, is aimed at transforming Kerala into a knowledge economy and higher learning hub.
Coming up at a 13.93 acre site as part of the Technopark Phase IV-Technocity and located close to the Kerala University of Digital Sciences Innovation and Technology, (Digital University of Kerala-DUK), the project has been conceived as a multidisciplinary cluster-based interactive innovation zone focused on digital technologies. Expected to be completed in two years, the Digital Science Park will develop and leverage on network overlay of communications built over a triple helix involving universities, industry and government.
Initially, the park will facilitate industry and business units as well as technology startups from the domains of Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, electronics, smart hardware, sustainable and smart materials. The park will initially have two buildings with a total area of two lakh square feet. The first, covering a space of 1.5 lakh square feet, will have five floors, housing Centres of Excellence including research labs and digital incubators, while the second building will house administrative as well as a digital experience centre. The park will start its operations from the 10,000 sq. ft. space in Kabani located at Technopark Phase-IV within the next couple of months.
Unveiling the Rs 1,500 crore project coming up at Technopark Phase IV-Technocity, Modi said developing both physical connectivity and digital connectivity are essential to ensure the progress of the entire nation based on the goal of ‘Ek Bharat, Sresht Bharat’ (One India, Great India). The Prime Minister said the development of the Digital Science Park will impart further strength to the Digital India project, which has attracted global attention to the technological prowess of the country. Later, in a tweet, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said: “Delighted to announce that the Hon’ble PM @narendramodi laid the foundation stone for the country’s first 3rd generation Digital Science Park in Kerala today. The project’s total cost is ?1515 Cr, with ?200 Cr provided by the GoK & the remaining funding from industry partners”.
Earlier, speaking at the function at the Central Stadium here, Vijayan said the project marks a major step towards the government’s efforts to accelerate the state’s transformation into a knowledge economy and a modern society that aspires and accepts innovation-based developments. The project is setting a model for the whole nation. It is significant to note that Kerala is the first state to launch this project just as it pioneered the country’s first technopark and digital university, he said. “This project comes as part of our efforts to make Kerala a higher education and research hub by developing centres of higher learning in science and technology. The Digital Science Park has been conceived as a world-class facility that promotes multidisciplinary innovation,” Vijayan said.
In the initial stage, its focus will be on digital industry, digital applications, digital entrepreneurship and deep tech domains. The project has already entered into collaborations with Universities of Manchester, Oxford and Edinburgh. Activities of the higher research and education institutions and technology-based industries in the state will be also linked to the Digital Science Park.