Work on India’s first ever Digital Science Park, which will be coming up close to the Digital University of Kerala at Technopark Phase IV – Technocity in the Kerala capital, will begin on April 25. When the foundation stone for the prestigious institution will be laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it will mark Kerala’s quest towards transforming itself into a knowledge economy.
To come up adjacent to the Kerala University of Digital Sciences Innovation and Technology, (Digital University of Kerala- DUK) in around 14 acres of land, the Rs 1,500-crore Digital Science Park project has been conceived as a multidisciplinary cluster-based interactive – innovation zone focused on digital technologies. The project is to be completed in two years.
In the 2022-23 budget, the state government announced the establishment of a Digital Science Park adjacent to DUK at an area of 10 lakh sq. ft. in two blocks. Out of the total project outlay, Rs 200 crore has been already allotted by Government of Kerala and the remaining amount will be generated from other sources including industry partners.
The Park will develop and leverage on network overlay of communications built over a triple helix involving Universities, industry and government. Initially, Digital Science 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.
Digital Science Park to focus on industry 4.0
One of the four thematic pillars of the Digital Science Park is Digital Industry with a focus on industry 4.0, covering electronics, semiconductors and very-large-scale integration (VLSI) and 5G communications, smart materials and medical materials.
While Digital Applications with a focus on e-mobility and digital health will be the second pillar, Digital Deeptech with a focus on AI, Blockchain and security, Geo-and sustainable informatics is the third dimension and Digital Entrepreneurship with a focus on creating new products, capacity and jobs is its fourth thematic pillar.
These thematic pillars will translate into high-end research labs and facilities which will include cleanrooms, material characterisation facility, integrated sensor labs, energy labs, motor and drives labs, RF and wireless testing labs, unconventional computing centre, high-end data centre, robotics labs, electronic design centre, software development labs, informatics and computing labs, and Blockchain and cybersecurity labs.
The Park will become operational with the launch of its first centre on electronics system design focusing on analog and mixed signal systems, VLSI, AI processors and allied areas. UK-based semiconductor and software design company ARM has signed an agreement with Digital University Kerala on the academic, research and startup-related activities as part of this centre.
Similarly, the centre for AI will focus on both the hardware and software aspects of responsible AI, where the leading multinational technology company NVIDIA is expected to join as a partner.
Major global universities sign MoUs
The University of Manchester, The University of Oxford and The University of Edinburgh have also signed MoUs with DUK to engage in the development of the Digital Science Park.
The park will initially have two buildings with a total area of 2,00,000 sq.ft. The first one in 1,50,000 sq.ft. will have five floors, housing Centre of Excellences (CoEs) including research labs and digital incubator, while the second building will house administrative as well as Digital Experience centre. The Digital Science Park will start its operations from the 10,000 sq.ft space at Thiruvananthapuram Technopark Phase IV within the next couple of months.