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Centre to partner with Kerala to set up graphene unit at Maker Village

Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Union Secretary, Electronics & IT, addressing an event at Maker Village in Kochi on Monday.

The Union Government will partner with Kerala Government to set up a graphene manufacturing unit of excellence at Maker Village in Kochi at a cost of Rs 94.85 crore.

Union Electronics & IT Secretary Alkesh Kumar Sharma said the proposed project was aimed at boosting the production of the valuable allotrope of carbon and it will mark a new chapter of innovation in the country’s technological field.

“Our companies should strive to make the best advantage out of today’s environment that focuses on electronics and information technology. As innovation and geniuses form crucial to the system, graphene has become a thoroughly futuristic product,” he said launching a Graphene Aurora program after a visit to Maker Village.

Sharma said Maker Village at Kalamassery has been the model for other states in electronics incubation. “The IT sector must work towards raising the reputation of India, backed by a determined administration amid a hope-filled world of industry,” he added.

Kerala Principal Secretary (Industries & NORKA) Suman Billa said the state has selected 22 industrial sectors suiting its ecosystem. “As we work on strengthening them, the focus will be on the electronics and IT companies,” he said. “We will promote projects that integrate academic research that can be of practical use.”

State IT Secretary Dr Rathan U Kelkar said Kerala was set to complete an array of startup-boosting projects in the next five years. “The industrial sector is earning excellent support from the IT sector,” he pointed out.

Kerala Digital University Vice-Chancellor Dr Saji Gopinath said the 2016-founded Maker Village initially envisaged the incubation of 40 startups, but overshot the target by taking the total to 140. “Today, startups here even collaborate with the Defence sector,” he said.

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