In an effort to create the next electronics hotspot in Karnataka beyond Bengaluru, KJ George, Minister for IT/BT&ST, Large and Medium Scale industries, including sugar, inaugurated a Brownfield Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) Cluster at Sandbox Startup – Deshpande Foundation in Hubballi today.
The cluster aligns with the vision of the state government to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in north Karnataka. The minister also inaugurated a Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Incubation Centre at KLE Technological University, Hubballi.
The proposed incubation centres are in line with the state government’s vision to create successful entrepreneurship from incubation centres as well as create skilled manpower.
Speaking at the inauguration of the EDSM Cluster at Sandbox Startup – Deshpande Foundation, KJ George said, “Our vision for Karnataka is to be the global choice for innovation and technology. This initiative reflects our continuous efforts to encourage the vibrant startup ecosystem in the state and create skill-based jobs for inclusive development. Such initiatives will ensure that Karnataka is at the forefront of emerging technologies. The ESDM Brownfield cluster has been established over 5,000 sq. ft. and has a fully equipped lab setup comprising of testing tools and equipment. The objective of setting up this cluster is to host ESDM entrepreneurs and invite other companies from surrounding areas to use the facilities at the ESDM Brownfield Clusters. The ESDM Cluster is a logical step forward towards our conscious focus on hardware.”
North Karnataka in general, and Hubballi-Dharwad in particular is emerging as one of the fast-growing technology hubs in India. The region has all the resources except the capability to produce its own printed circuit boards (PCB), which are the building blocks of all electronic products. Presently, local Industries that have electronic components and their products have to go to either Pune or Bengaluru for their PCB needs, which is both time consuming and adds to the cost of product development.
“This ESDM cluster in the Hubballi-Dharwad region is to support startups and MSMEs who progress from the incubation centres and need to expand. These companies can avail of office spaces with plug-and-play facilities such as conference rooms, common instrumentation facilities, mentorship etc. at a subsidised rate at the ESDM cluster. The ESDM Brownfield Cluster aims a total of 10 ESDM companies/startups in three years with specific focus on agri tech, telecommunication and IOT products,” KJ George added.
Common instrumentation facilities provided would include bare board prototype PCBs machine, PCB Stencil Printer, Pick and Place machine and other related equipment for PCB design and manufacturing of PCB, testing & measuring equipment, dust chamber, rain testing chamber, environment testing equipment, vibration testing equipment, video conference equipment, DG Set and UPS.
Sandbox Startups is a technology business incubator which provides mentorship, networking opportunities, resources and access to funding to mission-driven entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs test, pilot, and prove their ideas/models in Sandbox. Till date, the Sandbox Startups has supported over 30+ technology and non-technology based enterprises spread across agritech, IoT, F&B, 3D printing, software services among others.
Several of these enterprises have now reached a scale and making significant impact on the community. An employment of 500+ has been generated through these incubated startups and contribution of about Rs 100 crore has been made to the economy of the region by these startups in last three years.
The Sandbox Startups created through a unique support system under a single umbrella with an investment of over Rs 1 crore, equips startups and companies with a dedicated IoT lab to enable IoT design implementations, 3D printing lab with six printers to support concept to design prototypes and makers lab to support mechanical design creation.
Speaking at the inauguration of the VLSI Incubation Centre at KLE Technological University, KJ George said, “We want to create a globally competitive ecosystem in the state as the electronics industry is estimated to touch $400 billion in the next 10 years. Our aim is to leverage the strengths of different parts of the state to promote innovation and entrepreneurship and maintain a leadership position. We will give access to a total of 15 incubates over three year, who will get access to the equipment and receive mentorship. Potential incubatees from the academia would be recruited by multiple activities, including ‘Idea Contest’ and ‘Business Plan Competition’.
“Selected incubates will have access to world class facilities, equipment, and services that are essential to convert their concepts into successful business propositions. The final goal is to churn out five successful companies from the 15 shortlisted incubatees, whereas the industry average is one successful startup out of 10 companies.”
Incubatees will be provided with approximately 5,000 sq. ft. of space in the KLE Campus. They will also have access to the hardware/chip design, testing and validation facility, highend EDA Tools partnering with Mentor Graphics, Cadence, ARM… etc., remote and easier connectivity to design tools and equipment, pan India, easily accessible state-of-the-art facility for fast prototyping and specific ESDM requirements, access to LabView and related products and 100% power backup and secured space.
Over the next three years, the state government has approved to grant an amount of Rs 4 crore to each of these centres by which the ESDM Cluster and incubatees of the VLSI Incubation centre will be self sustainable.