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Kochi’s Maker Village gets selected for SPARSH programme

Maker Village in Kochi has been selected by the Union Government as a centre under its SPARSH programme, which aims at strengthening the agriculture sector through affordable technological interventions and addressing pressing social problems like air pollution.

The selection, which comes as a huge recognition for the village, will offer greater opportunities to the hardware start-ups incubated by the facility in their journey from ideas to market-ready products. The theme for which the approval was given is “nurturing and accelerating social innovation at Maker Village by leveraging Deep Technology.”

Maker Village will shortly sign the SPARSH– Social Innovation Programme for Products: Affordable and Relevant to Societal Health– agreement with Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), New Delhi.

As India’s largest hardware deep tech incubator, Maker Village has been assigned with the twin task of developing cutting-edge solutions to combat air pollution and help strengthen technological solutions in agriculture within three years.

The scheme shall be operated in two cycles of 18 months each. The first cycle will focus on developing agriculture technologies and the second cycle on solutions for combating environmental pollution.

Prasad Balakrishnan Nair, CEO, Maker Village said: “The selection gives a golden chance to our start-ups that are into the areas of pollution control and agritech to get selected for immersion and subsequent development of solutions.”

Beyond the financial support, SPARSH will benefit the start-ups with deep expertise provided by the mentoring network and the immersion partners, he added.

The SPARSH centre scheme is piloted by the Central Government’s BIRAC, Department of Biotechnolgy under Ministry of Science and Technology.

The approval for the SPARSH centre comes closely on the heels of the selection of Maker Village as a partner for the Defence Innovation Organisation under the Innovation for Defence Excellence of Ministry of Defence.

Maker Village, which was founded in February 2016 as a pioneering initiative under the Union Ministry of Electronics and IT and Kerala Government with Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Trivandrum , as the host institute is currently incubating more than 75 nascent hardware deep tech start-ups firms from across the country.

Source: The Hindu