Hailing the Maker Village, Union Minister Sanjay Dhotre on Thursday saidthe hardware incubator was a role model fit for application in a wide range of fields including high-tech and deep-tech to agriculture, healthcare, environment, automation, business and industry.
The Union Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology, Communications and HRD noted that the Maker Village, Kochi was the only successful hardware startup venture by the Union Government in association with a state.
He said during a visit to Maker Village that the four- year-old establishment has made progress that are usually achieved in a quarter century.
"I'd say this is a startup of startups," Dhotre said, after addressing representatives from Industry firms such as Bosch, BPCL, Cochin Shipyard, NPOL, V-Guard, SFO, Brinc, GAIL, Altair and Qualcomm.
Describing the Industries' relation with Maker Village as "symbiotic," the Minister said such tie-ups can help the country develop "horizontally, and not just vertically."
He wants to replicate this model in other parts of the country, so that the entire country gets benefit out of this model.
Maker Village, which functions under the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, has Indian Institute of Information Technology-Kerala as the host institute.
The minister said Maker Village had the capacity to engage in improving the country's defence ecosystem.
The suggestion comes four days after the Union government selected Maker Village as a partner for its iDEX programme so as to create solutions for the armed services.
"We are looking for indigenisation as part of our mission for a Shreshtha Bharat," he said.
"The country needs more and more of its products to be made in its soil. Maker Village will be a good resource in the ongoing initiative," Dhotre said.
The minister also called upon Maker Village Kochi to involve BSNL and MTNL in enabling the two state-owned communications companies develop products of cutting-edge technology.
Earlier in the day, the minister and his high-level delegation went around the Maker Village, learning about the array of products developed by the incubator since its inception in February 2016.
Introducing the innovative devices, Maker Village CEO Prasad Balakrishnan Nair pointed out that the establishment had by far incubated 75 startups and applied for 48 patents of which six have been sanctioned.
"The minister, who is a mechanical engineer as well with great interest in agriculture and industry can guide us well," he said.
More so, at this juncture when Maker Village is looking at a new direction in going ahead with its motto of 'Passion for technology, Compassion for community.'
The Maker Village CEO submitted two proposals to the minister, one for the creation of a 5G district and the other an advanced manufacturing facility for Industry 4.0.
Secretary of IT, M Sivasankar said Kerala's hardware startups have a "huge problem" in raising working capital, for which they needed grants from the Centre.
Taking cue from the minister's call for horizontal growth, he said the country wanted more such establishments in tier-2 cities, with Kochi having come up with a successful model.
At the roundtable, Kerala Startup Mission CEO Saji Gopinath briefed the minister about the functions of the state's central agency for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)