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Maker Village to associate with AICTE to launch innovative programmes

Kochi, Feb 3 (PTI) Maker Village, the country's largest electronic hardware incubator, on Monday said it is planning to associate with All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) by launching pioneering schemes that promote entrepreneurship and innovation.

Maker Village said it aims to sign a pact on the project with Delhi-headquartered AICTE that functions as a statutory body under the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Ahead of it, AICTE Vice-Chairman Prof M P Poonia visited Maker Village at Kalamassery here and held talks with top officials of the facility that has around 75 startups developing state-of-the-art hardware electronic products in divergent areas.

Such a collaboration with AICTE will enable Maker Village to pilot projects based on innovative ideas, thus improve the incubator's performance level, according to Prasad Balakrishnan Nair, CEO of Maker Village.

Maker Village, founded in 2016, is a joint initiative of Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management-Kerala established by the state government.

'Connecting with the all-India network of AICTE would add tremendous value to us,' Nair said on Monday after Poonia's visit to Maker Village on Saturday.

'We are considering to propose to AICTE programmes that boost entrepreneurship and innovation with specific focus on deep-tech hardware products. This will be a unique differentiator for Maker Village,' he said.

According to a release issued by Maker Village, Poonia has said that he was 'truly impressed' by the kind of innovations and the cutting-edge products shaping up at Maker Village.

The AICTE will 'seriously consider' three initiatives: getting Maker Village, along with an academic institution, partner with AICTE for entrepreneurship development programs, conduct a national-level hardware hackathon of AICTE at Maker Village and an AICTE Innovation ambassador programme at Maker Village, Poonia has said.

The AICTE will explore the possibility of arriving at a broader framework of understanding for engaging with Maker Village, the visiting dignitary added.

Nair, while pointing out that a pact with AICTE can woo the country's brightest entrepreneurial minds from the technology student community to Maker Village, said moves were also afoot to partner with various innovation platforms being created by AICTE.

The AICTE, which is responsible for proper planning and coordinated development of technical and management education in the country, functions under the Department of Higher Education of the HRD Ministry.

The startups in Maker Village are into developing products in areas such as automation, robotics, drones, Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, biomedical instrumentation and energy management among others.

Most of the startups leverage cutting-edge technologies such as machine-learning, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality to make their products innovative and globally competitive. PTI TGB SS SS