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BlackBerry's first Innovation Zone in Asia Pacific in Kerala

BlackBerrys first Innovation Zone in Asia Pacific in Kerala

Kochi: Smartphone maker Research In Motion (RIM) on Thursday announced setting up of Blackberry's Innovation Zone -- the first in the Asia Pacific region -- here in Kerala.

RIM would set up two innovation zones in India this year, including the one at Kochi, RIM Vice President Developer Relations and Ecosystems Development Alec Saunders told reporters here.

The location of the second innovation zone is yet to be finalised, he said.

Located at Rubus Labs in the Startup Village, the innovation zone will showcase latest technologies from BlackBerry to inspire future entrepreneurs, he said.

On investment, RIM India Managing Director Sunil Dutt said it is ongoing and at this point, RIM's participation is in terms of innovative technology and devices.

When it was pointed out that Kerala was known as the land of 'hartals', Dutt said the state was also known for its literacy and entrepreneurship.

Harkesh Mittal, Union Secretary, Technology Development Board, Department of Science and Technology and Head of Union Government's Incubation programme, said lots of innovations are happening in the country and Kerala is leading them. A large number of proposals come from individual innovators in Kerala, he said.

The labs would host regular developer activities such as 'BlackBerry Hackathons and 'Bar Camps'.

Training sessions would be conducted across the 126 Engineering colleges in Kerala under the BlackBerry BASE (BlackBerry Apps by Student Entrepreneurs) programme by leveraging the campus outreach network of Startup Village, Sanjay Vijaykumar, Chairman (Board of Governors), Startup Village, said.

The objective of the partnership is to motivate young minds by giving access to RIM's mobile technology and imparting experiences and training from Blackberry experts.

Rubus Labs will also serve as experiential zone for school children to introduce them to the world of smartphones and experience the limitless possibilities of mobile technology, Sijo Kuruvilla George, CEO Startup village said.

The Startup village is being projected by both DST and the state government as the largest national attempt to scale up innovation in India through incubators in collaboration with the private sector, tap huge potential unfolding in the telecom sector and transform students as successful job creators instead of job seekers.

Equipped with full 4 G network, telecom labs, innovation zones, legal and intellectual property services, fully furnished offices and video conference rooms, the Startup Village will give a slew of incentives such as three-year service tax holiday and funding opportuntities for tech startups in its search for a billion dollar campus startup from India.


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