In a game-changing development for India’s IT sector and startup ecosystem, Kerala will host the subcontinent’s first chapter of Singularity University, a world-renowned community learning and innovation platform that explores and enables the leveraging of exponential technologies to tackle contemporary challenges.
The national chapter of the Silicon Valley-based institution, which offers a range of educational programmes to help companies, entrepreneurs, NGOs and policymakers better understand and apply disruptive new technologies, will be housed in the Kerala Startup Mission’s (KSUM) ‘Meet Up Café’ in Technopark.
In addition to already having in place the basic infrastructure to work in future tech, a commitment to open software learning and a highly enthusiastic startup community working with augmented and virtual reality, Blockchains and robotics, among other emerging technologies, the city also puts the chapter in close proximity to cutting-edge research laboratories in renewable energy, agriculture, space and atmospheric science, biotechnology and civic technology.
“It’s not about a single technology, domain, or industry, but an amalgamation of them. That is what is required if we are to solve the most pressing issues of our time and those in the future,” said Binu Koshy, CEO of startup 10xDS and the Ambassador for SingularityU Trivandrum. “With this mission of enabling the present generation with tools to tackle the exponential tomorrows, Singularity University is spreading its wings to the Indian subcontinent with its first ever chapter. There isn’t a more apt location than Thiruvananthapuram, which doesn’t boast a single competency, but has instead a well-balanced environment of technology, space, medical and other competencies.”
SingularityU defines ‘exponential technologies’ as those that are rapidly accelerating and shaping major industries and life. For a technology to be considered exponential, it should double the power and/or speed of existing technology each year, and/or halve its cost. The technologies incorporated in SingularityU’s educational programmes are artificial intelligence and machine learning, networking and computing, robotics, design, digital health, big data, cyber-security, crowd-sourcing, digital finance and the Internet of Things.
The chapter will also organise high-profile conferences and host labs that incubate and accelerate corporate innovation and social impact projects. By empowering startups and student communities to adopt and adapt to future technologies in developing their products, the chapter hopes to develop a pool of professionals and organisations from multiple sectors that possess the mindset and skill-set to create breakthrough solutions. To facilitate this, it will serve as a meeting place for academics, startups, corporate and government entities and tech enthusiasts to engage with each other and discuss how exponential technologies can be used to address local issues.
“Being the first state to establish an IT park in India, Kerala benefits from a far-sighted, progressive view of technology. Couple this with the rising awareness in the tech community of the need to adapt in order to grow and it is only fitting that Kerala once more leads the way,” KSUM CEO Dr Saji Gopinath said.
“Associating with Singularity University will not only provide an impetus to technological development in a state that already houses the largest incubator of tech in Asia, the culture of new-think it will usher in will also fuel truly inclusive growth across the country at large,” he added.