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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

New platform for startups in Chandigarh soon, proposal ready

The first-of-its-kind platform in North India aims to develop Chandigarh as a knowledge hub, and will provide a fertile ground for research and its implementation.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | Published: February 4, 2019 8:55:36 am
It’s a pet project of Badnore

IN WHAT will be music to the ears of young entrepreneurs, the UT Administrator’s office has prepared a draft proposal to establish a Chandigarh Regional Innovation and Knowledge Cluster Company (CRIKC) Limited for fostering innovation-led growth in the region. The first-of-its-kind platform in North India aims to develop Chandigarh as a knowledge hub, and will provide a fertile ground for research and its implementation. A pet project of UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore, its draft proposal was prepared by his secretary J M Balamurugan.

CRIKC was initially set up as a society with members from 21 institutes of national and regional importance but now, the administration plans to develop it as a company with an initial corpus of Rs 10 crore.

The draft proposal specifies that “due to Chandigarh’s high standards of livability and good connectivity, it has huge potential for emerging as a leading cluster for innovations-led entrepreneurship development, given the strong presence of institutions of eminence in science and technology in the region”.

The vision of CRIKC Limited, as per the draft, is to “serve as a platform to develop and nurture a vibrant ecosystem to promote knowledge sharing, innovation, entrepreneurship and investment in the greater chd region towards innovation-led growth in the region”.

Dr A K Grover, former vice-chancellor of Panjab University who has been associated with this project from the time of its conception, says CRIKC Limited will remain a robust collaborative and networking platform through various means to bring together and synergise the activities of its members. While members will continue to pursue their activities in academics, innovations, incubations, financing and market, policy support etc, CRIKC itself will not directly engage in these core activities initially.

The focus sectors of the company will be food and agriculture, life and medical sciences, bio-technology, IT, IT-enabled services and Himalayan bio-resources.

The draft suggests that for academic and research institutions, it will not only be a networking platform but will help in developing inter-institution collaboration in areas of joint research, pooling of facilities and academic excellence besides facilitating commercialisation of technological innovations.

For startups, innovators and entrepreneurs, the company will aim to facilitate access to technological innovations. It will also provide online training modules for the innovators and mentorship programmes.

This not-for-profit company will be promoted by the UT Administration and the Punjab government.

Its board of directors will comprise two representatives from UT and Punjab. Meanwhile, in the executive structure there will be a chairman, CEO, directors of Food and Agriculture, life sciences, IT, IT- enabled services, Himalayan bio-resources et al.

Sources said that they will be discussing this draft proposal with the Punjab government.

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