This Centre will focus on providing different levels of training on AR/VR developer tools to students and professionals in the state.
Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), the nodal agency of Government of Kerala for promoting technology entrepreneurship in the state, has partnered with Unity Technologies to launch a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for AR/VR and gaming.
Through this CoE, Unity will extend support to startups developing products, services, and games on platforms including mobile, PC, and various AR/VR hardware. The Centre will also focus on providing different levels of training on AR/VR developer tools to students and professionals in the state.
The partnership is seen as a significant step forward for developing an AR/VR ecosystem in Kerala.
KSUM is the implementing body for the Kerala Technology Startup Policy that supports the startup ecosystem by means of different components such as infrastructure, incubators and accelerators, human capital development, funding, and exposure programmes.
A step towards creating a new ecosystem
“The AR/VR market is expected to witness huge growth globally in the next 5-6 years. This growth in demand for AR/VR content and solutions will be accompanied by the sprouting up of a new set of businesses,” said M Sivasankar IAS, Secretary Department of IT & Electronics, Government of Kerala.
“This Centre of Excellence for AR/VR Developer tools with Unity Technologies is a step taken by the Govt of Kerala towards creating an ecosystem for new businesses to grow and cater to the global demand,” he added.
Sivasankar also said that ICT Academy of Kerala and CDIT has an important role to play in the creation of this ecosystem in Kerala.
Meanwhile, Hubert Larenaudie, Vice President of Asia Pacific at Unity Technologies, noted that Unity is at the centre of the AR/VR ecosystem, powering over 60 per cent of all content. According to him, they see this industry growing significantly over the next few years.
This Centre of Excellence for AR/VR developer tools is a step taken by the government of Kerala to create an ecosystem for these new businesses to grow and thrive, Hubert said.
Creation of new jobs expected
Saji Gopinath, CEO, Kerala Startup Mission, believes that this emerging industry will lead to creation of new jobs.
“Kerala Startup Mission is committed towards creating an enabling ecosystem for young ventures working on various emerging technologies. With its rich pool of creative talent, Kerala has the opportunity to become a hub for this extended reality disruption, which is a combination of content and solutions powered by hardware and distribution platforms. This emerging industry will, in turn, create new jobs that require new sets of skills,” said Gopinath.
He added that Kerala Startup Mission will be working with ICT Academy of Kerala for skilling interested students and professionals on these design and development tools.
Supporting technology startups, skilling students
In line with the Kerala government’s Knowledge City initiative, KSUM has been playing a special role in promoting startups working in various emerging technologies like AI, Cyber Security, AR/VR, etc.
Over the past one year, KSUM has touched bases with more than 100 (to be precise) startups in these emerging technologies and has provided these startups with various support mechanisms including technology access through Future Technologies Lab, Innovation Grants, seed loans, exposure programmes, and market connects.
Future Technologies Lab also runs evangelization drives across the state to attract more professionals and students to take up research, learning and development programmes in these newer technologies.
“In the Industry 4.0 world, AR/VR is a vital technology that has applications in multiple domains, hence youth with skills and competencies in AR/VR will have a unique advantage in the future jobs market. ICTAK is delighted to be skilling interested students and professionals on these design and development tools,” said Santhosh Kurup, CEO, ICT Academy of Kerala.