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Kerala Start-up Mission, KSUM with MIT to set up 20 Mini Fab labs across Kerala by Dec end

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The Times of India | Laxmi Prasanna | TNN | November 16, 2016  |

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: While inviting applicants for MIT-Fab Lab Academy course, Kerala Start-up Mission (KSUM) in association with Kerala Technological University (KTU) and with the support of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) plans to set up 20 Mini Fab labs in select engineering colleges across the state by this December end. Currently, KSUM has two MIT Fab labs one at Techno park and the other at Ernakulum.  “KSUM with KTU has already entered into an agreement with MIT to set up 20 Mini Fab (Fabrication) Labs in 20 engineering colleges in the state and MIT is expected to install the components for mini fab labs by December end,” KSUM chief executive officer C Jayasankar Prasad told TOI. Setting up a Mini Lab in a college will cost around Rs 50 lakh including cost of logistics and the entire 100 per cent cost to set Mini labs in government engineering colleges will be borne by the state government, he said. The students can innovate and design prototypes of products with the support of experts at these Fab labs.  For government aided engineering colleges, the cost sharing will be on 50: 50 basis and in case of private colleges, 25 percent will be granted by the state and 75 percent will have to be met by the private engineering colleges themselves, he said.

 After setting up 20 mini-fab labs, it will be scaled up to 40 more mini-fab labs in engineering colleges across the state making it the largest Fab Lab Network in the state and the first of its kind at the global level, said KSUM manager Ashok Kurian P.  Now, the candidates who successfully complete the six-month long Fab diploma, an intensive course at Fab Lab Academy of KSUM covering digital fabrication, electronics design, robotics and laser cutting among others will eventually become Fab Fellows or Fab Gurus and will be employed as faculty of the such Fab labs and at Fab Lab Academy, he said. The courses will be certified by the International Fab Foundation which runs the course in collaboration with MIT, he said. The program which began as an outreach project from MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, and has grown into a global network of more than 500 Fab labs.  Fab Academy also offers one to two-week long certificate, diploma courses to begin from January 18 next year and the applications will be accepted till November end. It offers week long digital fabrication course and two week-long electronics design and production course among others.  –  Courtesy

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