Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala’s aspiring entrepreneurs seeking to dabble in the aerospace and defence sectors will get a major boost with the state government all set to ink a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus BizLab India, a global aerospace accelerator which is part of Airbus.
As per the MoU, an Innovation Centre will be set up in Thiruvananthapuram, which will be the nodal body for planning and executing all the activities to help the startups.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will grace a formal ceremony in his chamber on Saturday (November 17) to mark the signing of the MoU between Anand E. Stanley, President and Managing Director, Airbus India and South Asia, and Dr. Saji Gopinath, CEO, Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM).
Airbus BizLab will also provide support and mentoring for startups in Kerala and conduct regular workshops and discussions with experts from aerospace and defence sectors.
Further, the France-headquartered company, which has set up facilities in Bengaluru, Toulouse (France), Hamburg (Germany) and Madrid (Spain) to create a global network of business accelerators, is to run training programmes to acquaint participants with aerospace technologies.
Also, the company will identify opportunities for Kerala to adapt aerospace technologies across sectors and bring all the relevant Airbus teams and startups to demonstrate technologies. After successful demonstration, it will help the innovation centre to sign partnerships and deploy the technologies.
“It is a landmark agreement that will give a huge fillip to Kerala’s efforts to nurture innovations and startups in the aerospace and defence sectors. It will help the startups in the state to leverage the expertise of Airbus in transforming their innovative ideas into scalable businesses,” said Tom Jose, Kerala Chief Secretary
Besides Jose, the signing ceremony will be attended by M. Sivasankar, Secretary, Kerala IT; Siddharth Balachandran, Leader, Airbus BizLab India; Margit Hellwig-Boette, German Consul General; M. C. Dathan, Scientific Advisor to the CM; Santhosh Kurup, CEO, ICT Academy; Hrishikesh Nair, CEO, Technopark; and Arun Balachandran, Chief Minister’s Fellow.
“The initiative aims to foster local talent in the aerospace domain and help promising startups to contribute towards shaping the future of flying not only in India but the world,” said Anand E. Stanley, President and Managing Director, Airbus India and South Asia.
“Airbus BizLab is a global leader in providing innovative, new-age solutions for the aviation sector. The early-stage entrepreneurs in Kerala will enormously benefit by working in close tandem with such a prestigious company,” said M. Sivasankar.
Dr. Saji Gopinath, CEO of KSUM, which is the nodal agency of the Kerala Government for innovation and entrepreneurship, pointed out that Airbus BizLab has been making phenomenal strides in the domains of defence and aerospace by providing its cutting edge technologies, mentorship and market access to startups. “Kerala stands to benefit in a huge manner by forging a tie-up with such a renowned company,” he said.
Airbus BizLab, which has pioneered the corporate approach to accelerate an idea into scalable business, provides wide-ranging support for early-stage projects in the form of a six-month acceleration programme, through which entrepreneurs and startup businesses are given access to a large number of coaches, experts and mentors across various domains, such as technology, legal, finance, marketing and communications, easing prototyping and market access.