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Last Updated : Jan 25, 2020 08:00 PM IST | Source: PTI

Country's first Super Fab Lab inaugurated by Kerala CM

The Fab Labs concept, the only one outside the U.S., is the brainchild of Dr Neil Gershenfeld, presently the Director of MIT Centre for Bits and Atoms, who set up the first Fab Lab in the U.S. about 17 years ago.

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The country's first Super Fab Lab, which will give a major push to the hardware industry in the country and the only such facility outside the U.S., was launched at the Integrated Startup Complex of the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) on January 25.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the facility through remote control from Palakkad, where he attended a function at the government Polytechic College. The Super Fab Lab will function in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The Fab Labs concept, the only one outside the U.S., is the brainchild of Dr Neil Gershenfeld, presently the Director of MIT Centre for Bits and Atoms, who set up the first Fab Lab in the U.S. about 17 years ago, KSUM said. Dr Gershenfeld was in the city for nearly a week to personally supervise setting up of the Super Fab Lab.

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Fab Labs are fabrication laboratories offering digital fabrication and computation. Dr Gershenfeld asserted that the new facility, the only one outside the U.S., not only "has the tools to make anything, it also makes the tools that make things. It will break down boundaries between the digital and physical worlds," he said.

Relying on Computer Aided Design with additive and subtractive manufacturing, the Super Fab Lab allows researchers, innovators and developers to do things beyond the purview of the states existing fab labs. Dr Gershenfeld said the Super Fab Lab is a pioneering venture by Kerala and would let people produce what they consume The state-of-art facility enables the state to produce machines locally, for access throughout Kerala.

It can be for business, education and almost anything. "It is an exciting initiative and the whole world is watching what is happening here so that they can follow on your footsteps", Dr Gershenfield was quoted as saying by Kerala Startup Mission in a release.

The Super Fab Lab, which is poised to give Indias hardware industry a huge leap by allowing researchers, innovators and developers to do things beyond the purview of the states existing fab labs, will function in collaboration with MIT, it said.

KSUM CEO Dr Saji Gopinath said the Super Fab Lab will give a huge boost to Keralas industrial sector. "Innovations that happen at the Lab can soon get translated to the industrial sector and we may see quite a few startups springing up in the near future," he said.

The KSUM Super Fab Lab has state-of-the-art machines worth more than Rs seven crore in a 10,000 square feet area. The Super Fab Lab is set to make ISC one of the countrys most sought-after investment hubs, coming as it is after electronics hardware incubator Maker Village and its biotech counterpart Bio-Nest.
First Published on Jan 25, 2020 07:45 pm
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