Bengaluru: Focussed towards building innovation and technology ecosystem beyond Bengaluru City, the State Government has rolled out a new initiative “Beyond Bengaluru” at a time when ‘Work from Home’ or ‘Work from Anywhere’ has become normal due to COVID-19.
Deputy Chief Minister Dr. C.N. Ashwathnarayan, also the Minister of Electronics, IT, BT and Science and Technology, who inaugurated “Beyond Bengaluru” initiative as part of “Bengaluru Tech Summit 2020” (Nov. 19 – Nov. 21) on Thursday, said this measure was aimed at enhancing the growth of IT, ITeS, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Electronic System Design Manufacturing (ESDM) and Telecom sector industries at the upcoming cities of Mysuru, Mangaluru, Hubbali-Dharwad, Shivamogga, Kalaburagi and Belagavi.
He said the Government was mulling to promote the development of such an ecosystem in four more places of the State. At present other places outside Bengaluru are contributing just 5 per cent of total revenue of industry and this needs to be increased largely to achieve the target of the State becoming a trillion-dollar digital economy by 2025.
With COVID-19 as the trigger to promote ‘Work from Home’ or the concept of ‘Work from Anywhere,’ the Government of Karnataka is looking to effectively leverage and access the talent and skill available across the State, with focus on cities beyond Bengaluru, he noted.
Dr. Ashwathnarayan said, a Task Force has also been constituted comprising academia and other stakeholders to prepare a white paper to enable the ‘Beyond Bengaluru’ mandate. The white paper would cover potential action points for promoting cities beyond Bengaluru, by proposing incentives and initiatives that may be undertaken for technology ecosystem development.
Efforts were on to develop the required ecosystem in cities like Mysuru, Mangaluru, Shivamogga earlier itself. But that was not realised to the full potential due to many reasons. Now the time is very conducive to go ‘Beyond Bengaluru’ in the backdrop of reverse migration which has happened because of the pandemic and the Government has resolved connectivity issues in Tier-II and Tier-III cities by working with telecom companies, he said.
The Minister informed that the Government had taken many measures including setting up of New Age Innovation Network (NAIN) as a network of incubation centres in 30 engineering colleges in cities beyond Bengaluru, established Common Instrumentation Facilities (CIFs) and Technology Business Incubators in several academic institutions to catapult innovation, R and D outside Bengaluru, identified ESDM clusters to encourage industry to set up operations in the cities of Mysuru, Hubballi, Chikkaballapura, Chitradurga and others and has also set up VLSI Incubation Centre and Brownfield Cluster at Hubballi.
Shailendra Tyagi, Director, SoftwareTechnology Park of India, Bengaluru, who spoke on the occasion said, an STPI Centre would be established in Davanagere in a couple of months. Dr. E.V. Ramana Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Electronics, IT, BT and S&T, said “For enhanced ecosystem growth, it is important that we look at infrastructure development, market access, ecosystem engagement and talent development in cities other than Bengaluru. Furthermore, it is increasingly important, that we, as Government of Karnataka implement necessary steps to support and promote innovation, growth and development in these cities.”
Kris Gopala Krishnan, Chairman, Vision Group IT and B.V. Naidu, Managing Partner, StartupXseed Ventures also spoke.
Incentives and offerings for ‘Beyond Bengaluru’
1. Financial support for Information Technology Hubs and Clusters of up to Rs. 3 crore outside Zone-4.
2. Financial support for Co-working Spaces, Plug and Play Infrastructure of up to Rs. 2 crore outside Zone-4.
3. Lease and Rental Reimbursement of up to Rs. 3 lakh (at the rate of Rs.10 per sqft.) or Rs. 6 lakh (at the rate of Rs. 1,000 per seat) outside Zone-4.
4. Exemption on Stamp Duty of 75 per cent in Mysuru, Hubballi, Dharwad and Mangaluru and 100 per cent for all other Zones except Zone-4.
5. Applicability of industrial power tariff instead of commercial rate.
6. Quality Certification Cost Reimbursement up to Rs.6 lakh outside Zone-4.
7. Marketing Cost Reimbursement of up to Rs. 5 lakh per entity outside Zone-4.
8. Reimbursement of PF and ESI at the rate of Rs. 2,000 per employee per month for 2 years for all new employment created outside Zone-4.
9. Patents Cost Reimbursement of Rs. 2 lakh for domestic and Rs.10 lakh for International Patent awarded and R and D Support of up to Rs. 1 crore.