Kochi Smart City Innovation Lab, a joint venture between Cochin Smart Mission Limited and Fraunhofer — a German government-backed research organisation, was launched here on Monday as part of the efforts to evolve financially sustainable and technologically sound projects for the Kochi Smart City programme.
German Ambassador to India Martin Ney delivered the keynote address at the launch. K.V. Thomas, MP; Managing Director of Cochin Smart Mission A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish; Additional Chief Secretary T.K. Jose and Damian Wagner, Senior Project Manager for Smart Cities, were among those who spoke at the occasion.
Mr. Hanish welcomed the gathering and Mr. Jose spoke in detail about the problems associated with the implementation of development projects in Kerala. He highlighted the scarcity of land for public purposes and underlined the high cost of acquiring land. He called for innovations like the use of land bond for surmounting the problem.
Later, talking to the press, Mr. Hanish said that as per prior discussions, Fraunhofer would focus their expertise and research on inclusive housing, energy efficiency, environmental protection, electric mobility, and disaster management and mitigation as part of the Smart City programme.
He said that Fraunhofer had a large team of experts across the world. The Innovation Lab would be able to produce technologically sound and financially viable projects which were expected to be launched before German-funded programmes ended in March 2020. “We are fast-tracking the works in view of the deadline,” Mr. Hanish said.
He said that Fraunhofer had produced 11 project proposals for the Coimbatore smart city project and five of these projects were being funded by German funding agency KfW. Kochi too would be able to get financial support from KfW as well as the Union government for project implementation, he added.
Three cities in India have been receiving institutional support from Fraunhofer. They are Kochi, Coimbatore and Bhubaneswar.
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