Friday, 12 August, 2022

CUET: Where dreams take wings

CUET: Where dreams take wings

From steam engine to metaverse, human labour to automation technology, the world has experienced several industrial revolutions. The revolution which started at Britain in mid 18th century now enters its fourth phase. Presently, this fourth industrial revolution (4IR) or Industry 4.0 has become a hot cake. The Bangladesh government is very much interested to take part at this 4IR. So, they’re focusing on IT sector. They're establishing many High Tech Parks.

On July 6, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Sheikh Kamal IT Business Incubator on the Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (CUET) campus through a virtual seminar. This is the first-ever IT Business Incubator at university level in Bangladesh where students will get a chance to improve their skills to make them qualified for the 4IR. Besides, students can come up with new technology ideas. The selected ideas will be given all kinds of support including technology and trainers. The incubator cost Tk 117.7 crore to build in. There are a total of four buildings.

The ten-storey main incubation building has 5,000 square feet per floor and the total area of the building is 50,000 square feet. The building includes Startup Zone, Innovation Zone, Industry-Academic Collaboration Zone, Brainstorming Zone, E-Library, Data Centre, Research Lab, Bangabandhu Corner, Exhibition Centre, Video Conferencing Room and Conference Room. The building also has an Artificial Intelligence Lab, a Machine Learning Lab, a Big Data Lab, an Optical Fiber Backbone, a Sub-Station and a Solar Panel to facilitate the work of entrepreneurs and researchers.

On the right side of the building in the main incubator is a 6-storey training building with a total area of 36,000 square feet with 6,000 square feet per floor. There are a total of six computer labs including a super computer lab. Each lab can employ up to 30 entrepreneurs at a time. There are two separate four-storey dormitories for men and women named Sheikh Jamal and Rosie Jamal for the stay of entrepreneurs. There are 40 rooms in each dormitory.

Apart from this, there are separate corners for banks and IT firms, cyber cafes, food courts, cafeterias, recreation zones, maker spaces, display zones, media coverage zones, own parking facilities.

Architectural beauty:

It has an aesthetic architectural view.  If viewed from above, there is an elliptical main incubation building in the middle and three curved buildings on either side of it, like an egg waiting for hatch. The entire building is surrounded by a special type of heat-reflecting glass. That is why this building will be cooler than the conventional buildings. In addition to being surrounded by glass, as much sunlight can easily enter.

Natural beauty:

The CUET campus is called the green heaven. The campus is adjacent to the mountains of Raojan-Rangunia. Sheikh Kamal IT Business Incubator is situated beside CUET lake. CUET Rubber Garden stands behind the east side of the Incubation building. One can enjoy the beautiful green mountain from the upper floors of the buildings which will make the work environment of the researchers more enjoyable.

New export sector will be created:

Information technology exports are one of the most lucrative export sectors in the world today. Developed countries export a large portion of their annual income to software. It is an optimism that the CUET students will play a big role in the annual income of the country by creating new technologies using the advanced super computers including the artificial intelligence lab and machine learning lab of this incubator and exporting them abroad.

This Incubator will create skilled manpower which is an important element of Industry 4.0. Besides, data science will lead the world in the future. That is why the Data centre, Research lab has been kept in the incubator which will take the country's data science forward in the fourth industrial revolution.


Najmul Hasan, an executive member of CUET Journalists’ Association