Fresh graduates will be given “rent-free space” for churning out big ideas at the proposed Centre of Innovation here, West Bengal IT Secretary Debashis Sen said today. The state IT and Electronics Department has prepared a blueprint that would soon be placed before the Cabinet for approval, Sen said at the conference on ‘Innovation 2017: Next Big Ideas’, oragnised by the CII. The innovation centre, at the IT Park being built at Bantala in the city, is expected to be operational in the fiscal year 2018-19, Sen said. A team of experts, headed by the director of IIT-Kharagpur Partha Pratim Chakraborty, would oversee the screening process of the new innovators. Interested graduates would have to submit a short project report, merit and quality of which would determine selection. “The state government’s vision is to improve the living standard of the common masses. The IT and Electronics Department will evaluate the performance of a student innovator every six months and decide whether he/she can continue,” he said. It will also consider offering scholarships to bright students, Sen said, adding, the upcoming centre would involve top academics, scientists, industry members as mentors.