Channel: Industry

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
India-UK science & innovation linkage

India UK Science and Innovation collaboration is in full swing.The seven new bilateral major joint programmes announced in 2010clearly vindicate the argument.The historic ties and strategic relations have helped the two countries to extend their cooperation in the field of science & technology.


Collaboration in Research and Innovation offer a unique opportunity to share ideas and experiences in a productive partnership. The impact of collaborative research will be the greatest if public, business, government and other sectors are constructively engaged.It will help drive economic growth and deliver social and development goals – as well as building trust and institutional relationships between the two countries.


The India-UK research collaboration is managed by the Research Councils UK (RCUK), India, the UKScience and Innovation Network (SIN) and India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST). The endeavoris not only to impact academically but to have wide ranging positive spinoffs on economic, environmental and political circles. The collaboration is likely to scale new heights as there are growth drivers available in the system. While UK has been one of the most creative and productive nation in terms of scientific research with four out of top 10 universities in the world,India offers a unique market opportunity providing economies of scale,once the innovation translates into affordable solution for the masses.


The two countries have signed vital agreements on health research, water cycle and solar energy program.These agreements are vital, especially as they seek to address challenges that have major global implications. They bring together leading researchers in the two countries and strengthen the science and innovation relationship between them.


The collaboration has benefitted in many ways. It helps research eco-system by providing access to international expertise,better access to data,mutual knowledge sharing network and capacity building. The economy reaps the benefit of this partnership in terms of market access, leverage to funding and openness to innovation. It also positively impacts policy, society and education as well as global issues.So a joint research and innovation initiative has multi fold advantages and hence can be considered a unique proposition creating a win-win situation for all the parties involved directly or indirectly.


As part of fostering the innovation, a series of ACTIV (Accelerated Commercialization of Technology and Innovation) workshops are organizedregularlyto coach the next generation of technology innovators in India. ACTIV workshops seek to transfer the experience and key lessons learnt in science-based entrepreneurship from Cambridge, UK, to India, with the primary objective to develop the next generation of Indian technology innovators to successfully bring their innovations to market. The ACTIV workshops are primarily funded by the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science and Technology and UK Science and Innovation Network, British High Commission.


As part of a strategyto decentralize its research effort, DFID’s (Department for International Development-UK) Researchand Evidence Division in the UK has established theSouth Asia Research Hub (SARH) in Delhi to supportincreasing awareness, collation and use of evidenceby DFID country programmes; support capacitybuildingin research in the region; and supportthe development of DFID research programmes thataddress key regional priorities. The SARH coversAfghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistanand where requested may offer support to countryoffices in other Asian countries. It offers supportacross the full range of topics and disciplines whereresearch is undertaken by DFID.


Collaborative research has been constantly bringing huge benefits to everyone, as researchers from different disciplines share their expertise to achieve extremely positive and high impact results. UK and Indian researchers have a vast amount to offer each other in terms of knowledge, good practice and a different perspective.


Solution: They should look for bigger picture i.e. profit attainment via proper capacity utilization.


Processes taking eternity has always been India's trademark irrespective of sectors. However, the inclusion of Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) may solve this problem.


Despite the growing realization of the fact that the joint innovation has successfully impacted the life of people in both the countries and there is immense potential to scale it up, the two countries have not been able to eliminate the barriers. These barriersare lack of awareness and access to right partners, communication and distance issues, resource constraints to cultural and IPR related barriers.


Going forward,it is important that both the countries further strengthen the innovation network. For India, it is imperative that it should now create a value added industry profile moving away from the traditional low cost perception.The emphasis on research and development would be the key inmoving up the value chain. For UK,this can be one of the distinguishing factors compared to its global peers who are also looking to aggressively increase their presence in India.So for both the countries it ispurely a win-win situation.As the two countries look to engage in a broader strategic partnership,science and innovation can go a long way in fostering this relationship.


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