Innovation today is increasingly going beyond the confines of formal R&D to redefine everything. Today innovation can mean new and unique applications of old technologies, using design to develop new products and services, new processes and structures to improve performance in diverse areas, organisational creativity, and public sector initiatives to enhance delivery of services. Innovation is being seen as a means of creating sustainable and cost effective solutions for people at the bottom of the pyramid, and is being viewed as an important strategy for inclusive growth in developing economies.
Realising that innovation is the engine of the 21st century the President of India has declared 2010 as the ‘Decade of Innovation’. To take this agenda forward, the Prime Minister has set up a National Innovation Council (NInC) to discuss and analyse an inclusive innovation strategy for the country.
NInC will seek to create a Roadmap for Innovations for the next decade by focusing on five key parameters: Platform; Inclusion; Eco-system; Drivers and Discourse.
The aim is to re-define innovations to go beyond R&D laboratories and factories to offer novel solutions that lead to inclusive growth for the people and by the people; foster appropriate eco-system across domains and sectors to strengthen entrepreneurship; focus on key drivers to ensure scalability, sustainability, durability and quality and expand the space for dialogue and discourse on innovation.
National Innovation Council’s strategy aims to create an Indian model of innovation suited to Indian needs and challenges. India needs more ‘frugal innovation’ that produces more ‘frugal cost’ products and services that are affordable by people at low levels of incomes without compromising the safety, efficiency, and utility of the products. The country also needs innovation processes that are ‘frugal’ in terms of resources required and these products and services must also have a ‘frugal’ impact on the earth’s resources and must be designed to be environmentally sustainable. Innovations in India hence need to cast a wider net to benefit more and more people who are currently marginalised by the system.
To drive the innovation agenda NInC has undertaken several initiatives at the national level which include:
To create a cross-cutting system to boost innovation performance in the country, NInC is facilitating the setting up of State Innovation Councils in each State. The Councils would drive the innovation agenda in the states and harness the core competencies, local talent, resources and capabilities to create new opportunities. As on date, 10 States have constituted the State Innovation Councils.
For more details view State Innovation Councils
2Sectoral Innovation Councils
NInC is also encouraging the setting up of multiple Sectoral Innovation Councils aligned to Union Government Ministries to promote innovation eco-systems across sectors and domains. As on date, 11 Sectoral Innovation Councils have been set up.
For more details view Sectoral Innovation Councils
3Industry Innovation Clusters
Driving the innovation agenda nationally would require strengthening regional capacity for innovation and keeping this in mind NInC has proposed to identify 60 Industry Innovation Clusters across the country to develop and support innovation. These will enable interconnections between intellectual, financial, human and creative capital as well as unleash latent potential by galvanising innovation around Cluster Innovation Centres. An initial pilot in a few identified clusters will be underway in July 2011.
For more details view Industry Innovation Clusters
4University Innovation Clusters
Industry-academia linkages are critical for a thriving innovation eco-system and to enable this NInC will identify and facilitate the development of 20 University Innovation Clusters across the country where innovation would be seeded through Cluster Innovation Centres. This initiative would aim to significantly enhance the innovation potential of the academic institutions.
For more details view University Innovation Clusters
5India Inclusive Innovation Fund
To promote inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship NInC is working on creating an India Inclusive Innovation Fund. The Fund is built on the principle that innovative enterprise can profitably, scalably, and competitively engage citizens at the bottom of the economic pyramid: and, in doing so, provide goods and services that will transform their lives for the better.
For more details view India Inclusive Innovation Fund
6India Innovation Portal
The India Innovation Portal, launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, networks people, ideas, experiences and resources to galvanise the innovation community in India. The portal is an information aggregator and is intended to become a one stop resource on innovations in the country.
For more details view India Innovation Portal
NInC will act as a catalyst for stimulating the innovation eco-system by empowering people to innovate, providing policy direction, Identifying knowledge/ innovation flows and gaps, Providing a collaborative platform for existing innovators, Applying innovation to address social and development challenges, Stimulating innovation at National/ State and Sectoral levels.
The core ideas, strategies and recommendations devised at the national, state and sectoral levels will be crystallized in the form of Roadmaps. These will provide action points and policy inputs to the government for innovation focused on inclusive growth at the National level, State levels and in each identified domain and sector. These roadmaps will be created at the national level by the National Innovation Council, at the state level by the State councils and in each sector by the Sectoral Councils or sub groups identified by the Sectoral Councils.
As part of encouraging discourse around innovations NInC will undertake outreach activities to disseminate its message, to create awareness about its initiatives and to engage citizens through the India Innovation Portal, media, websites, conferences, seminars, papers, awards and competitions.
NInC will develop platforms for collaboration and engagement with other countries to understand their views, ideas and strategies for strengthening the innovation eco-system.