India’s Innovation muscle to bolster through two new initiatives – Innovation Quotient and Innovation Cluster: Industry Experts

New Delhi : A Session on Innovation with a theme ‘Fostering Innovation’ was organized at FICCI’s 95th Annual Convention & AGM today which focused on exploring ways for tying the loose knots and addressing the challenges to nurture innovation in a true practical sense in the country.

Mr Jagdish Mitra, Chairman, FICCI Science, Technology & Innovation Committee & Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Growth, Tech Mahindra briefed on the Innovation Cluster approach for pooling capital, infrastructure, and talent to foster development and scaling up new technologies through a multi-stakeholder approach. He announced that clean energy innovation cluster including energy, solar, data analytics, waste to energy would be operationalized by the first half of year 2023. He also emphasized that innovation should be more industry driven rather than looking up to the government to invest its resources into it.

Mr Varun Prakash, Partner, McKinsey & Company made a presentation on Innovation Clusters & Innovation Quotient and shared that exercise towards Innovation Quotient has been launched with 50+ FICCI member companies to measure, benchmark innovation capabilities. Emphasizing 6 practices to enhance innovation, he talked about, diversification of innovation priorities, engaging broader eco-system, accountability towards innovation, funds and resources allocation to innovation and strengthening governance.

Mr Jagdish Mitra during the panel discussion said, “At the end of the day, the world will be operated, run and led by innovation. Any country that takes a leading stand on innovation is likely to be the market leader. The design principles for innovation clusters will address the key challenges in the innovation ecosystem”, he added.

Mr Anurag Bajpayee, Cofounder, Gradiant emphasized on the need to bring high risk-taking capital to critical sectors to spur innovation. There is a huge market for solving problem statements for industry in areas like water, food, power etc. and all of this needs risk-taking capital, he added.

Giving the perspective from academia, Prof Ashish Garg, HoD, Sustainable Energy Engg, IIT-Kanpur talked about the initiatives to nurture R&D and support provided to start-ups at institutions. He said that academia majorly depends on government funding for innovation with respect to products up to a certain TRL levels, however, to develop products or solutions beyond TRL level 3 institutions are collaborating with industry who fund such program. He also talked about the licensing mechanism and sharing of IP between industry and academia.

Mr Perumal Gandhi, Co-Founder, Perfect Day talking about innovations in his organization and innovation cluster approach said, “If you don’t apply the innovation and scale it, what is the point of holding that IP? Access to human capital and mechanism to leverage IP is the key to innovation cluster, he added.

Dr Vibhav R Sanzgiri, Co-Chairman, FICCI Science, Technology & Innovation Committee & Executive Director, R&D, Hindustan Unilever Limited shared his vast experiences and global practices adopted within his organization which involve adopting innovative approaches and leverage technology to understand consumer behaviors to further innovate with development of products and services. “It is imperative that Innovation cluster becomes a collaboration cluster and not a co-location cluster”, he added.

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