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Wadhwani Foundation organizes a workshop at Punjabi University on “Science, Technology and Innovation Policy for Inclusive Growth”

• Presents an insightful study on contributions of the Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI)

25th June 2014, Patiala: Wadhwani Foundation – a not-for-profit organization focused towards accelerating the country’s economic growth through large scale, high impact entrepreneurship and skill development programmes, in partnership with Punjabi University today organised a workshop titled ‘Science, Technology and Innovation Policy for Inclusive Growth’.

The workshop was attended by Dr. Dipinder Singh, IAS, Secretary, Punjab Mandi Board, Chandigarh, Mr. Mohan Lal Sharma, Economic Advisor to Govt. of Punjab, Ms. Monica Thind, Deputy Statistical Advisor, Economic and Statistical Organization, Chandigarh, Mr. Harvinder Singh, ESO, Chandigarh, Professor R.S. Sidhu, PAU, Ludhiana and Professor Sukhapl Singh, PAU, Ludhiana among others.

During the workshop, Wadhwani Foundation’s Policy Research Centre reviewed the implementation of PPP model in innovation, with a special focus on the Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI) and Biotechnology WorkshopIndustry Partnership Programme (BIPP) of the Department of Biotechnology. Over the past two decades, a plethora of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programmes in technology and innovation development has emerged in India. This study by Wadhwani Foundation’s Policy Research Centre is an effort to analyze contributions of the programme to knowledge creation & identify challenges in their implementation. The study offered a set of recommendations to help policy makers further improve and scale up the programmes to fully capture their potential.

Speaking at the workshop, Aradhna Aggarwal, Director, Policy Research Centre, Wadhwani Foundation said “Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI) is an ideal innovation programme in PPP mode to be implemented in the State of Punjab where innovation has immense potential. Punjab is also known for entrepreneurship and innovative delivery models. It was the first State to adopt and succeed with Green Revolution. Its economy is now diversifying with increasing share of manufacturing, in particular MSMEs. SIBRI programme, if adopted by major ministries, can be a key driver for the successful transformation of the State of Punjab”

Dr. Aradhna Aggarwal in her presentation further elaborated that In terms of global indices of research and development the rank of India remained low. The expenditure on R&D by private sector is very low which is responsible for low level of overall R&D in India. The contribution of small, medium and micro enterprises is very crucial in development and innovations. The return on investment in innovation has gone up with coming up of TRIPS regime. Every year new ideas have been founded in advanced countries to generate innovations. The start of United States Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) programme by US changed the innovation scenario there, and later this program was adopted by many countries. The private sector takes up projects more quickly with the involvement of government funding. The community problems can be solved by generating and funding new idea of balancing commercial and social interest.

In the Technical Session, Dr. Dipinder Singh, IAS, Secretary, Punjab Mandi Board, Chandigarh in his inaugural address said that “Innovations are basic to growth and development and thereby very important for inclusive growth. The Government of India has declared this decade as ‘Decade of Innovation’. Punjab has been doing well in providing innovation based solutions to the serious problems of large number of sections of society. The Punjab economic development needs strong and continuous doze of innovations.”

Neelima Jerath, Director, Punjab Council of Science and Technology, Chandigarh said “The linking of science and technology and its market adaptability is basic to solve the problem of growth. Science & technology will help only when we invoke and convert it into innovation. The expenditure on R&D by India is very less as compared to China and other advanced countries. The share of India in world quality publications is very low which an area of concern is. The need is to promote original research in universities by selecting relevant and newer research areas. The acceptability of research done in India is very low by the private industry. The increase in share of global patenting by Indians is a welcome trend. The country need to produce employable graduates and not simply graduates with paper degrees only”

The entrepreneurial potential of Punjab needs to be explored and promoted. Dr. Jaspal Singh, Vice-Chancellor, in his presidential address appreciated the workshop and stressed upon the need to build a policy document.

About Wadhwani Foundation

Founded in 2003 by Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, the Foundation’s primary mission is economic acceleration of emerging economies. The Foundation embarked upon its mission in India first, and subsequently, the Foundation has expanded into the U.S and other countries. In India, with an expected growth of 250-300 million people joining the workforce by 2022, large scale job creation became the primary imperative for the country. Also, as India’s population grows young, most advanced nations of the world are growing old, offering India an opportunity to become the global talent supplier. Catalyzing job creation and skill development become the two primary target areas of focus for the Foundation.
During the last decade, Wadhwani Foundation has launched five niche, high impact Initiatives in India. These include promoting entrepreneurial and employment skills, tapping the educated disabled, encouraging innovation and driving policy changes to jump-start economic opportunities. To address persistently high youth and displaced-worker unemployment in the U.S, Wadhwani Foundation launched the Race to a Job’ initiative in 2012.

About Wadhwani Foundation’s Policy Research Centre

The ‘Policy Research Centre’ of Wadhwani Foundation operates out of New Delhi and drives research based policy actions in collaboration with State and Central Governments, in the area of economic development.It is a centre of excellence in policy research providing research inputs for informed policy making with the objective to create a people-centred, high growth economy. A dedicated team of policy research specialists at the Policy Research Centre is currently focusing on policy related research based on R&D (innovation systems, dynamics of innovation systems and innovation policies), MSMEs (promoting entrepreneurship-driven, high growth SMEs), and skill development & employment (employment trends and how processes of skill development, policy reforms, organizational restructuring & innovation shape the patterns of continuity & changes in employment relations).

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