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Seventh Meeting of the National Innovation Council

The seventh meeting of the National Innovation Council (NInC) was held on 22nd January 2013 at the Planning Commission, to review the progress of various initiatives since the last meeting and outline the agenda for action for the future.

Seventh Meeting of the National Innovation Council
Committee Room 122, Planning Commission, 22nd January 2013

  1. Chairman, NInC welcomed the members and gave a brief update on the progress of the various initiatives of the National Innovation Council.
  2. India Inclusive Innovation Fund (IIIF)
    • Chairman made a presentation on the IIIF to update members on the status, on behalf of Dr Saurabh Srivastava, who was unable to attend.
    • The Chairman outlined that the IIIF as a scheme would primarily be focussed on equity-based financing for ventures that have achieved a certain level of maturity, as this would have a significant impact on the desired scale in the innovation eco-system. The ventures financed would be targeted towards addressing the needs of those at the lower half of the economic pyramid.
    • To understand the support mechanisms that may be required for social-outcome focussed early-stage innovators, also a critical need for the innovation eco-system, the Chairman requested Dr Anil Gupta to separately lead a discussion on the subject.
  3. Innovation Cluster Initiative
    • Mr. Samir Mitra, Special Expert for the National Innovation Council gave an overview of the Innovation Clusters initiative and brought out the key elements of the model that have emerged in the pilot phase of the project. The model is built around strengthening the local industry association as the anchor for creating the eco system for driving innovation efforts in the cluster, as well as the creation of the right partnership models with key stakeholders.
    • Mr. Mitra also presented the highlights from the case studies developed by the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad on the socio-economic benefits that have accrued in three of the seven pilot clusters as part of the initiative.
    • Mr. Mitra also apprised the members of the plans for a National Innovation Cluster Initiative being developed in collaboration with Mr Arun Maira’s team in the Planning Commission. A National Cluster Conference is proposed to be organised in March 2013 for stakeholder consultations as part of this effort.
  4. University Innovation Clusters
    • The Council was apprised that the NInC team has been in discussions with the Department of Biotechnology to create biotechnology specific University Innovation Clusters. An update was presented on the approaches being explored, with a view to developing a comprehensive plan.
  5. National Innovation Scholarships
    • The Council was apprised of the details of a proposal for National Innovation Scholarships, being developed in conjunction with MHRD by a committee under the chairmanship of Mr Kiran Karnik. The members appreciated the idea and emphasised the importance of reaching out to out-of-school students through NGOs and other mechanisms, as well as the need to guard against plagiarism. The scholarships would be open to school going children in classes eighth to twelfth and for out-of-school children in the 12-17 year age group.
  6. Design Innovation Initiative
    • The Council was also apprised of the proposal to establish a network of Design Innovation Centres, co-located in institutes of national importance. This proposal is being developed under the aegis of the Ministry of HRD, which has identified five such centres to begin with. The Council members were invited to offer inputs for collation by the Council Secretariat.
  7. Aggregation of curated online content for education and health
    • The Council was given a brief update on the efforts initiated to create content aggregation platforms in school education, vocational education and public health with relevant stakeholders, namely MHRD, PM’s Adviser on Skill Development, PHFI, NIC.
  8. Tod-Fod-Jod
    • An update was provided on the Tod-Fod-Jod initiative. CII and FICCI were requested to aid this effort by creating a pool of gadgets/ objects of day-to-day use through collection of these from their industry members.
  9. Innovation in Science Museums
    • The Council was given an update on the effort to seed innovation in Science Museums. Prof. Dhande expressed an interest in supporting the project on Virtual Science Museums. It was also suggested that CII and FICCI participate in creating 'Innovation Spaces' in science museums across India.
  10. State & Sectoral Innovation Councils
    • An update on the State and Sectoral Innovation Councils was presented. It was posited that progress in activating these Councils could be expedited by exploring alternative approaches such as identifying and sharing innovative approaches along with an analysis of why they succeeded. The Council decided that three Sectoral Innovation Councils be invited to make presentations to NInC at subsequent meetings.
  11. Grand Challenges
    • A fresh approach for Grand Challenges in sectors of interest was presented. While NInC would play the role of an initiator and a participant in conducting challenges, the Challenge would be owned and anchored by relevant government departments/agencies. Healthcare, education and energy were chosen as the sectors of interest.
    • It was also agreed that an open licensing model for the Intellectual Property generated through the challenges should be adopted. The challenge prize/reward would be the incentive for the innovator, while Government would own the rights in any IP developed. The Government would suitably protect this IP and, under suitable free-of-charge licensing, publish the IP for any interested party to make use of it for research/commercial purposes. As the first mover, the original innovator would be free to proceed with such open license rights even while government engages in the process of publishing the IP under open license.
    • Upon interest of the Member Secretary of Sectoral Innovation Council in Health and Family Welfare, the National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC) and the NInC team jointly identified 'pre-natal & neo-natal point-of-care diagnostics in the public healthcare domain' as the area of interest for conducting grand challenges. Areas of concern in mother and child care were showcased as potential candidates for holding challenges and the NInC members suggested that the NHSRC and NInC teams go ahead with consolidating the challenges with a view to launching them early.
  12. External Team Presentations
    • Presentations by the following external teams were also made to the Council:
      • Start up Village, Kerala
      • The Indian Team for Google’s Lunar X-Prize
      • On the National Innovation Survey by the National Institute of Science Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS)
    • The Council recommended that the Start Up Village team submit a concept paper on their initiative so that such efforts may be replicated in other states.
  13. Other Matters
    • On the lines of the Science Express operated annually, it was suggested that NInC could partner with the Vikram Sarabhai Science Centre, Ahmedabad to run an 'Innovation Express' for the next scheduled tour of the train. The NInC secretariat was asked to present a plan at the next meeting.
    • Discussion also took place on leveraging the Railway and Post Office networks for disseminating innovative ideas. In this regard, it was recommended that Dr Anil Gupta’s earlier proposal on using the Railway network be flagged again to the Railways.
    • It was also decided that more emphasis must be placed on outreach of NInC’s activities and a large number (if possible 100) of champions should be identified to communicate NInC’s messages across various platforms.
  14. Concluding Remarks
    • In his concluding remarks, the Chairman encouraged the Members to take up initiatives that they would like to champion in the current year. He also solicited Members’ inputs for the next Global Innovation Roundtable in 2013.
    • The Council agreed with the Chairman’s suggestion that the Council and its secretariat work towards initiating innovations in HR and Governance.
    • The Chairman urged the CII and FICCI representatives to take back the message to their principals that a more pro-active involvement and representation from them was expected in the Council meetings.

Attendees of the Seventh National Innovation Council Meeting

  1. Mr Sam Pitroda, Chairman, National Innovation Council
  2. Dr. Anil Gupta, Executive Vice Chair, National Innovation Foundation
  3. Mr Kiran Karnik, Former President NASSCOM
  4. Mr Arun Maira, Member, Planning Commission
  5. Dr Samir Brahmachari, DG, CSIR
  6. Mr Samir Mitra, NInC
  7. Sukhman Randhawa, Office of Adviser to PM on PIII
  8. Rahul Nayar, Office of Adviser to PM on PIII
  9. Bindeshwary Rai, Office of Adviser to PM on PIII
  10. Keerthi Laal Kala, Office of Adviser to PM on PIII
  11. Vikas Bagri, Office of Adviser to PM on PIII
  12. Aashima Seth, Office of Adviser to PM on PIII

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