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Eighth Meeting of the National Innovation Council

The eight meeting of the National Innovation Council (NInC) was held on 25th June 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.

Eighth Meeting of the National Innovation Council
Committee Room 122, Planning Commission, 25th June 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. Innovation in Biotechnology

  • Ms. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Member, National Innovation Council (NInC) made a presentation on innovations in biotechnology and the steps required to create an eco-system for the same in the country.
  • To develop a concrete action plan for strengthening and fostering innovation in the sector, including a focus on regulatory constraints, the Council suggested the creation of a Committee of domain experts involving of Ms Shaw, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology and other suitable experts.
  • The Council Secretariat would operationalise the proposed Committee, with the approval of the Chairman.

India Inclusive Innovation Fund (IIIF)

  • In addition to the details provided earlier to the members, by email and otherwise, about the India Inclusive Innovation Fund, Dr. Saurabh Srivastava, Member, NInC, made a presentation to update members on the progress of the Fund.
  • Prof Anil Gupta pointed out that this Fund may not address the needs of entrepreneurs who require grants/soft funding. Chairman, NInC mentioned that perhaps a separate initiative could be undertaken, possibly led by Prof Gupta to create a separate Fund for this purpose.
  • It was decided that the Chairman would be authorised to take the necessary steps to operationalise the Fund at the earliest.

4. Media Innovation Report

  • The Media Innovation Group driven by Council members Mr Shekhar Kapur (chairman of the Group), Mr Kiran Karnik, and Mr Arun Maira, which focussed on the formulation of a national strategic roadmap for catalysing new media innovation in India, presented its roadmap document for the 2013-2020 period.
  • The Media Innovation Group arrived at seven strategic requirements and seven matching recommendations for the Council’s consideration.
  • It was decided by the Council members that these recommendations be put to action in a pilot programme, preferably in the state of Karnataka, to gain insight and understanding on the ground, before proceeding further.

5. Innovation Cluster Initiative

  • Mr. Samir Mitra, Expert, National Innovation Council gave an overview of the Innovation Clusters initiative and presented the results of the seven pilot clusters.
  • The model is built around strengthening the local industry association as the anchor for creating an eco-system for driving innovation efforts in the cluster, as well as the creation of the right partnership models with key stakeholders.
  • Highlights of all 7 Pilot programmes were presented which outlined the socio-economic benefits accrued as a result of innovation initiatives undertaken at the clusters.
  • In the presence of the Nation Innovation Council members, the first technology transfer agreement for commercialisation of the enhanced design of coal based furnace, developed by CSIR, National Metalurgical Laboratory was signed between CSIR and the Moradabad Inclusive Development Corporation (Moradabad brassware cluster being one of the 7 pilot clusters). The Moradabad Inclusive Development Corporation will ensure availability of this new design to the 200,000 artisans in the Brassware Cluster.
  • The status of the scale-up effort for this initiative was presented. Discussions are ongoing with the Ministry of MSME, Ministry of Textiles, Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Department of Industrial Promotion and Policy, and State Innovation Councils.
  • An action plan for bringing the Innovation Clusters initiative to its conclusion was presented, including the release of the second tranche of grants and scaling up of prototypes.
  • The Council also recommended that CSIR and CII should join the effort of scaling and replicating the Innovation Cluster model in more clusters. Director General, CSIR apprised the Council of the initial efforts to work in 60 clusters, through the national network of CSIR labs. Mr. Vikram Kirloskar, Chairman, CII National Committee, agreed to act on the Council’s recommendation and formulate a plan for CII to work in 60 clusters.

6. Innovation in Science Museums

  • The Council was given an update on the initiative to develop innovative spaces in Science Museums to galvanise children around the idea of innovation.
  • The Council recommended that this effort also be extended to District Level Science Centers to foster the culture of learning through innovation.

7. State & Sectoral Innovation Councils

  • An update on the progress of State Innovation Councils was presented by Ms. Veena Upadhyay, Expert, Office of Adviser to Prime Minister on PIII. It was highlighted that currently 23 States have constituted State Innovation Councils and efforts is underway to activate more States to constitute Councils, and also to take stock of the work of the existing Councils.
  • Invited representatives of the State Innovation Councils from Rajasthan, Karnataka and Punjab made presentations on the initiatives being undertaken in their states by their respective State Innovation Councils. The Council appreciated the efforts of the State Councils and encouraged them to continue to take steps to support and promote innovation in their respective states.
  • To further encourage the Councils, it was agreed that Members may also take the lead in interfacing with states, on behalf of NInC, subject to their interest, location and availability. A preliminary allocation of States based on these parameters would be circulated shortly.

8. University Innovation Cluster

  • The Council was apprised of the progress in the two University Innovation Cluster initiatives at MSU Baroda and Delhi University. It was agreed that the MSU Baroda model with sectoral focus on Biotech has led to good results and that the strategy going forward for this initiative will be to seek sectoral partners willing to promote University Innovation Clusters.
  • After preliminary discussions with the NInC team, the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) has agreed to do a pilot in 20 Universities of the Innovation Cluster model. The highlights of the initiative and an action plan were presented by the BIRAC team along with Dr. Vijay Raghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology and the Council approved the same.

9. 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. Mr R. Gopalakrishnan, Member, NInC volunteered to develop some further thoughts around this.
  • Members were also apprised of the progress on the National Innovation Scholarship Scheme being developed in collaboration with MHRD and the proposed India-European Prize for Inclusive and Affordable Innovation.
  • A draft paper for discussion on a proposed National policy on Inclusive Innovation was circulated to Members for inputs. Members were requested to provide their inputs so that a comprehensive policy could be developed for the Government, to be championed by NInC.
  • Members were also requested to provide inputs for designing the programme for this year’s Global Innovation Roundtable scheduled for 18th and 19th November 2013. Members were also requested to participate in the Roundtable as speakers.

In his concluding remarks, the Chairman encouraged the Members to take up initiatives that they would like to champion in the current year.

Download Minutes of the Eight Meeting

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