India Innovation Ecosystem: The Indian innovation ecosystem is driven by the knowledge economy, fundamental research led by the marketplace, and disruptive technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence according to Niti Aayog member VK Saraswat.
Addressing a virtual event organized by industry body CII, he said these interventions have taken India to the innovation leadership position. He also said India has all ingredients for innovation and teamwork.
“We have to use the same ingredients and take it up a notch. It has not been easy, but we are on our way,” he said adding that “Innovation is going to be the key driver of India’s future.”
Saraswat also pointed out how fundamental research can help industries improve productivity by 15-20%.
He noted there was a need for better coordination between industry and academia as well as a greater understanding among them about each other’s requirements.
Saraswat added that Indian academic institutions should build more entrepreneurship programmes with real-world applications which would make students understand how their work could impact society at large, just like what Silicon Valley does.
He further stressed developing high-quality physical infrastructures such as networks in science and research institutions.
Saraswat said that India can become a major hub of scientific knowledge by using the popular scientific base in Indian languages to expand its reach across the country’s population, particularly among students at various levels.
He added that there are enough opportunities for entrepreneurs in areas like food processing and storage, renewable energy generation with better batteries, semiconductors, etc., even as he cautioned against overdoing it when many technologies have failed due to poor market potential or lack of research support leading to high costs associated with them.
Addressing another side of the technology revolution through disruptive technologies such as machine learning and AI which is changing every industry vertical including traditional ones like agriculture and healthcare where they will play an important role in achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs).
India Innovation Ecosystem, Saraswat said that the availability of low-cost computing has led to a rapid increase in AI-based research. India’s potential for developing disruptive technologies will grow multifold due to its scientific advancement and vast talent pool, he added.
He noted that though Indian universities are known globally their commercial impact is not as good as it should be because they have been focusing more on fundamental science instead of market-driven innovation which makes them lose out on opportunities borne out by global trends where technology-driven start-ups are attracting big bucks due to disruptive technologies.
According to him, there’s a need for political leaders who can understand the value of supporting new areas like machine learning so that Indians can also benefit from these developments happening globally in the space of AI.
Speaking at the same event, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that India has positioned itself as a global leader in the space of AI and machine learning. He added that Niti Aayog has made recommendations on how India can be a global leader in this space, which are now being taken up by the government.