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TIFAC was entrusted by the Department of Science and Technology, the task of preparing the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the World Bank funded National Innovation Project (NIP). NIP is to be designed-based on national and international best practices- to improve, expand and scale-up ongoing innovation lead initiatives as well as introduce some new initiatives for higher impact on growth and poverty alleviation. Among other things, it also includes public policy action-areas and specific support programs to help strengthen innovation as a driver of productivity, sustained growth and poverty reduction in the Indian economy.

The DPR was completed in June 2008 and submitted to the World Bank through DST. World Bank had extended the DIFID Support of 0.4 million US Dollars for carrying out this activity. The DPR consisted of three following major Components:

Component – I: Strengthening innovation management & capacity-building:  which would include interventions such as strengthening the IPR system, better use of diaspora networks and enhancing the absorptive capacity and technology infusion in SME's

Component – II:  Providing support to SME's for research leading to new
technology development: suitable adoption / adaptation of models such as the US
SBIR program.

Component – III: Strengthening technology commercialization: interventions to support taking innovations to market, including those from grassroot / rural
 innovators. This component would likely involve the creation of a new
 entity that would operate a fund of funds and support facilitation for technology
upscaling / commercialization.

Activities Undertaken

 The following studies were commissioned:

(i) ‘MSMEs – Innovation and Technology Absorption’
(ii) ‘Intellectual Property Rights systems’
(iii) ‘Accessing Global Knowledge’
(iv) ‘Experiences of SBIR Types Schemes in select Asian countries’
(v) ‘Strengthening Technology Commercialization’

Besides the above, two concept notes one on ‘Structure ad Operation of Incubation Fund’ and another on ‘Possible business models for firms that would provide facilitation and intermediation services covering possible financial and structural support required’ were also initiated.

DPR Preparation Methodology:

The DPR preparation started with identifying different consultants for the three components. Towards obtaining a more comprehensive inputs and wider feedback, TIFAC organized an International Conference on ‘Growing Indian Innovation: Issues, Opportunities and Solutions’ jointly with the National Academis of Sciences (US), in New Delhi on December 18, 2007.  The objective of the conference was to share India’s experiences and learn from the US experiences in Innovation and in particular, benefit from the extensive reviews/ evaluation done by the NAS of the Innovation spurring programmes. As a back-to-back activity to this Conference, an Academia Industry Interaction meet was organized on December 20, 2007 at Mumbai.

TIFAC organized two Inception Workshops for the studies commissioned under the NIP. The first was in organized in Delhi on March 18, 2008 and second one in Mumbai on March 20, 2008. The objective was to allow interactions between the consultants engaged for different components of NIP and the stake-holders, with a view to make the studies as comprehensive as possible. The workshops proved to be a useful platform to the consultants for obtaining useful inputs for their respective reports.