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The Home Grown Technology Programme (HGT) was implemented by TIFAC for a period spanning 14 years from 1992 to 2005.

HGT was designed to focus on supporting the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME)-led technology efforts in the early stages in the innovation chain. The major objective was to encourage SMEs to carry out significant innovations at pilot production level, thereby covering some distance towards final marketing of a product. It took some time for TIFAC to fully realize this objective. In the initial years HGT support was given primarily to the laboratories. Later on more and more companies were encouraged to take up research and development projects by themselves. TIFAC experience showed that, to a large extent, the scheme was instrumental in helping SMEs to overcome their hesitation to seek technology that was new to them as well as to the market.

The HGT model of collaborative efforts between SMES and the research laboratories / academia for pilot level scaling up of proven laboratory level technologies have resulted in a good number of products embodying new technologies that are potentially ‘saleable’ in the market place. The model also brought out the criticality of the technical and financial support required at this specific juncture of the innovation chain. HGT approach recognized the importance of SMEs as the cornerstone of gaining competitive advantage in an ever changing market as well as a sector with potential for job creation.


Programme Impact Analysis

The programme was formally closed in the year 2005.  A review of the status of the 76 HGT projects was carried out in the year 2007, in order to assess the impact of the scheme. Most HGT (process oriented) projects aim to show viable “production at pilot plant” level; while some (product oriented projects) were for developing “saleable prototype”. The success rate has been 79% (60 out of 76).


 

 

 

Catalyzing SME innovations:

56 projects (74%) were supported with industry. An important objective of the HGT activity was to remove the hesitation of

 SMEs to try out new technologies. In this, it has achieved a good measure of success.  

Overall results:

29 projects (38%) reached “commercialization”, out of them 8 projects have regular operations, while 21 projects are to establish sustained commercial production.
30 projects (39.5%) did not start commercial operations. The two reported impediments are (a) lack of finance for “new” technology projects (Banks and Venture Capital Funds are not willing), and (b) the “first customer problem” (customers prefer proven brands & products).
It is important to note that even when pilot plants are run at full installed capacity, they will not help the firm to reach break-even point.
Pilot plants capacities are not sized for profitable commercial operations. So, the project has to scale up operations for commercial success. Delay usually result in alternate products coming into the market.
Repayment from the projects has is more than half of assistance provided by TIFAC, to 28 small firms, 22 start up companies, 20 Laboratory projects and 6 medium sized companies.

Successful Home Grown Technologies