London: In a bid to promote innovation in manufacturing, a state-backed report has suggested that the government co-fund to pursue research even if it fails to improve their risk appetite to embrace new technologies and processes.
The report on National Manufacturing Innovation Survey, released by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the UN Industrial Development Organisation, also suggested that the government launch an ‘Innovate to Make in India‘ strategy and support pre-competitive, industry-focussed research and innovation.
According to the report, 25.01 per cent of the 8,074 firms surveyed were considered innovative and had successfully implemented either new or significantly improved products or processes between 2017 and 2020, the period under review.
The survey found that close to 80 per cent of innovators were able to improve the firm’s turnover, open up new market opportunities, respond to market and cost pressures whereas only 53.59 per cent were able to respond to existing or forthcoming regulatory provisions through their innovations.
“Evidence of the barriers and challenges to technological learning, innovation and development, and upgradation of Indian industries shall be used for devising policies, programmes, and partnerships to strengthen innovation outcomes and benefits,” said Akhilesh Gupta, Head Policy Coordination and Programme Management Division.
The report suggested that the government may consider fiscal and non-fiscal mechanisms to help firms improve their risk appetite in pursuit of innovation. It also recommended an innovation-linked incentive scheme to help firms, especially MSMEs, to address the financial risks linked to innovation uncertainty. The government should co-fund all research, even research and innovation that fails, the report said.
“While the benefits of the scheme can be linked to the output and outcome indicators, the purpose is to help firms address internal enablers and barriers, hence it is particularly important to include innovation failure as a potential outcome, and the related learnings are captured,” the report said.
The report said the government may consider launching funding allocation for pre-competitive, collaborative industry-focused research and innovation, drawing inspiration from the success of similar programmes in countries as diverse as Australia, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Israel, Japan and the Republic of Korea.