India has become a key contributor in global research and of growth in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, playing host to one-third of top 1,000 research and development (R&D) spenders in the world, according to a Zinnov study titled 'Global R&D Benchmarking Study'. The study also highlighted that the opportunity areas for India to attract R&D investment span over 13 sectors, with software being the most invested in sector.
India is making its way as a major center for cutting-edge R&D centre. Realising that innovation is the engine for national and global growth, employment, competitiveness and sharing of opportunities in the 21st century, the Government of India has declared 2010-2020 as the 'Decade of Innovation'.
The R&D talent pool is growing at the rate of 9 per cent every year and is expected to reach 250,000 by 2015, as per C S Chandramouli, Senior Director-Globalisation Advisory, Zinnov. Indian multinational companies (MNC) are moving into tier II cities, highlighted the Zinnov study. In addition, fresh talent pool in tier II cities is estimated to form 35 per cent of the Indian R&D workforce going ahead. Further, the study highlighted that the MNC R&D talent pool in India for 2011 was 204,196. "India definitely has the right potential to become a key R&D hub, not only in software for which it has gained recognition globally, but also in other verticals such as aerospace, automotive and defense", added Sidhant Rastogi, Director - Globalisation Advisory, Zinnov.
India has also inked pacts with six countries, including the US and Australia, for collaborative research in the field of science and technology. "We have about 83 agreements on research collaboration with various countries. We have committed US$ 180 million on a five-year budget with six countries," according to T Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST).
In addition, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the German Research Foundation, has expanded its India presence with the formal launch of a Centre in Hyderabad. It is collaborating with the DST on about 40 bilateral research projects in science and engineering currently, said Dr Torsten Fischer, Director, DFG India. DFG is funding projects to the tune of US$ 8 million - US$ 9 million in India.
India and the US have signed an agreement on collaboration in diabetes research. This is the eighth agreement between the two countries in the field of health and medicine.