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Research And Development

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Research and Development Sector in India

December, 2012


India has become a key contributor in global research and of growth in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, playing host to one-third of the top 1,000 research and development (R&D) spenders in the world, as per 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 one of the leading offshore destinations in delivering engineering research and development (ER&D) services with a market share of 22 per cent. The ER&D market in India is expected to grow to US$ 42 billion by 2020, according to a Zinnov study titled, 'Engineering R&D: Advantage India'. In last one-and-a-half years, about 39 captive centres were set up by multinational companies (MNCs) in India.

"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 defence," according to Mr Sidhant Rastogi, Director-Globalisation Advisory, Zinnov.

As India emerges as one of the vanguards in innovations and creativity, the National Innovation Council of India has set aside Rs 5,000 crore (US$ 910.75 million) fund to facilitate talent.

Indian R&D Sector and Global Impact

India is well-poised to contribute to the global ER&D, as the ecosystem of captive centres, service providers and startups increasingly work together to drive innovation.

A new Australia-India Fellowship Fund will support more than 80 scientists from Australia and India to spend time at a research institution in the other country. The fellowship program has committed US$ 2 million in its first year. "There is great potential for Australia and India to strengthen ties in science and research and address these common challenges together," said Mr Peter Varghese, Australian High Commissioner to India.

The Indian clinical research market is set, to more than double, to cross US$ 1 billion by 2016, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan. The local US$ 485 million clinical research market is growing at 11-13 per cent as India gains increasing favour as a base for global clinical trials (phase I-IV), as per the report.

Indian ER&D outsourcing industry is set to reach US$ 37 billion - US$ 45 billion by 2020, according to a report by Nasscom and Booz & Co. This will be about 35 per cent of the overall ER&D market, which is estimated to touch US$ 118 billion by 2020, while being currently pegged at US$ 10.2 billion.

Key Developments and Investments

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to accomplish the following missions in the next one year - 3 Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLV), 1 Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, 2 Communication Satellites, 1 Earth Observation (Ocean) Satellite, 1 Meteorological Satellite, 1 Navigation Satellite and Mars Orbiter.

The India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) project is being set up in the Bodi West Hills in Theni district of Tamil Nadu. The project aims at carrying out research to study the properties of neutrinos which are the second most abundant particles in the Universe.

The Prime Minister's fellowship scheme for doctoral research has been launched in New Delhi by Mr S Jaipal Reddy, Union Minister for Science and Technology. The scheme will award 100 annual fellowships and the duration of fellowships would be four years.

The National Policy on Electronics (NPE) proposes to set up more than 200 Electronic Manufacturing Clusters. Another important objective of the policy is to significantly upscale high-end human resource creation to 2,500 PhDs annually in the sector by 2020.

In addition, India has become the hub for semiconductor design with nearly 2,000 chips being designed per year and more than 20,000 engineers are working in various aspects of the sector, as per Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY).

Some of the major investments:

  • GE plans to expand the capabilities of the John F Welch Technology Centre (JFWTC) with an investment of Rs 33.1 million (US$ 602,900). The investment is focussed on setting up experimental labs and its infrastructure includes research and engineering in areas of critical importance
  • Insecticides India Ltd (IIL), an agro-chemicals manufacturer, has partnered with Oatsuka Agritech of Japan. The idea is to set up a R&D centre to invent new agro-chemical molecules for global markets in the country
  • AkzoNobel India has set up a well-equipped analytical centre at the company's international research lab in Bengaluru, to provide better products and faster services to its customers
  • German testing and certification company TÜV SÜD has set up a laboratory in Gurgaon, Haryana. The lab is equipped to meet requirements across sectors including nutritional products, food supplements, leather, toys and jewellery etc
  • Japan-headquartered Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd and Advinus Therapeutics have entered into an agreement for a three year discovery collaboration