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Research and Development in India

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Research and Development in India

March, 2013


Indian companies are on the top position globally when it comes to growth in research and development (R&D) investments, according to a study by the European Commission. There are 14 Indian companies that are a part of the list of the top 1,500 entities worldwide in terms of their absolute annual R&D investments.

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'.

Indian R&D Sector and Global Impact

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), United Kingdom (UK) and the Earth System Science Organsation (ESSO), Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), India, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to facilitate cooperation between UK and the Indian earth system science and environmental research communities. In 2012, the two establishments jointly funded five collaborative research projects for Changing Water Cycle programme.

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.

The services sector which includes R&D, testing and analysis besides other related segments attracted foreign direct investments (FDI) worth US$ 37,062.75 million between April 2000 to January 2013, an increase of 19.51 per cent to the total FDI inflows in terms of US$, according to the latest data published by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

Key Developments and Investments

The largest overall increase in R&D investments was reported by companies based in India with 35.1 per cent, followed by China at 28.1 per cent, highlighted the study by the European Commission.

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 Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) plans to set up the world's largest solar telescope in Ladakh at an expected cost of Rs 150 crore (US$ 27.57 million). The solar telescope is planned for completion in 2017. The device will help Indian scientists to carry out research aimed at studying the sun's atmosphere.

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.

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:

  • Apollo Tyres has opened its global R&D centre in Enschede, Netherlands. The centre will serve as a hub for the development and testing of car and van tyres for all brands
  • 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
  • Daimler AG has established the biggest R&D facility in Bengaluru, outside Germany. The company plans to hire 800 professionals over the next two years taking the total R&D operations headcount to 2,000
  • Adtran Networks India Private Ltd has opened a high-technology engineering facility in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh (AP). The centre would help increasing the capabilities of the company in the region besides advancing collaboration and synergies across its global R&D locations, said Mr Nate Bhadriraju, Vice-President (Engineering), Adtran
  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the Hyderabad-based Biological E Ltd have teamed up for early stage R&D of a six-in-one combination pediatric vaccine against polio and other infectious diseases
  • The R&D team of Fiat India will assist Chrysler to design and develop the smallest Jeep, to be launched globally by mid-2014. The Indian R&D team would contribute significantly in the development of the product in Melfi. We are looking at leveraging India as an export hub for right-hand drive models, as per Mr Enrico Atanasio, Managing Director, Fiat Group Automobiles India Pvt Ltd
  • Ashok Leyland has set up a technical centre in the UK to strengthen research and development (R&D) and address new markets in South America and Africa. The company has doubled its international operations revenue base over the past two years