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Research and Development in India

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Research and Development in India

September, 2013


India was ranked seventh globally in terms of research and development (R&D) investments in 2012 and is expected to retain the position, with R&D investments expected to increase to US$ 45.2 billion in 2013 from US$ 38 billion n 2011.

India companies occupied the topmost position globally in terms of growth in R&D investments. In terms of their absolute annual R&D investments, 14 Indian companies made it to the list of top 1,500 entities worldwide, as per a study by the European Commission.

Moreso, India has been ranked as the world’s sixth most "innovative" country in multinational conglomerate GE's Annual Global Innovation Barometer. India is increasingly seen as a product development destination and firms are now offshoring complete product responsibility. In addition, India has become one of the most preferred location for engineering offshoring and is estimated to receive work related to R&D of product engineering (expected to be outsourced to India) worth US$ 42 billion by 2020.

Indian R&D Sector and Global Impact

The Indian and Australian scientists jointly aim to launch innovative research projects, under the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) which has received Rs 28.1 crore (US$ 4.53 million) from the Government of Australia. The Government of India will fund the Indian teams' participation. Indo-Australian scientists will undertake an in-depth study using robotic tools to assess the changing features of the Indian Ocean.

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the Association of Biotech Led Enterprises (ABLE) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to encourage and develop collaborative opportunities between Indian life sciences organisations and the UK. The 12-member UK delegation comprises prominent members from universities, healthcare companies, cancer research organisations and healthcare providers.

The services sector which includes R&D, testing and analysis besides other related segments attracted foreign direct investments (FDI) worth US$ 38,255.23 million between April 2000 to July 2013, an increase of 19.10 per cent to the total FDI inflows in terms of US$, according to the data published by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). Also, the cumulative overseas direct investments in the sector increased to US$ 146 billion in FY13 from US$ 125 billion in FY12.

Key Developments and Investments

Some of the key developments in the sector are:

  • India launched its advanced multi-band communication satellite GSAT-7 from Kourou, French Guiana in the early hours of August 30, 2013, which has been successfully placed in the Geosynchronous Orbit with an altitude of about 36,000 km above Earth’s surface on September 3, 2013
  • Raman Research Institute (RRI) has helped in building the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), a radio telescope in the Australian Outback, to explore the formation of early stars and galaxies almost 13 billion years ago
  • The Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, and RIKEN, Japan's largest research organisation have signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) to launch joint research programs in the fields of biology, life sciences and material sciences. The cooperation will facilitate exchange and foster collaborations between Japan and India
  • The Government of India has called upon agrochemicals industry to invest in research and development (R&D) and innovations in agrochemicals sector. One of the emerging areas for R&D is green agrochemicals and the Indian industry is ideal for the development of eco-friendly green agrochemicals

Some of the major investments:

  • Hero MotoCorp has commenced the setting up of a R&D centre at Kukas, Rajasthan, with an investment of Rs 450 crore (US$ 72.58 million). The centre will play a key role in the company's future product development
  • Jaguar Land Rover has been chosen to lead a £16.3 million (US$ 26.1 million) ‘Evoque_e’ collaborative research project to develop new hybrid and battery electric vehicle (BEV) technology. The company will contribute £4 million (US$ 6.41 million) to the project and will lead a consortium of 12 selected partners – eight from industry and three universities. The R&D programme is for the next-generation hybrid and battery-electric power train technologies based on the Range Rover Evoque platform
  • Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) is working at making an operational integrated research & development (R&D) centre in Rohtak. The test tracks at the new facility would be longer and considerably enhanced in technical capabilities than the ones at the Suzuki Motor Corp (SMC) facility in Japan. The Rohtak test tracks would be the first of its kind for any automobile manufacturer in India
  • The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta has forayed into business incubation by launching an incubation centre with a focus on social entrepreneurship