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Institutes want Govt to play bigger role in funding tech research: Nasscom study

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BENGALURU: As many as 92% of India’s technology institutes want the Union government to play a bigger role to encourage research and innovation, and enhance industry-academia collaboration to boost innovation, according to a joint study by Nasscom and Infoholic.

The study, which featured interviews with representatives of 75 prominent technology institutes across the country and industry representatives, found that the overwhelming view was that while the government played an active role in making technology products commercially viable it should offer more aids to students for pursuing research. The interviewees highlighted that the government should have well-implemented policies to remove disconnect between the industry and academia.

Large technology services and startups in the country have sharpened their focus on developing technology products that solve everyday problems. Industry lobby Nasscom said in this year’s strategic review that in 2017 India had the third largest startup ecosystem with more than 5,000 startups, and that the startups with direct consumer connect attracted more funding.

In 2016 and 2017, 39% institutions received more than Rs 5 crore in research funds. Nonetheless, the study named adequate funds and proper guidance as the two top needs for successful academic research.

In two major technology institutes, funding dropped while the number of projects increased. IIT Kharagpur saw the number of sponsored projects increase 75 in 2016-17, but its funding dropped Rs 9 crore even as 27 more funding agencies came in. At NIT Tiruchirappalli, the number of projects went down by just one but funding fell Rs 11 crore.

Nearly four in five representatives of institutes said that a greater industry-academia convergence would encourage entrepreneurship. The study said “78% of the universities agree that industry-academia convergence will lead to a better entrepreneurship ecosystem”.

India has seen a growth in patents filed by an increasing number of institutions, as 70% institutes surveyed had filed one or more patents. While IIT Delhi has filed more than 600 patents till date, IIT Madras filed 126 patents in 2016-17 alone.



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