India invests 0.3 per cent of its GDP in in-house R&D as against a world average of 1.5 per cent. The paradox is: We have an abundance of skilled personnel who can steer R&D. So what is keeping us behind the curve? How do we build the capability in our firms to make the right investments in technology? How do we formulate and select the right R&D projects that will deliver differentiated capabilities? How do we enhance the quality of a firm’s R&D expenditure and increase its innovation output? Ahmedabad University along with the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Economic Research (CTIER), hosted a closed door roundtable discussion on ‘Transforming R&D in Indian Firms’ that sought to answer these questions. It was attended by around 15 leading voices on R&D and innovation from industry and leading academic institutions in the country.
The discussion covered the R&D landscape in India and the need to develop a culture of investing in R&D for the long term. It also focused on the need to create new innovation metrics that go beyond the traditional ones, and how this culture of R&D and innovation would need to extend to a wider group of investors and analysts who value the importance of firm investments in the domain for benefits over the long term. These industry leaders and academicians also felt that disclosures around performance of various innovation metrics by firms would help grow the awareness about the importance of these investments for improving productivity, competitiveness, and firm performance.
Several of the suggestions made during the discussion shall feed into strengthening our unique executive development programme that has been developed to build the capabilities of current and future R&D leaders in India. The third cohort of the ‘Transforming R&D in Indian Firms’ executive education programme is scheduled to begin October 8, 2023.