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Monday, December 30, 2013

Disputes on Royalty over Standard Essential Patents.

         Before the creation of a standard, all patents are implementation patents. However, when a standard is created and a patent holder declares its patents to be essential to the standard, the patent is a standard-essential patent (SEP) and is subject to the FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, Non discriminatory) commitment. A patent holder is obligated to make licenses available to its Essential Patent Claims defined as  “any Patent Claim the use of which was necessary to create a compliant implementation of either mandatory or optional portions of the normative clauses of the [Proposed] Standard when, at the time of the [Proposed]  Standard’s approval, there was no commercially and technically feasible non-infringing alternative.” The IEEE’s guidelines emphasize that the IEEE bears no responsibility for identifying essential patent claims for which a license may be required or for investigating the legal validity or scope of essential patent claims.
         CCI ( Competition Commission of India) recently addressed this issue in the dispute between Micromax Vs EricssonThe Informant (Micromax) has alleged that the OP (Ericsson) was demanding unfair, discriminatory and exorbitant royalty for its patents regarding GSM technology. The royalty demanded by Ericsson was excessive when compared to royalties charged by other patentees for patents similar or comparable to the patents held by Ericsson.  OP demanded royalty on sale price of product whereas Informant took the stand that royalty should be applicable on Chip (protected with the patents) and not on phone as smart phone manufacturer has to pay royalties on other components as well , leading to royalty stalking. Second, Ericsson was inclined to share data on Royalties imposed on other licensees to verify non-discriminatory aspect.
         CCI ruled:
         The allegations made in the information and not refuted by OP concerning royalty rates make it clear that the practices adopted by the OP were discriminatory as well as contrary to FRAND terms. The royalty rates being charged by the OP had no linkage to patented product, contrary to what is expected from a patent owner holding licences on FRAND terms. The OP seemed to be acting contrary to the FRAND terms by imposing royalties linked with cost of product of user for its patents. Refusal of OP to share commercial terms of FRAND licences with licensees similarly placed to the informant, fortified the accusations of the Informant, regarding discriminatory commercial terms imposed by the OP. For the use of GSM chip in a phone costing Rs. 100, royalty would be Rs. 1.25 but if this GSM chip is used in a phone of Rs. 1000, royalty would be Rs. 12.5. Thus increase in the royalty for patent holder is without any contribution to the product of the licensee. Higher cost of a smartphone is due to various other softwares/technical facilities and applications provided by the manufacturer/licensee for which he had to pay royalties/charges to other patent holders/patent developers. Charging of two different license fees per unit phone for use of the same technology primafacie is discriminatory and also reflects excessive pricing vis-a-vis high cost phones. 
         In view of above discussion, the Commission is of the opinion that it was a fit case for through investigation by the DG into the allegations made by the Informant, and violations, if any, of the provisions of the Competition Act. 

          This is the first and defining case in India. Request readers to share information on similar cases from other countries.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Altiux Innovations

Based out of Bangalore, Altiux helps large MNCs as well as startups in joint IP development, prototyping, new product introduction, concept development, product re-engineering and emerging market-focused solutions.CEO, Shyam Vedantam earlier worked with Harman International  as Head Engineering, General Manager , Indian R&D Center, KeyPoint Technologies,  Technoology Manager, GE etc.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Seeking Foot, Nail & Leg Care Technologies/Devices

SkyQuest,  is looking at licensing/acquiring electric/battery operated technologies/devices or products with applications in foot care, nail care and leg care.
Required features:
  • Technology/Device for use on nails, feet and/or legs;
  • Applications of the Technology/Device should be ranging from buffering or exfoliation of skin, filing/nail care and/or massage;
  • Technology/Device operable via battery or powered electronically;
  • If battery operated, then recharging source should also be available;
  • The Technology/Device should be in market/near commercialization.
Markets to be commercialized: Worldwide.

Please note that we will not considertechnology/devices for hair removal or which are manually operated.
To submit a technology, write to or

Monday, December 16, 2013

World's E-Waste

The escalating global e-waste problem is graphically portrayed in a first-of-its-kind StEP E-Waste World Map, available online at,

The interactive map resource, presenting comparable annual data from 184 countries, shows the estimated amount of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE — anything with a battery or a cord) put on the market and how much resulting e-waste is eventually generated (i.e. comes out of use or post-use storage destined for collection by a recycling company or disposal). By providing a better sense of e-waste quantities to anticipate, the initiative is expected to The map shows, for example, that almost 48.9 million metric tons of used electrical and electronic products was produced last year — an average of 7 kg for each of the world's 7 billion people. And the flood of e-waste is growing. Based on current trends, StEP experts predict that, by 2017, the total annual volume will be 33 per cent higher at 65.4 million tons, The StEP e-waste world map database shows that in 2012 China and the United States topped the world’s totals in market volume of EEE and e-waste. China put the highest volume of EEE on the market in 2012 – 11.1 million tons, followed by the US at 10 million tons. Those positions were reversed when it came to the total volume of e-waste generated per year, there being more products put on the market in the past in the US which are now likely to be retired. Here the US had the world’s highest figure of 9.4 million tons and China generated the second highest e-waste total of 7.3 million tons. 

India generated e-waste in 2012 was 0.27 million tonnes.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Global spending on R&D: 2014 forecast

The big news is that China spending on R&D could surpass USA by as early as 2020.
Leaving aside comparison with China, poor India's spending on R&D is not insignificant. In 2014 India is expected to spend $44 billion , that is same as that of U.K and much more than wealthy nations like Canada, Sweden, Netherlands, Australia and several times that of nations known for their innovation prowess like Israel, Finland, Taiwan,Singapore.
This raises issue on productivity/ return on R&D investment.

1. How is that despite spending 4 times higher than Israel, we have nothing to show in global market place?
2 .Even in research publications, Australia, Singapore and Taiwan are far ahead.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

'Innovation without Research': Concept for comments

Framework of concept paper given below for comments. This deals with technological innovations.

a)    Corporate R&D started weaning away researchers from universities by offering better facilities and freedom. In-house research centers blossomed with hundreds of highly qualified and competent scientists and researchers working in frontier areas of Science &Technology. During the boom period returns on investment in R&D  was not an issue, firms spent a percentage of their turnover benchmarking the spend with industry average.
b)    Despite large budget and acclaimed outcome, many a time firm noticed they could not compete with fast moving players. Categorization into small r, capital D followed, proving space for catch up work. It is expected that capital D projects, smal duration projects aimed at bettering competition would derive strength from capital R work. The pool of competences developed with capital R projects could be harvested for both capital R and capital D projects, where the firm is the industry leader but also for capital D projects benchmarking competitors product in the market place, with faster response. Portfolio of R & D projects, all marshaled with internal resources was in order for many years.
c)    Sponsored research was always an integral part , researchers generally continued working with alumni institute. Strategic alliances was an acknowledgement of limitation of doing everything in-house and complex strategies evolved for managing strategic alliance with shadow teams, IP sharing , market segmentation etc. acquisition of start-ups for their IP was more smoother operation.
d)    Open innovation and crowd sourcing  was a disruptive practice, firms looked at the vast pool of global talent and shifted focus from ownership to access. The complexity of innovation challenges and multiple teams accepting those challenges call for redefining the contours of global stock of knowledge.
e)    Globalization had seen relative decline in competitiveness of OECD nations and most analysts agree the only way these nations can continue to save jobs is to invest in R&D. With the result, we had seen larger number of talented people working on commercial research than ever before in human history.
f)     The pipeline taking research to market bellowed at the research end leading to a jump in global stock of knowledge. Considering the large ownership base, it can be said this stock of knowledge is publicly owned. This worked wonders for crowd sourcing of ideas, innovation challenges.
g)    And this also provides an unique opportunity for catching up economies like India to improve their innovation score without proportionate increase in national R&D budget. India , a poor nation more on R&D than Australia, Finland etc. Historically , most of spending was by government for scientific and research projects. Whereas, the industry garnered market and developed technological competences based on imported technology. Thus there was a significant disconnect between government funded research institutes and commercial firms. Globalization and IT widened  the rift to disconnect of minds. Collapse of joint ventures ended the inexhaustible source of competitive technology with most technology suppliers setting up their own Indian operations. New generation entrepreneurs smelled better success in IT enable services and largest number of engineers today work in IT firms rather than assembly lines. The  so called Indian human resource strength ends  with students graduation , still Indian government continues to increase their budgets for research by government funded institutes, calling industry to take the fruits of that public spend.
h)    India is a large country needing jobs in all categories and there is revival of interest in manufacturing mainly due to market demand and IT players are looking for value addition beyond labour arbitrage.

Hypothesis 1
Indian government can get better returns by funding proposals in capital D category based on globally sourced capital R.

Hypothesis 2

India firms need to practice and learn to use Open innovation Platforms. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

GFR (General Finance Rules) and Innovation Promotion

In 2007 World Bank released a report `Unleashing INDIA’S Innovation’ and question thus arose;  where is the `leash’?  Is it low budget or structural holes or mind set?

It is common refrain to say that only 1 in 8 of innovations make money in the market. For government departments, the accounting treatment of failed innovations is governed by the rule book GFR. Unfortunately despite a series of announcements including INDIA INNOVATION DECADE, the GFR has not been updated to stimulate risk investment by Government. The GFR condition amended in 2005 says:

Ministries or Departments of Government sponsor projects or schemes to be undertaken by Universities, Indian Institutes of Technology and other similar autonomous organizations such as ICAR, CSIR, ICMR,etc., the results from which are expected to be in national interest. Normally the entire expenditure on such projects or schemes including capital expenditure, is funded by the Ministry or Department. The funds released for such projects or schemes in one or more installments are not treated as grants-in aid in the books of the implementing agency. Apart from the requirement of submission of technical and financial reports on completion of the project or scheme, a stipulation should be made in such cases that the ownership in the physical and intellectual assets created or acquired out of such funds shall vest in the sponsor.

R&D Grants to Industry
There is no provision or bar on funding R&D projects or innovations by commercial organisations. History of R&D funding will thro light on this.

DSIR was the first to provide R&D grants to Industry under TAAS (Technology Absorption and Adaptation Scheme). This is influenced by the Japanese Model, where initial technology was imported, absorbed and improved. MITI moulded the program in Japan, the Indian version TAAI taken up by DGTD was resisted by industry due to conditions on PMP (Phased Manufacturing Programme) to improve local content during the initial 5 years of license. To motivate industry to take up technology absorption , DSIR came up with TAAS and R&D grants were given to over 30 Public Sector Firms. GFR does not differentiate between Public Sector or Private sector and this decision to restrict funding to Public sector was primarily to play safe.

With liberalization and globalization, the focus shifted to new product development. The literature is supportive of government initiatives to support commercial firms at pre-commercial stage of R&D and WTO also approved this subsidy. DSIR started PATSER as conditional and matching grants scheme, attracting private capital to R&D and at the same time not penalizing them for R&D failures. More than 150 R&D projects were supported under this program and majority of the executing agencies were private firms developing proprietary technology. Similar programs taken up by TIFAC, DOE ran into rough weather as they were loan schemes with no provision to write off failed Research.

New century shifted focus again , this time to creativity, innovation and incubation. New ground was covered under TePP as network program with slots to support idea at different stages. Read: PPT on Freedom to perform in Government-case of TePP . 

Is GFR the leash that confined India to a narrow circle of achievements?
  • ·     Under the same GFR, DSIR started TePP and PATSER programs giving grants to commercial firms for R&D at pre-commercial stage.
  • ·         Under the same GFR, TDB started giving time much larger amounts to commercial firms as soft loans at Commercial stage.
  • ·        Under the same GFR, TePP started giving small but significant grants direct to innovators for proving their novel ideas at concept stage.
  • ·         The amount spent by Government of India on private R&D and Innovation is less than the R&D cess collected from Industry for technology transfer.
  • ·         The grant amount is a tiny fraction of revenue foregone (Rs 6330 crores) by Government by way of fiscal incentives ( Deduction/weighted deduction for expenditure on scientific research (section 35 (1), (2AA) &(2AB))

·      It is good if GFR is amended to keep with the times, even otherwise the precedents created should form the base to charge ahead with conviction..

Friday, October 25, 2013

India faces certainty of Water Challenge in an uncertain environment to meet the challenge.

Born and brought up in a village on the bank of Buckingham Canal, imaging a water stressed region was difficult. This McKinsey  report is disturbing as the bridging measure appear in-feasible. 

By 2030, under an average economic growth scenario and if no efficiency gains are assumed, global water requirements would grow from 4,500 billion m3 today (or 4.5 thousand cubic kilometers) to 6,900 billion m3. This is a full 40 percent above current accessible, reliable supply (including return flows, and taking into account that a portion of supply should be reserved for environmental requirements ). By 2030, demand in India will grow to almost 1.5 trillion m3, driven by domestic demand for rice, wheat, and sugar for a growing population, a large proportion of which is moving toward a middle-class diet. Against this demand, India’s current water supply is approximately 740 billion m3. As a result, most of India’s river basins could face severe deficit by 2030 unless concerted action is taken, with some of the most populous—including the Ganga, the Krishna, and the Indian portion of the Indus—facing the biggest absolute gap. The report lists many measures to reduce demand and increase supply. 

As per this report, the biggest additional source for water is National River Linking Project (NRLP)- will it ever take off?  I first heard of reversing course of river during visit to Chicago and American civil engineers achieved this feat in year 1900- how admirable.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Affect of transnational corruption on host country firms innovation behaviour

Researchers Alexis Habiyaremye  and Wladimir Raymond focus on rarely discussed topic- impact of MNCs corruption on innovation behaviour of local firms in transition economies. 

This is known for long that many Indian innovations failed to take off as customers both in government and in private sector favoured MNCs for kick-backs ranging from free foreign trip to over-invoicing.

Using firm-level data from the Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey, the researchers show that the involvement of foreign firms in corruption practices reduces the propensity of firms in host countries to invest in research and development and harms their ability to improve their existing products and services.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Agriinnovate India Ltd launched.

Agrinnovate India Ltd. (AgIn) was incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 (No. 1 of 1956) on 19th October, 2011. It is a “for profit” Company owned by Department of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. It is to act as an effective interface between Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR- an autonomous organization under DARE) on one side and the Stakeholders of agricultural sector (Farmers; Public & Private Sector firms; R&D organizations; Educational Institutions- all of these at National and International level) on the other side, for a significant purpose of securing, sustaining and promoting global agricultural development.
The Company has been set up with an authorized share capital of Rs. 100 crore, with an initial paid up capital of Rs. 50 crores from DARE/ICAR.
Innovation-led- Agricultural growth forever


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Missed manufacturing- next cycle may be century away.

Prime Minister in his message to the report `National Strategy for Manufacturing (2006)' acknowledge that share of manufacturing in national income had shown only a marginal improvement from 15.8% in 1991 to 17% in 2003. He wanted it between 25% to 35%. This goal of 25% was never reached. Share of Manufacturing has come down to 15.2% in 2012-13 from 15.7% in 2011-12. 
Despite regular announcements to boost up manufacturing with policy interventions, it seems India would never achieve the coveted 25% share. Researcher Dani Rodrik says de-acceleration in manufacturing is cyclic and inevitable, both developed and developing countries have gone through the phase of accelerated growth followed by decline in manufacturing. The critical difference is the peak reached before the decline sets in.
In UK before world war 1 had 45% of workforce in manufacturing, now less than 10%. USA had 25-27% of workforce in manufacturing in early nineteenth century , now less than 10%. In Sweden manufacturing peaked to 33%, Germany to 40% before decline had set in.
India peaked at 13-15% in 2002 and has since trended down. When US, Britain, Germany, Sweden began to deindustrialize their per capita income reached $10,000 (at 1990 prices). India switched to service sector at much lower per capita income.

Will India stagnate as a service economy at low income level?

Monday, October 14, 2013

2013 China Innovation Survey

The China Innovation Survey is jointly conducted by the Benelux Chamber of Commerce in China, 21st Century Business Review, China Europe International Business School, and Booz & Company. Findings:

  • China is well on its way to becoming a true global innovation hub for MNCs from developed markets: Two-thirds of the MNCs in China that took part in the survey reported that they are already conducting product development for foreign or global markets.Participants were even more aggressive in their projections, they expect to be conducting global R&D in China for the rest of the world 10 years from now.
  • In addition, the survey contradicts a piece of conventional wisdom: that innovation in China tends to focus on copying and making incremental improvements to existing products. In fact, the data shows that Chinese companies—to a higher degree than most global competitors—pursue the same practiced by the world’s most successful innovators, notably companies based in Silicon Valley. These companies pursue Need Seeker strategies : focusing their R&D efforts on consumer needs, developing products that meet those needs, and then quickly getting the products to market.
  • Apart from the optimism, the Chinese firms and MNCs in China share the confusion: neither are clear on Key Capabilities.
For copy of the report contact:

Friday, October 04, 2013

Reforms in Higher Education- RUSA

The cabinet recently approved RUSA which can make significant impact of quality of higher education. The report prepared by MHRD in association with Tata Institute of Social Sciences makes many recommendation, important is need to completely overhaul the University Affiliation system.

Majority of the students (94%) are enrolled in state universities or autonomous/ affiliated institutes. The state universities depend on affiliation fees and raise additional resources by offering revenue yielding courses. This type of university affiliation, with resource started university granting degrees to hundreds of affiliated institutes is the main problem. Need for affiliation revenue ensures that universities do not let go even autonomous institutes. The second problem is structure of UGC which is entrusted with responsibility of maintaining standards and also fund disbursement. 

The solution proposed transfers action to state with empowered State Higher Education Council. Will it deliver? 


Zero Waste is a concept utilized by communities as well as businesses.  This approach says that waste should be thought of as a “residual product” or simply a “potential resource” to counter our basic acceptance of waste as a normal course of events. In the initial phase, companies strive to reduce waste generation through such factors as greater efficiencies,  reusable packaging and divert unavoidable waste to various recycling streams.  Now, MNCs like GM adopt a LANDFILL – FREE manufacturing. To qualify for LANDFILL –FREE status, facilities must handle by-products by any other method except placement in a landfill. Materials sent to a recycling center and subsequently landfilled by the recycling center must not exceed 1% by weight of the facility’s total.

Zero waste embodies the goal of a closed-loop system that reuses resources rather than creating waste. Such an approach requires consideration of the entire life-cycle of products, processes and systems within the context of a comprehensive systems understanding of our interactions with nature and search for inefficiencies at all stages.

A Zero Waste strategy supports Triple Bottom Line sustainability goals of economic wellbeing, environmental protection, and social wellbeing. Economic wellbeing is enhanced by solid waste elimination and improved production efficiencies. Environmental protection is promoted through the consumption of less new raw materials from nature, and the elimination of waste materials returned to nature. Social wellbeing is heightened through improvements that better safeguard society’s scarce resources, as well as through the creation of new jobs in the “closed loop” processing involved with reuse and reprocessing of materials.

Glen Raven is a textile manufacturer, Burnsville Plant in North Carolina is a leader in sailcloth , flag and banner fabrics in North America , cutting-edge performance fabrics for ballistic vests for the U.S. military and protective work apparel for electric utility workers. During a plant renovation in the late 1990s, a recovery and handling system for nylon and polyester fibers was put into place starting with segregation. In addition to recycling nylon and polyester fibers, Burnsville recycles batteries, fluorescent tubes, clear plastics and cardboard. Wood pallets are repaired and reused multiple times and reuseable plastic crates are used for receipt of raw materials. Food waste from the plant cafeteria is collected by a local hog farmer. The remaining waste items, however, were the most difficult to recycle, including materials such as contaminated fibers and floor sweepings.

It was at this point that Burnsville Plant called on assistance from its sisterplant,theAnderson,S.C.,Sunbrella fabrics manufacturing center, which has been landfill-free for three years. Through additional separation and reprocessing steps, difficult to-recycle waste items can be used to create absorbent materials, such as those used to control the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Other reprocessed materials can be used for filler in packaging and insulation. Anderson Plant has advanced to this step and Burnsville Plant will implement a similar approach.

Venue: VJIM Auditorium, Bachupally, Hyderabad 500090
Time: 11.30AM to 01.30PM

Date: 18th October 2013

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Dr Anita Goel's team bags grand prize in Nokia Sensing Challenge

The Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE is a $2.25 million global competition to accelerate the availability of hardware sensors and software sensing technology that individuals use to access, understand, and improve their health and well-being. Innovation in sensing is an important component to creating a means for appealing, usable, smarter digital health solutions.
The Grand Prize of $ 525,000 /- was won by team Nanobiosym , an Advanced Nanotech Incubator & Research Institute with a mission to: (1) Create new science and disruptive technologies that emerge at the convergence of physics, biomedicine, and nanotechnology; (2) Spin off new companies and joint ventures that capture the commercial impact of the promise of nanotechnology; and (3) Transition these technologies to solve some of the planet’s most pressing challenges in healthcare, energy, and the environment. NBS serves as an incubator for transformational technologies that have the potential for a game-changing impact on society and seeks to leverage science and technology to address the planet’s greatest unmet needs in global health, energy and the environment. 

Dr Anita Goel is the team leader.

A Harvard-MIT-trained Physicist-Physician, Dr. Anita Goel is a globally recognized leader in the emerging field of nanobiophysics, a new science at the convergence of physics, nanotechnology, and biomedicine. Nanobiophysics integrates these three fields to reveal new scientific solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Her pioneering contributions to nanotechnology and nanobiophysics have been recognized globally by prestigious honors and awards, including multiple awards from US Government agencies such as Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Energy (DOE), Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). Dr. Goel was named as one of the world’s “Top 35 Science and Technology Innovators under the age of 35” by MIT Technology Review. She holds a PhD in Physics from Harvard University, an MD from the Harvard-MIT Joint Division of Health Sciences & Technology (HST), and a BS in Physics with Honors and Distinction from Stanford University.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Research & innovation performance of the G20: where India stands

  • Over the eight years from 2005 – 2012, patent applications originating from India have oscillated between 4,000 and 7,000 p.a. but maintained an average over the period of around 5,900 p.a. which is around the same level as Australia and the UK. 
  • Nearly two thirds of all Indian patent applications are from foreign concerns seeking protection for their innovations in the Indian market. 
  • India’s share of the Top 10 technologies globally is predominantly weighted towards natural products with little relative share in high tech fields of computing and communications and less in lighting and semiconductor materials. 
  • Indian innovation relative to global patenting is focussed on fused ring heterocyclics (a key component of pharmaceuticals) and other agrochem and pharma-related technology sectors. However, the Top 10 list of companies shows a heavy emphasis on mechanical, automotive and electrical engineering with BHEL leading with 176 inventions.
  • Papers: In terms of world share, sciences dominate but citation impact is better for engineering. 
Source: Thompson Reuters

Friday, September 13, 2013

White paper on stimulating private sector investment in R&D

Indian government allocates a significant amount of tax payers money in R&D, the XIIth plan provides an investment of Rs 1,20, 430 crores. Apart from criticism of poor returns on public investment in R&D there is always a plea that private sector should chip in to raise national investment in R&D. In this background, the joint Committee of Government and industry released report on measures to be taken to stimulate investment by private sector in R&D. The main recommendations are:

1. Redefine private sector R&D investment as per global norms and practices.
How much private sector spends on R&D? No one shows. The first recommendation is to get the facts correct.

2.Mandatory disclosure of R&D investment by Private Sector
How to get correct data? The 2nd recommendation seeks to make it mandatory for private sector to disclose investment in R&D. S&T departments is low in power hierarchy , do not have means to enforce this recommendation but CII hopefully would persuade their members to part with information.

3.Constitution of an Expert Committee for rationalization of Heads of R&D investment for direct
and indirect facilitation
Directly, private sector gets small R&D funding from government  but indirect benefits in the form of fiscal incentives are significant, estimated at Rs 6335 crores in 2012-13. The procedural complexity of these tax benefits led to new Indian ABC classification of research, Applied research, Basic research, Chartered accounts research. The third recommendation calls for rationalization and simplification. The effectiveness of fiscal incentives in attracting private capital to research has been debated for long. In the present atmosphere of scams, one cannot expect direct funding  but atleast the fiscal incentives can be announced for longer period.

4.Valuing IPR assets and Provide for demand pool for R&D outputs through provisions for public procurement:.
This is a non starter. Again S&T ministry cannot influence government decision on procurement by government agencies.

5.Build Technology Depth of Industry in Priority Sectors and usher an era of PPP R&D and Technology Deployments for providing technology solutions to National Priority Areas.
Prioritization in our democratic set up has proved be illusive. One can only hope that sooner than later plans will replace wishlists.

6.Incentives for commercialization on R&D:
Innovation is global where as research is local. Technology commercialization is possible when the structure for research proposals is dramatically recast, which seems unlikely in an environment where decision makers , experts and beneficiaries wear multiple hats.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Minimising Hair Growth- Indian technology available for global license from ISIS

There is an immense global demand for control of unwanted body hair. The market for women’s hair removal products alone is estimated at US$20 billion in 2013, of which the depilatories market is estimated at US$4.6 billion. Various approaches to hair control compete for the cosmetic demand such as laser therapy, electrolysis, topical ointments, etc. Nevertheless, current treatment options are expensive and yield diminishing returns. Similarly, prescription drugs for hirsutism and hypertrichosis have their own sets of limitations.

The technology developed by Innovator Mrinmayee Bhushan comprises a naturally derived active ingredient in a liposomised cream formulation that offers freedom from the stresses of frequent hair removal, saving users time, aggravation and money.

After due diligence by Oxford University,  ISIS Innovation (wholly-owned subsidiary of the University of Oxford, managing technology transfer), is scouting global partners for licensing the technology.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Jewels in the Crown: How Tata of India transformed Britain's Jaguar

The first industrial power, Great Britain was also fast in losing national iconic brands- most were sold out to foreignersROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS, THE MINI,  OXO, MANCHESTER UNITED,KITKAT,THAMES WATER,P&O, were few of them.  And most brands lose value in M&A. In Asia Pacific region, value after acquisition declined by 38%. Chrysler merged with Mitsubishi motors in 2000 with lot of hype and  fell apart four years later.
In this scenario, Tata Motors acquired jewel of the British crown, Jagaur along with Land Rover from Ford paying $2.3 billion. Observers had described Jaguar as a basket case and joked that since most bidders were primarily interested in the potential for Land Rover, the sale proposition by Ford was `Buy one  and get one'. Most cynical of them including UK politicians argued that Tata had simply paid a lot of money for two well known brands and that before long , JLR's equipment and expertise would be shipped off to India, leaving the West Midlands as an automotive wasteland. They reminded of the promise made by the Chinese manufacturer Nanjing Automotive when it acquired the remains of MG Rover and said it would revive mass production at Longbridge. Shareholders in India were equally pessimistic and share price post acqisition dropped by 77% from its previous high. a rights issue intended to fund the purchase was a dumb squib.
Tata pulled along, arranged $3 billion bridge finance piecemeal from 21 different lenders active in Indian market, invested further 800 million pounds in R&D and managed the acquisition in its own Tata style, empowering people. The turn around of Jaguar, given up by giants of U.K & USA, clearly show that the Uncertainty Avoidance Index of Indian mangers was more favourable to manage global firms now .There has been no brand erosion, jobs remained in Britain and Jaguar as an independent entity survived and prospered, all due to the vision of Ratan Tata.

Journalist Ray Hutton chronicles the development in an eminently readable book.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

What would be India's GDP if investment in IT and intangibles is factored

The US economy will officially become 3 per cent bigger in July as part of a shake-up that will see government statistics take into account 21st century components such as film royalties and spending on research and development. Billions of dollars of intangible assets will enter the gross domestic product of the world’s largest economy in a revision aimed at capturing the changing nature of US output. A brief look at the emerging scenario:

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time. GDP can be determined in three ways, all of which should, in principle, give the same result. They are the product (or output) approach, the income approach, and the expenditure approach. The most direct of the three is the product approach, which sums the outputs of every class of enterprise to arrive at the total. The production approach is also called Net Product or Value added method. This method consists of three stages:
1.           Estimating the Gross Value of domestic Output out of the many various economic activities
2.           Determining the intermediate consumption, i.e., the cost of material, supplies and services used to produce final goods or services; and finally
3.           Deducting intermediate consumption from Gross Value to obtain the Net Value of Domestic Output.
Both firm-level and national income accounting practice have historically treated expenditure on intangible inputs such as software and R&D as an intermediate expense and not as an investment that is part of GDP.  Now, this exclusion of intangibles is increasingly questioned. Economists in USA pointed that business investment in intangibles is a vital aspect of business activity, and the investments shown below represent a large and growing portion of the overall economy
  • Computerized information (mainly computer software)
  • Scientific R&D
  • Non-Scientific R&D

o   Cost of development of new motion pictures, films and other forms of entertainment.
o   Investment in new designs
o   Estimation of product development by financial services and insurance firms.
  •  Investment in Economic Competencies

o   Spending on strategic planning
o   Spending on redesigning or reconfiguring existing products in existing markets,
o   Investment to retaining market share
o   Investment in brand names
o   Employee training.

The rapid expansion and application of technological knowledge in its many forms (research and development, capital-embodied technical change, human competency, and the associated firm-specific co-investments) are key features of recent U.S. economic growth. Accounting practice traditionally excludes the intangibles component of this knowledge capital and, according estimates exclude approximately $1 trillion from conventionally measured non-farm business sector output by the late 1990s and understates the business capital stock by $3.6 trillion.

Can we expect our GDP estimates to be revised likewise?

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

125 start-ups funded by DeiT under TIDE

Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeiT) under TIDE ( Technological Incubation and Development of Entrepreneurs) has supported 125 start-ups with seed capital routed through the TIDE Centres. Some of them are highlighted here.

Gamma Porite Electrotech
about us
Gamma Porite is a Clean Technology Product Company.  They have in house developed an innovative driver for LED lamps which is fitted with  IP Natura LED, which reduces energy consumed by the lamp fitted with their driver by  20 %.

Monday, August 05, 2013

EPO and DeitY will undertake joint activities in ICT related patent activities

European Patent Office (EPO) and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) have agreed to undertake the following activities jointly.

1. Sharing of Best practices in ICT related patenting between Europe and India.
2. Searching ICT technologies and computer implemented inventions with Global Patent Index (GPI).
3. Sharing of Indo-European best practices, case studies and success stories related to patents in the ICT domain.
4. Global Patent Index (GPI) test access and online trading.

For details contact  :Ajai Garg ,

Sunday, July 07, 2013

GLBAL INNOVTION INDEX; press freedom and innovation

Press freedom is one of the indicators  for sub pillar Political environment and India is ranked 113.
 I always thought Indian press is free but many reports rank us low. Press Freedom Index by Reporters without Borders ranked India 140 in 2013. Reason- increasing impunity for violence against journalists and growth of internet censorship.  World Audit press freedom index puts India in Part Free category.
Is there  relationship between press freedom and innovation? China the emerging innovation power  house is considered one of the worlds most restricted countries for both foreign and domestic journalists. So is Singapore.
What is needed? Better rank in international reports or media celebrating local innovations including applauding the early adopters and government for supporting Indian Innovation under public procurement?

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Global Innovation Index- Political Stability and Innovation capacity

The conceptual framework of GII relies on sub indices- The Innovation Input Sub Index and The Innovation Output Sub Index. Each is built around pillar, 5 for input and 2 for output. Further each pillar is divided into 3 sub pillars and each sub pillar is composed of individual indicators.
Political Environment is a sub pillar with Political Stability as indicator. India is ranked at 123 below countries like Angola, Bolivia, Botswana,Combodia etc. We know things are bad in India but are they so bad?
World Bank defines Political Stability as a measure of perception of a likelihood that the government will be destabilized or overthrown by unconstitutional or violent means including politically motivated violence and terrorism.
Investors are concerned with political/ national risks and credit rating agencies factor risks like:
Breach of Contract
Transfer and Conversibilityrestrictions
Non honouring sovereign financial obligationsG
Adverse regulatory changes
Civil disturbance

Why such low rank for Political Stability for India?
The report says that these indicators defining political environment in relationship to innovation capacity building is based on survey questionnaire.
Is this the best way?

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Global Innovation Index- a critique

Global Innovation Index 2013 has been released. India's low ranking at 66 lower than Bosnia and Hezegovina is a puzzle. All troubled  EU states, Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Spain had much better ranking implying that economic hardships do not matter at least in innovation score. Jingoist in me prods to take pot shots at the massive document.
I notice several shortcomings with the indicators , weightage and data collected. Indicators like Press Freedom, cost of reduncy dismissal, ease of solving insolvency, wikipedia edits, YouTube uploads whatever their relationship to Innovation , will paint better picture of west. Indicators as percentage of GDP like electricity output , credit to private firms and those given for  population as denominator like ICT access for millions of people are skewed in favor of small, developed countries. Finally the data - ranking political stability for  India at 123, press freedom at 113 etc and  ignoring data on number of  graduates in science & engineering, researchers, patents, M&A all lead to questionable inferences.
Any comments???

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Grooming global talent: Oakland University enters into MOU with VNRVJIET

There is always demand for global managers. The first wave of global talent was led by MNC managers living in far away countries for expanding their market. They were often paid hardship allowance for working in countries like India, China. Immigrant entrepreneurs heralded second wave of global talent with born global becoming a mantra for sustainable success skyrocketing demand for young professionals with global exposure. Globalization moved to class rooms with universities providing students learning experience under study abroad, twinning arrangements and other forms of student exchange.
VNRVJIET, an autonomous institute promoted by professionals of A.P has entered into MOU with Oakland University for academic partnership in engineering and computer science.

The School of Engineering and Computer Science , Oakland University offers programs leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree in computer science and informatics, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering and systems engineering. It also offers the Master of Science degree in computer science, electrical and computer engineering, embedded systems, industrial and systems engineering, mechanical engineering, mechatronics, software engineering and information technology, and systems engineering. Additionally, a Master of Science degree program in engineering management is offered in cooperation with the School of Business Administration.
VIGNANA JYOTHI, sponsor of VNR VJIET was founded in the year 1991 as a not-for-profit organization by a group of Industrialists, Academicians, Professionals and Non-Resident Indians with an objective towards imparting value based education to youth.In the year 1995, Vignana Jyothi (VJ) started an Institute of Engineering & Technology at Bachupally, Hyderabad and accorded Autonomous status for SIX years by University Grants Comission ( UGC ) from the year 2012. The institute is accredited by National Board of Accreditation and National Assessment and Accreditation Council with “A” Grade. The Institute is offering 8 UG and 12 PG courses:
UG Courses: Civil, Electrical & Electronics, Mechanical, Electronics & Communications, Computer Science and Engineering, Electronics & Instrumentation, IT and Automobile Engineering with an overall intake of 960.
PG Courses: Advanced Manufacturing Systems, Power Electronics, VLSI System Design, Embedded Systems, Software Engineering, Electronics & Instrumentation, Highway Engineering, Automation Engineering, Structural Engineering and Geotechnical Engineering, CAD and Computer Networks and Information Security with 234 total intake.
The MOU was signed by Dr Subhananda Rao, Dean,VNRVJIET and Prof .Dr. Louay Chamra, Dean , Oakland University.
Dr DN Rao, General Secretary, Vignanajyothi welcomed the partnership as an important milestone in the evolution of VNRVJIET as an advanced learning center grooming global talent.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Case studies of innovative medical device companies by Gayatri Saberwal

The author did not stop at giving a romantic title - frugal innovation but went full length to analyse barriers.  Important to Heath Technology Innovation is TechnologyAssessment framework ”( which is not practiced in India. The absence of national evidence based guidelines and compulsory continuous education for medical practitioners were key obstacles in accessing the poorly regulated and fragmented private sector.
 Contact author:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Stanford India biodesign fellowships..applications open till 6th June

This program has resulted in development of medical devices by fellows such as:

Consure A device to manage fecal incontinence that improves clinical outcomes and reduces cost of hospitalization.
IntraOz Simple and cost effective device to access intraosseous cavity in long bones to administer fluids and drugs during emergencies.
Relligo A low cost device for pre-hospital care of trauma patients.
Sohum A low cost device to screen neonates for hearing defects in resource constrained settings.
NeoBreathe An easy to use resuscitation device which reduces the amount of skill required to perform neonatal resuscitation, with a view to enable frontline workers such as medical professionals, community health workers, midwives and other skilled birth attendants to perform neonatal resuscitation effectively – with minimal training.
IV Device Controlled intravenous infusion therapy for the other ninety percent.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Suport H4 Cause

Lately immigration is among the top debates in America. Lost in the noise are “Invisible People” and they are the H4 Visa Holders (“The H4″). The H4 are the spouses of the H1B visa holders, majority are young women from India with a degree in STEM yet not allowed to contribute to US economy where they live.
Shah Peerally Law Group PC and many others have decided that to create awareness about the problem, started a petition at

A movie, work of fiction (The H4 Curse) depicting the suffering of the H4 and H1B visa holders would have more impact and actually explain the problems of this group of immigrants. You can suppot the movie with small contribution. More details:
email: or call (510) 7425887.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Trillion dollars investment needed to add substance to India Innovation decade declaration

Innovation is on the agenda of the nation. Government declared innovation Decade, set up National Innovation Council, increased plan outlay of scientific departments, working on Rs 5000 crore Inclusive Innovation fund and private sector scene is more exciting with over 50 incubators/ accelerators and stream of announcement of startups getting seed capital, risk capital .
Amidst all the noise, the data on IP generation, acquisition, leveraging is lost.
As per BCG  developing economies and their leading companies move through five common phases of IP development: driving growth through exports, climbing the value ladder, paying the price, getting serious about intellectual property, and profiting from intellectual property. China with large exports and spurt in patenting is in Phase 2  and would need invest 50 times more to move to  next phase.
India needs to invest heavily in both IP generation and IP acquisition. Any estimate?
Read :

Friday, May 10, 2013

Understanding the Creative Economy in India: Richard Florida

Creative Capital theory and the 3Ts of economic development, which include Tolerance, Technology and Talent, provide an in- novative framework for measuring a region’s Creative Economy potential. In this paper, the core characteristics of the 3Ts are reworked to apply to the Indian context. 
 The report presents both the component sub-indices of the Creativity Index and other, related measures for regional technology, talent, and tolerance.Tolerance, the first “T” of economic development is a quality recognized as essential to objective thinking since the 19th century. In the Indian context, the Mosaic index has been used to measure the level of tolerance in a region. The Mosaic Index is calculated by the concentration of Scheduled Tribes or Castes, percent of population that is foreign born, rural and urban literacy divide, and finally, a Reli- gious Herfindahl Index which measures religious diversity within a specific State or Union Territory. 
Talent is the second “T” of economic development. Talented individuals are responsible for generating the innovative ideas that result in newly developed technologies that can stimulate economic growth and prosperity. While incubating talent through investments in employee training and education is important, the regions that can successfully attract and retain Talent will ultimately be the most competitive. The Talent Index is used to measure the amount of Talent within a region. Talent is measured as the percentage of a region’s workforce that is employed in Creative Class occupations.

Technology is a critical component for any region that seeks to achieve economic growth and pros- perity and is the final “T” in the 3T analysis. The greater the extent to which technology is part of a region raises the competitiveness of that region by improving the ability of businesses to provide new goods and services and acquire cost-saving advantages, often through productivity gains.
Three composite indexes — Tech Connectivity, Tech Education, and Computer Access are used to calculate a region’s level of technological capability and together, these measures are used to produce  what is called the Technology Index. Tech Connectivity is composed of three sub-categories: the shares of households per 100,000 with broadband internet access, hard line telephone access, and mobile phone access. Tech Education is measured by combining the numbers of universities, colleges, technical colleges, and technical research institutions in a region. Finally, internet connectivity is measured by the share of households with a computer or laptop and access to the internet .
Download paper: