President asks private sector to raise spending on innovation, R&D

New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) India needs to step up expenditure on innovation in a big way for the growth of the economy and lift the people out of the morass of poverty, President Pranab Mukherjee said Saturday and asked the private sector to increase their share of spending on research and development (R&D) to the levels prevalent in countries such as the US, Japan and South Korea.

“The future prosperity of India in the new knowledge economy will increasingly depend on its ability to generate new ideas, processes and solutions. The process of innovation shall convert knowledge into social good and economic wealth. In a globally competitive world, India has to unleash its innovation potential to increase capacity, productivity, efficiency and inclusive growth,” Mukherjee said addressing a National Technology Day event here.

The function was organised by the Technology Development Board – Department of Science and Technology.

Mukherjee said innovation is increasingly recognized as the currency of the future. “It lends a competitive edge to business and provides solution for effective governance. It is therefore not surprising that governments around the world are making a concerted effort to encourage innovation. The decade 2010-20 has been declared in India as the decade of innovation.”

Talking about the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy that was formulated this year aiming at an innovation-led development, the president said: “India’s innovation bottom line is not very encouraging as the number of patent applications filed annually in leading countries like US and China is roughly 12 times more than that of India. India spends only 0.9 percent of GDP on research and development, which is much below that of China, UK and Israel.”

With a strong R&D base and academic talent, India has the potential to become a leading innovation player in key sectors such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, automotive components, information technology, software, and IT-enabled services.

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