India in Top 50 Innovation Economies

15 Sep 2020

The collective cognitive ability of the human race has led to its evolution. The constant spirit to innovate is key to the species’ success. Today, more than ever, countries are striving to create an equitable ecosystem for innovation. 

India has made tremendous strides in this direction. This can be gauged from the fact that it is the world’s second-largest startup ecosystem of the world. In the recently launched Global Innovation Index 2020 Report, India has been ranked 48 amongst 131 innovation economies of the world. This is a considerable improvement from its rank in the 2014 report at 76.

CII has been associated with the Global Innovation Index since its inception in 2007. In 2019, CII hosted the global launch of the GII for the first time in India, and indeed, for the first time in as Asian country.

The latest GII ranks India 57 in the Innovation Input Sub-Index and 45 in the Innovation Output Sub-Index. The Innovation Input Sub-Index comprises of five pillars viz. Institutions, Human Capital & Research, Infrastructure, Market sophistication, and Business Sophistication. 

The Innovation Output Sub-Index is the amalgamation of the Knowledge & Technology Outputs and Creative Outputs. The table below depicts where India stands:

The rise in India’s innovation index could be attributed to several government initiatives like Startup India, Atal Tinkering Labs, and new Intellectual Property Rights Policy, among others. Various programmes by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research like Promoting Innovations in Individuals, Start-ups and MSMEs (PRISM) scheme, Industrial R&D Promotion Programme, Recognition Scheme for Scientific and Industrial Research Organisations (SIROs), etc. have resulted in a conducive environment for research and development. 

Other institutions like the Technology Development Board (TDB), Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), are also supporting the innovation ecosystem to flourish in the country.

Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA), a public-private partnership between TDB, Department of Science & Technology (DST), and CII is working towards funding and capacity building. It assists with up to 50 per cent of the R&D expenditure if an organisation wants to develop new technology/products in partnership with industry from Canada, Israel, Korea, Italy, Spain, and Sweden.

Financial institutions, like the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), apart from supporting the startup ecosystem, are aiding in the commercialisation of innovative technologies. 

The supportive ecosystem has led India to feature in the top 10 countries in some of the GII parameters. It ranks number one when it comes to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) exports, number three in domestic market scale (PPP in billion $), and others. 

Below are the parameters where India is amongst the top 10 economies of the world:

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has dampened the socio-economic growth of the world, there is an underlying silver lining. The pandemic has presented the need to make rapid technological advancements to fight the disease, to sustain the business viability, and to emerge stronger from the crisis.

 The push for innovation, thinking out of the box, would be critical for the survival of any organisation. Organisations across the globe are pushing for digitalization and aligning with new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, robotics and so on. 

This surge has put pressure on the IT infrastructure, and hence, present an opportunity for the IT sector to grow. It would be critical for IT companies to leverage the changing landscape of business and mould it to their benefit. 

The Government is working towards developing various policy and fiscal measures to aid organisations, startups, and entrepreneurs to mitigate the COVID-19 impact, and it would help the innovation ecosystem get back on the growth trajectory.

CII has recently set up a Centre of Excellence for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Startups supported by the Government of Telangana. With innovation as an imperative in today’s business climate, India is set to rapidly progress in the Global Innovation Index with partnerships between government and industry.

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