Nations across the world are transforming from productivity-driven economies to knowledge-driven economies for quicker, sustainable and inclusive growth. Global partnerships are the key enablers in this transformation process. All the key elements and actors of knowledge – both creators and users – need to converge on one platform to bring about concrete results on the ground.
The Indian government has accorded high priority to raising the country’s gross expenditure in research and development (R&D) from the current $17 billion to around $50 billion by the end of 2016-17 and has created a host of incentives for private sector to invest half of this amount. One of the major incentives is funding support to industry to forge research tie-ups with global majors. It is an opportune time for Indian and global industry, academic institutions, R&D laboratories and service providers to collaborate and cement the technological depth of Indian industry.
The country’s Manufacturing Policy outlines financial assistance for small and medium companies to acquire green manufacturing technologies from across the world. The government has also put major emphasis on technology and R&D as one of the growth enablers in the areas of life science and medical devices, agro / food processing, heavy industries (automotive, machine tools), clean energy, rapid transport, smart city, disaster management, water, sanitation, waste management, robotics, electronics, information & communication technology, internal / homeland security, defence and aerospace. Technology providers across the globe have the opportunity to transfer / sell / partner / develop technologies with Indian companies and government.
A key enabler of a knowledge economy is a country’s higher education system. The present gross enrolment ratio (GER) in higher education in India is approximately 20 per cent as per latest estimates and the government target is to take this to 30 per cent by 2020. This means an additional 25 million students are targeted to be inducted in higher education and for this the number of academic institutions needs to double from the present 770-odd universities and roughly 35,000 colleges. Under its National Higher Education Mission or Rashtriya Uchchtar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), the government has earmarked $20 billion to enhance the quality of higher education through empowerment of states. The Council for Industry and Higher Education Collaboration (Cihec) has been set up with an initial fund of roughly $160 million to improve industry-academia collaboration. Vocational education system is being strengthened through the National Vocational Education Qualification Framework (NVEQF) and community colleges are being set up in large numbers to take the number of skilled workers by 2022 to 500 million, as per a target set under India@75. The requirements provide phenomenal opportunities for universities, industry, government, community colleges, skill development centres, education tools / content / service providers to collaborate and be part of the growth of the next big sector in India.
All these initiatives of the Indian Government, although being anchored by different ministries and departments, have one common thread – strengthening of the knowledge eco-system of the country.
The 2nd edition of CII Knowledgexpo will once again be a comprehensive convergence of all the key elements and actors of knowledge – creators, providers, supporters, and users (industry, government, institutions, entrepreneurs) – on one platform and will provide multifarious opportunities to all the stakeholders in the areas of science and technology, research and development, design, higher education, innovation and entrepreneurship and intellectual property rights.
CII’s collaborative efforts with government, industry, institutions and global communities during the past two and half decades in improving the knowledge ecosystem in the country are showing positive results in terms of industry’s increased interest, involvement and investment in research & development, innovations, design, intellectual property rights, academic collaborations and mentoring of entrepreneurs.
We are witnessing an exciting time when industry is hungry to develop new products and services, institutions are aligning their knowledge output to users’ needs, government is bringing in innovative support mechanisms to trigger and facilitate knowledge creation and global communities are partnering with Indian communities in large numbers.
To provide a fillip to global knowledge collaborations, CII is bringing back its much acclaimed and feted global knowledge partnership platform called Knowledgexpo, the maiden edition of which was held in November 2014 at Greater Noida and which was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Minister for Human Resource Development, Ms Smriti Zubin Irani. Knowledgexpo is a comprehensive convergence of all the key elements and actors of knowledge and innovation ecosystem – creators, providers, facilitators and appliers / users – for forging several knowledge-business and knowledge-solution partnerships leading to better businesses and large-scale social benefits.
The expo aims at showcasing strengths of all the players of knowledge ecosystem for forging partnerships with knowledge users (industry, governments, institutions, entrepreneurs) for mutual benefits leading to knowledge-business and knowledge-solutions.