Thursday, November 13, 2008

Reaping the Riches of Innovation in India

I'm am delighted at the progress India is making in encouraging innovation and harvesting the innovative potential of its people. The rest of the world would do well to keep their eyes on India and consider the technologies being developed there. Some examples of technologies being harvested are given in the Time Is for Technopreneurship site. One of the truly amazing stories from India comes from the work of Anil K. Gupta, the "Gandhi of Innovation," who leads week-long journeys (the "Shodhyatra") into the villages of India to identify innovations from farmers, craftsmen, cooks, and others. You can read more about this at, such as their recent report from the 20th Shodhyatra in western Bengal. I am truly inspired by this work!

While grassroots innovations are being harvested, India is also taking a leadership role in promoting innovation from its universities and professionals. I recently spoke with Dr. A.S. Rao of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, and was highly impressed with what he and his peers are achieving. There are numerous centers working to advance innovation. There are efforts to assist innovators with intellectual property and other needs to help them on their way. IT-related innovation is strong and healthy, but the government is now aggressively working to advance many other areas such as medical devices, agriculture, materials, energy, etc. tePP - the Technopreneur Promotion Programme, is a key network supporting independent innovators (see the TePP Blog). The network has many outreach centers and provides grants, technical guidance and mentoring support to independent innovators. They are making a lot of progress. Keep your eyes in India!

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