Industry-academia convergence to foster better entrepreneurship ecosystem: Nasscom study

15th May 2018
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A joint study by industry body Nasscom and Bengaluru-based market research firm Infoholic was conducted among industry and academic experts of over 75 popular engineering institutes to understand if industry-academia convergence can build a better entrepreneurship ecosystem.

According to the study, 78 percent of the surveyed universities agree that industry-academia convergence will lead to a better entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Overriding impediments at every stage, the academia is creating intelligent and innovative startups every year. They are also focusing to invest resources on research with practical acumen. Collaborative models between industry and academia in line with Public Private Partnership (PPP) would further help solve real-world problems.

With the joint initiatives in place, apt policy directives would fast-track the collaborative effort. This would assist in developing technology strartups to address productivity, cost, operational and implementation issues of the customers. Here, the role of an incubator is prominent – to assist startups in co-branding at industrial expos, summits, and conferences.

The study highlights that 93 percent of institutions are continuously looking to collaborate with enterprises with an aim to generate wealth, employment and create social good, whereas 89 percent of them want to undertake the role of an incubating platform. Currently, in India, academia has been at the forefront of innovation with over 90 institutes having an active incubation centre. This can further be enhanced by setting up technologically advanced laboratories, developing science and technology parks and promoting joint research programmes.

78 percent of the surveyed universities agree that industry-academia convergence will lead to a better entrepreneurship ecosystem.

In a statement released to the media, Sangeeta Gupta, Senior Vice President, Nasscom, said, “Developing domain-specific ecosystem at the national level along with ease of doing business and adequate funding will pave the way ahead for India.”

Prominent technology institutes boosting the startup ecosystem

India is well poised in the startup scenario, but there are a lot of opportunities that are yet to be unleashed. Till now, IIT Madras has successfully incubated 148 startups and filed 126 patents in 2016-17 alone. Interestingly, IIT Delhi has filed over 600 patents till date and handled 384 development projects. The research also indicates that 70 percent of the surveyed institutions have successfully filed one or more patents, says the report.

To solidify government schemes like ‘Make in India’ concept and ‘Startup India’, innovation centres and academic incubators are aggressively converting innovations into job-creating commercial products. They are arranging hackathons, playing host to startup weekends, and arranging seminars and workshops to propel the innovation scenario.

Institutions are broadly facilitating resources along with mentorship and providing indirect support provided to the industry as a part of their collaboration efforts. A few of such institutes include the IIIT Bangalore, Mepco Schlenk Engineering College, Pimpri Chinchwad College of Engineering, SJB Institute of Technology and PES Institute of Technology and Management, Shivamogga.

On the other hand, active participation to associate with industry and consistently troubleshoot for industry-related problems are observed from the IITs, Pune Institute of Computer Technology, M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Annamalai University, NITTE University, Vemana Institute of Technology and The Oxford College of Engineering, to name a few.

“Change in societal thinking and encouraging value creation at the school level will further raise India’s innovation quotient at par with global best,” points KR Sreenivasan, CEO and Founder, Infoholic Research.

Established in 2014, Infoholic Research is a global market research and consulting organisation based in Bengaluru, which provides research and market intelligence to customers in emerging and untapped markets, and also across niche technology verticals. The research firm has reportedly catered to custom requirements of several Fortune 500 companies with strong focus in ICT, Semiconductor & Electronics, Chemicals and Healthcare domains.

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