According to NASSCOM and Bengaluru-based market research firm Infoholic, a 2018 study of industry and academic experts from over 75 popular engineering institutes, showed that 78 percent of the surveyed institutes agreed that industry-academia convergence would lead to the creation of a better ecosystem for entrepreneurship and fostering startups. Systematic cooperation between enterprises and academic institutes is key to creating an innovative ecosystem and solving real-world challenges.
It is clearly time to create a nurturing environment where the industry and academia can work hand-in-hand, and the ‘Programme for Modernisation and Innovation Promotion in Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSME INNO)’ is making this possible. The programme operates under the framework of Indo-German Technical Cooperation on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH with the support of the Indian Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MoMSME).
With the mission of ‘Innovate to Lead’, the programme proactively forges links amongst various MSMEs, industry associations, academic institutions and private sector stakeholders to create a strong partnership between the stakeholders. One of the core focus areas of the programme is industry-academia collaboration that strengthens innovation capacity and sustainability of MSMEs. It involves students and their mentors working closely with the micro, small and medium enterprises, in close collaboration with various industry associations, to identify complex areas through factory visits and developing solutions to address them. To witness more examples of how engineering colleges in the region have created ground-breaking solutions for MSMEs, the MSME Innovation Summit 2019 will take place in Aurangabad on September 30, 2019.
An opportunity to engage, collaborate and innovate
The MSME INNO Programme started in Aurangabad in 2016 with 2 colleges, 8 SMEs, 11 projects, and 5 successful implementations in 2 months. Based on this success, more MSMEs and colleges came forward to participate in student projects, coordinated by GIZ. So far, 568 projects started with 377 MSMEs and 20 colleges, with more than 2,015 students and 377 faculty members have been involved in the process.
The key objective is to provide a source of knowledge and skills for MSMEs, to offer students the opportunity to connect with MSMEs, and get hands-on exposure and knowledge. Through the collaboration, MSMEs will be able to define their problems, and get innovative and low-cost solutions provided by academia. This also opens up the potential for patenting student projects, and boost employability through practical experience that prepares graduates for tomorrow’s job market.
The MSME Innovation Summit 2019 showcases how student innovation strengthens the MSME sector. You will see several examples of how engineering colleges in the region have created solutions for MSMEs, writing success stories of their own with some of the student projects developing into startup ideas.
As Mandeep Kaur, Joint Development Commissioner, Indian Ministry of MSME, puts it: “Evidence suggests that innovation and workforce upskilling are directly linked to growth and an increase in efficiency, which generates further employment and directly impacts the sustainability of India’s MSME sector. Therefore, converting technological breakthroughs into practical solutions is critical.”
Participate in the Summit and be a part of the collaboration
If you attend the summit, you’ll have a great opportunity to interact with high-level delegates from the Ministry of MSMEs and other government agencies, academic institutions heads, industry associations, startups, innovators, as well as top Indian and global corporates. You can exhibit your innovative ideas at the summit, and network with students as well as progressive MSMEs across Maharashtra.
So, if you’re the founder of an MSME seeking to explore new technologies; an academic instructor or leader looking to give your students the chance of a lifetime, or a startup founder, this is the perfect platform. Go ahead, register now and take your MSME into the future!