Industry-Academia Research Collaboration in India

Industry-Academia research collaborations in India are dismally low, as indicated by collaboration output statistics. Collaboration in patenting is 0.4% of the total volume of patents in India while percentage of collaboration in publishing activity lies at 0.56% in 2014-15.A potential reason for this disconnect could be the difference in underlying drivers of research and innovation in industry and universities. While industry tends to have a focus on market relevant research for commercialization and IP protection, academia is generally more concerned with basic research to enhance knowledge, publications and teaching.

The government has been trying to incentivize industry-academia collaborations through a plethora of schemes by various ministries and departments. A list of the latest schemes in force today is tabulated below.

Table 1: Government R&D Schemes for Industry-Academia Collaboration
Prime Minister’s Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral Research
Contract Research Scheme CRS)
Multiplier Grant Scheme (MGS)
Uchchatar Avishkar Yojana (UAY)
Impacting Research, Innovation and Technology (IMPRINT)
Industry Relevant R&D (IRRD)

To better understand and document these issues, CTIER is conducting a survey of stakeholders from industry and academia on the awareness and barriers surrounding schemes aiming to facilitate industry-academia collaboration. If you are a stakeholder, you are welcome to participate in the survey here.  The architects of these schemes need to continuously monitor and evaluate them on issues such as take-up and whether they are achieving their intended goals, and modify them if necessary to make them more effective. For example, the Prime Minister’s Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral Research aims to award 100 fellowships annually since its inception to PhD students working on an industry relevant thesis with an industry partner. Yet as of today, the fellowship has only been awarded to 112 fellows since 2012 2. The low response rate could be due to lack of awareness about the scheme, low quality of applications, a complicated application process, etc. It might help to conduct a survey to obtain a better understanding of the response of various stakeholders to these schemes.  


India Innovation: Trends and Industry, Academia & Government Linkages, Dec 2015, A Thomson Reuters Report 
Announced by Dr. R. Brakaspathy, Secretary, Science and Engineering Research Board (DST) at the India-UK Technology Summit in November, 2016.

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