A recent report released in September 2021, ‘SIGNATURE COMPANIES & TECHNOLOGIES Funded by TDB for Commercialization’, showcases 26 companies supported by the TDB for technology development and commercialisation between 1998 and 2020. The total amount of assistance provided to these 26 companies was Rs 569 Cr (around 33 percent of the total project costs) over the period under consideration.
Close to 6 companies of these 26 that received funding from the TDB, introduced products that were new to the world. There were 22 companies that developed their technologies in-house. The report also touches upon products that were new to the market and new to the firm, the patents filed and granted based on the technology that was developed, whether there was an increase in employment as a result of the support provided by TDB and also the SDGs that some of these technologies address. The companies and technologies covered are across diverse sectors that include the pharmaceutical sector, textiles and agriculture. An example of a company that received a boost from support provided by the TDB was MyLab Discovery Solutions, a biotech company. MyLab Discovery Solutions was able to ramp up production of its self testing RT-PCR kit called COVISELF from 40,000 test kits to 4,00,000 test kits per day.
While the report here to which CTIER has contributed showcases some of the success stories in terms of technology development and commercialisation, every effort should be made to track the impact of public funding of R&D and innovation related activities undertaken by the private sector. Whether the public funding of private initiatives happens through PPP models such as the one highlighted in this report or even the very generous tax incentives that had been previously in place to support R&D in industry until April 2020. There is also a need to continuously experiment with and explore newer models of financing innovation such as the model on public-private-academia Partnerships (PPAP) as highlighted by Rakesh Basant in his new book ‘The Black Box: Innovation and Public Policy in India’.