Home >Politics >Policy >Rs5,000 cr innovation fund to be launched soon: Pitroda
National Innovation Council (NIC) chairman Sam Pitroda. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint (Ramesh Pathania/Mint)
National Innovation Council (NIC) chairman Sam Pitroda. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

(Ramesh Pathania/Mint)

Rs5,000 cr innovation fund to be launched soon: Pitroda

National Innovation Council chairman says innovations fund will focus on affordability, scalability and sustainability

Ahmedabad: National Innovation Council (NIC) chairman Sam Pitroda on Saturday said a 5,000 crore fund to support innovations would be launched soon.

“We have an innovation fund that we are launching... a 5,000 crore innovations fund with focus on affordability, scalability and sustainability," Pitroda said on the sidelines of an event here.

“The real innovation has to come from the bottom of the pyramid," he added. He was speaking to reporters after inaugurating the fifth design centre of eInfochips, a product and semiconductor engineering services company.

“It will be launched in the next few months," he said. “We will be funding the idea and entrepreneur no matter from which state it comes..it will help build up their income capacities".

Citing examples of innovation from bottom of pyramid, Pitroda said: “We were in Ratnagiri and found that mangos there had a shelf life of 5 days, so they (farmers) could sell their mangoes only to Middle East... pushing it by air." “We went to our scientists at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and asked them can you increase the shelf life from 5 to 30 days," he said.

“They (CSIR) said ‘we know how to do it but nobody told us’...they could increase the shelf life to 30 days in four months time... now they (farmers) can sell their mangoes to Europe and can send it by ship," Pitroda said.

“We have requested all the states to form a state-level innovation council...unfortunately, Gujarat has not done that yet... and I hope Gujarat focuses on state level council". “We have sectoral innovation councils...we are going into clusters like pharmaceutical in Ahmedabad, brassware in Moradabad, food processing in Ratnagiri, bamboo in Agartala... We are going to these clusters and seek innovations," Pitroda said.

Because these cluster will have 400,000 or 500,000 employees, lot of these are entrepreneurs, he said, adding that we will try and connect them to CSIR labs to find innovative solutions for their problems.

Meanwhile, replying to a query on government’s efforts to link universities across India through IT network to promote collaborative research, he said “more than 30,000 colleges are connected to National Knowledge Network (NKN)...but people do not use it. They don’t know how to use 40 giga bits of bandwith...because they never had it before." “A NKN network has been created by the government with a stake of 10,000 crore...to connect 1500 nodes with 40 giga bits, aiming to connect all our universities and R&D labs," he said, adding that the idea was to learn to collaborate between universities, to share information.

“Our software people are solving the problems of hospitals of the western world but not of rural India." “Best brains of the world are busy solving the problem of the rich, who really do not have problems to solve," Pitroda said.

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