November 12, 2016 | Organized by JGU and JIRICO

Building on the previous government's declaration of 2010-2020 as the 'Decade for Innovation', the current Indian government, under Prime Minister Modi, has rolled out elaborate plans to boost manufacturing in vital sectors such as ICT, automotive, defense, among others. Further, the government is working towards making India's IPR regime friendly towards investors and innovators. Since technological advancement is a proven driver of economic growth, the government is trying to incentivize innovation to ensure 'Make in India', 'Digital India' and 'Start Up India' initiatives are successful in the long run. The emphasis, particularly in R&D-intensive sectors, ought to be on promoting technological innovation and manufacturing, rather than importing finished or semi-finished units, replicating products or creating generics.

The National IPR Policy, unveiled in May 2016, is one such effort of the government where it proposes the primary use of IP as a financial asset and marketable tool for promotion of innovation to ensure economic growth and sociocultural development. The policy proposes several strategic actions as well as legislative measures to achieve the given objective. It is imperative to understand factors that influence innovation in India and the role of IP in driving innovation in India to recognize the diversity of approaches undertaken by organizations. Further, there is a need to understand why different firms adopt different strategies to protect their investments in innovation. Answering these questions will bring coherence and effectiveness in policy making.

Jindal Initiative on Research in IP and Competition (JIRICO) is an initiative of O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU). It focuses on initiating and complementing well-informed policy related deliberations that can result in concrete reforms. JIRICO has received research grant from Qualcomm Corporation to conduct conference, workshops and pursue research.

In our ongoing research, JIRICO aims to systematically collect unique and original data from companies, research labs, universities and other organizations in India on enablers of innovation activity; mechanisms to safeguard R&D and innovation expenditure; obstacles to innovation; and drivers for patenting or not patenting the innovation outcomes. The JIRICO Survey is being administered to experts in different classifications, including R&D experts, scientists, managers, legal counsels, and strategists who have an understanding of the underlying issues, and are knowledgeable in the organizational domain wherein they are asked to respond. The findings of the survey will help us minutely understand the different appropriation instruments organisations rely on to protect returns to innovation, and the differences that exist between IP and non-IP instruments.

The questions speakers and participants will deliberate on include:

1. What is the extent to which high-technology firms undertake innovative activity across sectors in India? What motivates innovators to undertake risky R&D activity?

2. What are the legal, policy and market-related obstacles faced by innovators and non-innovators? How factors that facilitate and hinder innovation differ across sectors? What are the IP and non-IP strategies adopted by firms to ensure returns on investments?

3. What are the ways in which the government can enable collaboration between industry and academia? What role does industry play in inducing innovation and knowledge creation from academic institutions? How can we create a more conducive environment in which IP emanating from universities can be commercialized?