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Home arrow News arrow Engineering, Technology, Research and Development arrow Uday Kumar Varma chairs First Meeting of MSME Sectoral Innovation Council
Uday Kumar Varma chairs First Meeting of MSME Sectoral Innovation Council Print E-mail
Written by Ganesh   
Saturday, 23 July 2011
New Delhi: Uday Kumar Varma, Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) chaired the first meeting of the MSME Sectoral Innovation Council here today.

He pointed out that the Council has to think of ways and means to create linkages between industry and education. He also showed his concern regarding lack of information about existing institutional mechanism and policy prescription and the need to evolve a proper system of capturing innovation from the lowest level.

The Members of the MSME Sectoral Innovation Council are Shri Amarendra Sinha, Joint Secretary (SME); Shri Saurabh Srivastava (former Chairman, NASSCOM); Prof. Vinay K. Nangia (IIT, Roorkee); Ms. Uma Reddy (CMD, Hitech Magnetics and Member of NMCC); Dr. Jaijit Bhattacharya (Director, H.P.); Shri Prakash Lohia (MD, Merino Group of Industries); Dr. H.P. Kumar (CMD, NSIC); Shri Arun Kumar Jha (DG, NIESBUD); and Ms. Padmaja Ruparel (President, Indian Angel Network). Prof. A.K. Gupta (IIM, Ahmedabad); Dr. P.L. Dhar (IIT, Member KVIC Board); and Shri Mohan Suresh (ex-President FISME).

The Prime Minister constituted a National Innovation Council to create a roadmap for innovation for the Decade of Innovation, 2010-20, focusing on 5 key parameters, namely, Platform, Inclusion, Eco-system, Drivers and Discourse. The MSME Sectoral Innovation Council has been set up to drive the Innovation agenda in the country across the MSME sector.

The Terms of Reference of the MSME Sectoral Innovation Council are to prepare a roadmap incorporating enabling policies, programs, schemes, etc. that will lead to MSMEs adopting innovative solutions to the challenges facing them, keeping in mind the unique core competencies, talents, resources and capabilities of this sector; and to evolve an enabling framework for innovation in MSME sector.

Ms. Uma Reddy, CMD, Hitech Magnetics and Member of NMCC stressed on the need of having an innovation for exploring the ‘alternative raw materials’ as the prices of the existing conventional raw material are going up and high cost of raw material is making MSME sector vulnerable. Bridge between academic and industry has to be built, so that good research and projects available in the various laboratories of CSIR or such organisations are being utilized commercially for the benefit of MSME sector. She also suggested a mechanism for inculcating the culture of innovation amongst the students by institutionalizing the practices of ‘internship’ i.e. putting in place the system of regular ‘internship’ of technical students in the industries whereby students as well as industries get the benefit of the fresh ideas of students.

Shri Saurabh Srivastava, former Chairman, NASSCOM gave a brief background of alternative source of funding i.e. venture capital and its utility for the MSME sector. Venture capital or so called Angel Capital has a good potential for MSME sector and therefore innovative ideas has to be encouraged so that this fund become accessible to the most needy and important segment of the economy i.e. MSME sector. He also volunteered to share a paper with all the members and with the Ministry on the subject for discussion in the next meeting.

Prof. Vinay K. Nangia, IIT, Roorkee stated that the Council needs to be sensitive about the micro sector within the MSME sector and cautioned that the approach for this sector needs to be different from small and medium sector. He gave a brief background of his working in IIT Roorkee for incubation of innovative ideas by the MSME as well as the prospective engineers coming out of the Institute. According to him, educational institution can anchor for promotion and sustainability of innovation.

Shri Prakash Lohia, MD, Merino Group of Industries emphasized on the need for providing a success story for demonstration effect and in order to encourage innovation in this particular sector. Bringing innovative ideas to the industry sector and for that matter venture capital for the young start-up could prove to be more useful. Therefore, he suggested that an innovative project should be identified and the same should be taken to logical conclusion. Such successful implementation of project would give creditability and have demonstration effect on the potential innovators. Exchange of ideas amongst innovators, educationists, venture capitalists and MSMEs is the need of the hour.

The special invitee, Ms. Padmaja Ruparel, President, Indian Angel Network highlighted on the issues of commercialization of innovative ideas. According to her, the innovative idea requires to be nurtured to become a commercial venture.

Shri Jaijit Bhattacharya, Director, H.P. shared his experience of teaching in IIT on the aspect of Innovation wherein a web portal has been hosted which contains innovative ideas of the students and others. He emphasized the need to understand the eco-system in order to capture the innovative idea.

Dr. H.P. Kumar, CMD, NSIC emphasized for the need to have such ideas which can generate employment opportunity for the potential entrepreneurs since this is the mandate of Ministry of MSME. Any innovative practices required to be scaled up in order to generate large number of employment.

Shri Amarendra Sinha, Joint Secretary (SME) pointed out the need for capturing in innovation in its early stage without assigning any value judgment regarding its commercial viability. He suggested that the innovative idea has to be highlighted and has to be brought to a platform where it becomes interactive, so that the idea can take shape into a successful commercial venture. He gave an example of several bottlenecks which are being faced by the MSMEs in their day-to-day life and innovative ideas which are floating in the system has to be picked up to solve the problems of such MSMEs. He, therefore, emphasized the need for interactive portal for innovative ideas.

Secretary (MSME) called the members to give a write up indicating their valuable suggestions so that a concrete roadmap could be made for a detailed discussion in the next meeting.

 
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