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What do innovation policymakers in India see as their key needs?

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1. Big-picture approach and develop a structurally aligned innovation system

They see the need for better dialogue between the national and state-level ecosystems, and coherence should be brought across innovation policy organisations.

It’s a complex system but it needs more structural alignment between local, regional, and national ways of pursuing innovation.

2. Stakeholders need to work in unison

They described a system where stakeholders operate in silos. There is a disconnect between scientists and administrators; research conducted in institutes does not respond to the needs of the state; and stakeholders often work in isolation.

“There is an immense need for building interdepartmental synergies and for networking between the stakeholders in the country.”

3. Mentorship

They want more opportunities to share and learn from each other. There is a need to invest in and develop a platform for mentorship and sharing ideas, especially with an increased policy focus on entrepreneurship.

4. Address the knowledge gap

They’d like easier access to training in a certain number of issues, especially in innovation and technology. They describe a staff that has limited exposure, no motivation to seek specialised training which in turn stifles creativity.

“Support staff in the system do not have all necessary capabilities needed for implementation, especially in the innovation and technology space.”

5. Opportunity to learn from global practice

They’d like more exposure to global best practices on innovation and apply them to current programmes.

6. Support to understand the impact and harness the benefits of technology

They don’t think social issues like job generation in traditional communities are harnessing technological solutions sufficiently.

The country needs to work more effectively to reap the benefits that digitalisation has to offer.

“There is a need to sensitise the industry and government about the importance of technology.”

7. More staffing capacity

They describe a staff in innovation policy institutions working to capacity, with limited capability to implement new ideas. There needs to be a focused effort to fill this large gap.

Additionally, staff are typically trained as ‘doers’ and not problem-solvers. Training doesn’t really emphasise system or macro perspectives, for example.

“The top and middle management of the system need strengthening to translate research into policy.”

8. Space for taking risks

They want a space that cuts across sectors, agencies and ministries where they can interact without fear of backlash.

“What we need is to be able to experiment with different models of innovation, how can one strategise if there is no experimentation. How do we create these feedback loops? How do we measure outcomes?”

9. Be allocated time and resources to develop better monitoring and evaluation frameworks

They want to know whether they are making an impact. They cited a lack of monitoring and evaluation frameworks across much of the work they carry out.

“We need better standards for measuring performance, for evaluating what interventions work, what gaps need to be filled”

Authors

Juan Casasbuenas

Juan Casasbuenas

Juan Casasbuenas

Curriculum and Content Manager

Juan is a Curriculum and Content Manager supporting the Digital Frontrunners and Global Innovation Policy Accelerator programmes.

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Nathan Kably

Nathan Kably

Nathan Kably

Assistant Programme Manager, International Innovation

Nathan is Assistant Programme Manager for the Global Innovation Policy Accelerator

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Anna Schlimm

Anna Schlimm

Anna Schlimm

Learning Experience Designer, Global Innovation Policy Accelerator

Anna is a Learning Experience Designer for the Global Innovation Policy Accelerator.

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Paulina Gonzalez-Ortega

Paulina Gonzalez-Ortega

Paulina Gonzalez-Ortega

Design Lead, International Innovation

Paulina is the Design Lead for the Global Innovation Policy Accelerator, a 14 country collaborative development programme for senior innovation policymakers.

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Florence Engasser

Florence Engasser

Florence Engasser

Senior Researcher, International Innovation

Florence is a senior researcher within Nesta’s International Innovation team, which examines global trends and practices in innovation, with an emphasis on emerging economies.

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