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