India’s innovation problem is not something that an award can fix. But its a step in the right direction. The department of science and technology is calling applicants for the “National Awards for Commercializable Patents,” in a bid to make more innovative products available to the society [source]. The awards were first introduced two years ago.
The program seeks to recognize the innovative potential of Indian Nationals as well as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) who have developed innovations relevant to the industrial and societal needs.
The award will carry a sum of Rs 5 lakh and a certificate. Selected innovations may be also get an additional Rs 5 lakh on commercialization of the awarded patents. The selected innovators will also get to use the the TREMAP, a government initiated innovation program.
The primary objective of the program is to help commercialization of patented technologies and will give a greater emphasis to those that have good commercial potential but could not be commercialized due to lack of resources and expertise with the inventors. The other objective is to establish an enabling ecosystem in the country to facilitate linkages of the innovative technologies with market.
Any Indian national or micro/small /medium enterprise who already has an Indian patent can apply. The year of grant of patent should not be before the year 2010 and the working prototype should be ready.
In 2012, the award was granted to 8 patent holders including the ones that held the patents to improved grinding machine for paste and powder making in wet and dry condition of soft material and device for mitigating shock waves and induced forces during explosions.
The last date for receipt of applications is August 14, 2013 and more details and the forms can be found here.
The central government has also implemented a five year scheme through which small enterprises can claim up to 50% of patenting costs from the Government.
There are various reasons why commercial innovation is really low at Indian institutions. Deepam Mishra, CEO, i2india Ventures lists out factors including wrong incentives and lack of early stage investments among others. Hopefully, these initiatives will help at the early stage.
Hat Tip: Inolyst