A relook into the operational models of Public-Private-Partnership programmes
Competitiveness of the nation is adjudged by the successful innovative technologies a country churns out every year. Innovation is also critical for economic development, wealth creation, and enhancing the visibility of the nation. Since the liberalization of economy, the government on one hand facilitated new R&D programmes at national level to foster innovation & technology development and on the other hand put in place far reaching policy measures for creating an enabling eco-system for nurturing innovation. To provide further impetus to the innovation development, Government declared current decade (beginning 2010), as the ‘decade of innovation’.
The concept of public-private-partnership has been adopted in many of the Innovation & Technology supportprogrammes launched by the various departments.However, the effectiveness of these programmesiscritically viewed by the industry. The road block to thesuccess to the desired level may be due to among others inadequate fund allocation, long processing time, inadequate flexibility in operational mechanism, lack of remedial action on earlier project failures, and relatively lower priority assigned to technology development & commercialization by R&D institutions. These have led to lukewarm response from industry to the government schemes.
Hon’ble Prime Minister, in his address to 99thScience congress on 3rd February 2012 stated that:
"We have to increase Public Private Partnerships and catalyze significantly increased interaction between public owned science and Technology institutions and industry. It is some ways ironic that General Electric and Motorola have created world-class technology hubs in India, while our own industry has not done so, except perhaps in the pharmaceuticals sector. We need therefore, to look at ways of incentivising private Research and Development investment under Indian conditions. …..At present publicly funded R&D is skewed in favour of fundamental rather than applied research. It is easier to attract industrial funds into applied research areas and a set of principles should be formulated to push such funding and to drive public-private-partnerships in research and development. …….. While research generates new knowledge, we need innovation to use this knowledge creatively and productively for social benefit. Our government, has declared 2010-20 as the Decade of Innovations. We need to give practical meaning to innovation so that it does not end up being just a buzz word."
With the Government’s thrust on PPPs to enhance the innovation and the recognition that PPPs are the better option to reach out to industry, there is a need to revisit the PPP programmes and reposition them to enhance its effectiveness. PSA office has taken a lead in this regard andhas constituted an expert committee to look at the PPP programmes holistically and suggest suitable modifications.