How innovation is playing an increasingly central role in India diplomacy

Innovation is increasingly becoming a buzzword in India. In 2016, the country launched its flagship innovation programme, Atal Innovation Mission, focused on scaling start-up incubation centres and promoting innovation culture among schoolchildren by providing them with hands-on experience in 3D printing, the internetof things (IOT) and robotics.

A consistent policy focus on innovation seems to have helped India improve its ranking in the Global Innovation Index, from 81st in 2015 to 57th in 2018. Notably, this strong domestic policy focus is supplemented by the country’s ongoing diplomatic efforts in forging strong economic ties with other nations, based on innovation – a strategy known as ‘innovation diplomacy’.

India’s ongoing efforts in promoting bilateral investment and cooperation in the area of innovation had a strong impact in 2017. The theme of innovation, R&D and start-ups remained an important agenda point in almost all the bilateral visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and in other diplomatic engagements.

The launch of the India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund in August and India’s hosting of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (convened by the US) in November reflected the serious intent of the Indian government with regard to innovation diplomacy.

Full Article in BRICS Journal Issue 7

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