Building Innovation Partnerships with India
– experiences from the Indo-Swedish Innovation Platform – Phase I
India is poised to be one of the world’s largest economies by 2050. With an expanding consumer base, ambitions for economic growth within a relatively new landscape of limited access to fossil fuels and the need to move to low-carbon pathways are forcing India to embrace renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The need for new technologies and innovation in this process and the potential of this market have not gone unnoticed. India is number three in the world in terms of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).¹ Over 30 countries have bilateral agreements with the Indian government in the area of alternative/renewable energy.
India has made clear its continued reliance on coal for its future energy roadmap. However, with decreasing international supply and rising costs, India has also understood the value of developing capacity and technology in alternative energy mechanisms and has declared 2010-2020 the ‘Decade of Innovation’. The establishment of the cross-disciplinary National Innovation Council, greater ambition in Research and Development, and the role that innovation and international partnerships have been given in the overarching planning documents for the country, make a clear statement about India’s commitment to leapfrog from “business as usual”.
Sweden has identified India as a key partner for the future. In addition to the Swedish Energy Agency’s programmes in the country, Vinnova, the Swedish Environment Protection Agency, and the Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL) are among the agencies and actors with formal bilateral engagement with counterparts in India.
This report aims at putting together a stronger understanding, for both policy makers and business actors, about what to expect when engaging with emerging markets like India. It provides an overview of the Indian landscape for innovation and technology development, and then uses the Swedish Energy Agency’s Indo-Swedish Innovation Platform, Phase I as the case study through which lessons can be learned. The report concludes by charting out key steps for consideration when developing technology and innovation partnerships with India.
 (2012) ‘Ready for the transition.’ Ernst & Young’s India attractiveness survey 2012. Ernst & Young. http://emergingmarkets.ey.com/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/03/india-attractiveness-final-version1.pdf ey.com/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/03/india-attractiveness-final-version1.pdf Accessed February 2013.