Research & infrastructure deficit hindering B'lore as innovation city

Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda with CII Vice-President S Gopalakrishnan at the CII India Innovation Summit in Bangalore, on Thursday. DH Photo

Addressing a roundtable on Bangalore as Hub for R&D in Asia, at the Seventh India Innovation Summit 2011 — Making Bangalore the Innovation Hub of Asia, organised by CII, the experts felt the overall eco-system that supports innovation neccessary with market insights is a lacunae that impedes Bangalore emerging as hub for R&D in Asia.

Setting the tone for the session, Intel Technology India Pvt Ltd President Praveen Vishakantaiah observed that while there has been a lot of development happening in Bangalore, the question, however is how of much research is happening? The key challenge that Bangalore faces today is how to marry research and development to make it the innovation hub.

Likewise, Cisco Systems Inc President (Collaboration & Communications Group) Vivek Mansingh, lamented that a significant amount of investments were not coming into Bangalore despite intent being there, as the City is seriously handicapped by physical infrastructre such as road, water, transport, power and housing which are in serious deficit to support and sustain the investments that  may pour in.

In a similar refrain, IBM India Pvt Ltd Vice President P Gopalakrishnan observed that while Bangalore has a lot of talent to tap into, there still exists an innovation eco system vacuum due to sufficient depth in the talent and overall milieu.

Yahoo! India Vice President & CEO Shouvick Mukherjee pointed out that while a lot of innovation and IP was coming out of Bangalore, the City still needs to transition itself from a development hub into a customer-centric innovation hub, for which, it needs to not only understand the market dynamics but also convent the unmet needs of customers into an opportunity. Mukherjee also stressed the need to catalyse a culture to foster and cultivate innovation and talent with emphasis on speed of go to market. In this regard, Gopalakrishna emphasised the need for mentoring also as a niche area to be explored.

As an offside, NextWealth Entrepreneurs Pvt Ltd Founder & Managing Director Sridhar Mitta underscored the need for Bangalore blueprint to draw best brains from across the globe rather than within if it were to mimic the Silicon Valley. Similarly, he said, besides trouble-shooting basic infrastructure bottlenecks, Bangalore must also foster and put in place a risk-reward system/culture in place. Bangalore, according to Mitta, must bring in a Silicon Valley habitat into its overall eco-system if it were to realise the dreams of becoming the hud for R&D in Asia.

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