Back in 2017, China’s Science Technology Exchange Center released a report suggesting that India’s innovation growth rate could exceed that of Russia and China by 2025. A year later, it seems as if India is right on track to make the predictions come true.
India’s innovation growth
Currently, India is the second largest growth innovator in Asia after China. Over the past decade, India’s patent publication has almost doubled. According to a report by Philadelphia-based Clarivate Analytics, India’s patent activity in the past five years grew at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.8 percent.
“The sustained growth rate of innovation in India, as represented in patents published, is promising… In the past two years, the most significant growth stems from India’s top four technology categories, computing, polymers and plastics, communications, and pharmaceuticals, demonstrating an increase in convergence of technologies with computing and communications at the core of several industries,” Arvind Pachhapur, Vice President of Clarivate Analytics, said in a statement (The Financial Express).
India also jumped eight places to 36th position in the annual International Intellectual Property Index for the year 2019 published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC). The index ranks countries based on 45 indicators that identify support for innovation. India’s innovation score was the largest gain made by any country for the second time in a row.
Technology has been at the forefront of India’s innovation and growth over the past few years. The penetration of low-cost smartphones and cheap Internet data plans has done wonders for the Indian economy. As the market expands, new opportunities arise and adventurous entrepreneurs are investing in innovative products, services, and processes to fuel their growth.
Much of India’s growth in intellectual property ranking comes from the country’s accession to the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty (WIPO) and the establishment of a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) agreement with international offices. Pending patent applications decreased from more than 200,000 in March 2017 to just over 150,000 applications by June 2018.
Rapid economic growth
India’s innovation surge is supported by consistent growth in the country’s economy. In 2018, India was the world’s sixth largest economy at US$2.6 trillion. Over the next few years, many believe that this figure could double. In fact, Suresh Prabhu, Union Commerce and Civil Aviation Minister, expects India to be a US$5 trillion economy within the next 7 to 8 years. By 2035, he projects the Indian economy to be at US$10 trillion.
“Manufacturing should lead to export. This will bring quality and competitiveness. Our cumulative export stands at around half a trillion dollars. The challenge is to double it… Today, we have great opportunity to increase exports. There are disruptions taking place in the world and India should take advantage of it,” he said in a statement (The Financial Express). The minister sees tremendous potential for Indian exports in the African and Latin American regions.
Given the potential for massive growth, India is in a position to overtake China in the next decade when it comes to innovation. The country’s democratic nature and relatively open markets will be a major attraction for foreign investors and skilled job seekers. In contrast, China might find it difficult to position itself as an attractive choice for foreign businesses and workers.