Indian Journal of Dental Research

: 2015  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 337--338

Do we have the resources and right ecosystem to channel the Indian work force to accelerate research and innovation?

Radhika Chigurupati 
 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Boston University, 100 East Newton Street, Suite G-407, Boston, MA-02118, USA

Correspondence Address:
Radhika Chigurupati
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Boston University, 100 East Newton Street, Suite G-407, Boston, MA-02118

How to cite this article:
Chigurupati R. Do we have the resources and right ecosystem to channel the Indian work force to accelerate research and innovation?.Indian J Dent Res 2015;26:337-338

How to cite this URL:
Chigurupati R. Do we have the resources and right ecosystem to channel the Indian work force to accelerate research and innovation?. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Apr 1 ];26:337-338
Available from:

Full Text


"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

-Albert Einstein

The intersection between medicine, engineering, business, and law has never merged as well as it has in the recent years. There have been numerous advances in biotechnology, telecommunications, and informatics in the last two decades. Simultaneously, there has been an increase in the number of academic-industry partnerships and innovation centers to accelerate biomedical research from “idea to impact.”[1],[2] Scientists are now capable of collecting, transmitting, and analyzing large quantities of data with relative ease. The new sensor-based devices are able to monitor changes in real time and transmit the data immediately. These advances combined with creative funding and research models have fast-tracked the translation of some recent scientific discoveries to clinical applications to improve human health.

One-sixth of the world's population lives in the Indian subcontinent and accounts for a significant burden of the disease in the world. In addition, India has a large growing younger population (Z generation) who are entering the medicine, engineering, and business workforce. The growing work force and the high disease burden offer a tremendous opportunity to carry out the new models of collaborative research to accelerate innovation and move from idea to clinical trial and to commercialization. This can lead to the development of diagnostic or therapeutic tools or drugs that can be released into the global market at the right time with a competitive edge. The big question is, do the Indian academic institutions and private organizations (industry) have the right ecosystem and infrastructure to provide the support and training for future scientists to build upon their new ideas? Do the young scientists and researchers have the scientific, operational, and business expertise and the environment to sustain this innovation flow?

Most Indian scientists have limited support from their institutions and funding resources to facilitate this collaborative partnership and rigorous research that is needed to take scientific discovery and translate the results of published studies into drugs, devices, or diagnostics for the patients. The process of replicating the studies in vitro, or in animal, or human clinical trials under meticulous evaluation conditions is lengthy, and requires more than scientific expertise, rigor, financial, and human resources.[2],[3]

In the United States, in the early 80's, the Bayh-Dole Act was intended to yield greater commercial outcomes from federal funding. This Act allowed universities to license patents exclusively, as well as retain the licensing revenue and ownership to the inventions. The federal government benefited from the greater good by economic stimulation through innovation and the introduction of new goods and services, resulting in wealth creation and the ensuing tax revenue. Furthermore, the revenues received by the university from licensees are distributed back to the schools, or departments, and inventors to fund additional research and education to encourage further participation in the technology transfer process.[4]

In India, there is an urgent need to bring together diverse experts (a) who have the knowledge in basic and clinical translational research to identify and develop promising early stage technologies, (b) who can develop the necessary collaborations and partnerships to translate technologies from research institutions for timely product/technology release into the market with good business strategy. The researchers not only need the scientific knowledge and grant funding, but the coaching and support for project management, development of skills for collaboration with partners, easy access to the investment community, and appropriate legal advice. The protocols of the appropriate Indian regulatory authorities such as Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, a division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare should be easily accessible to the scientists so that they can be prepared, as the idea moves from the concept stage to commercialization.

Acceleration of research to develop the most promising technologies based on the medical need, scientific quality, and profit-making potential can result in significant impact on both health and economic development in India. The Indian government, academia, and industry have to take steps immediately to develop the right environment, to facilitate this model of research and innovation, and enable Indian scientists and manufacturers/businesses to compete in the global market.


1Available from:
2NIH Commercialization Advisory Council proposal.
3NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub.
4Available from: