India may contribute 25% skilled professionals required by global nanotechnology industry by next decade: Study

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Proper utilization of government funding in nanotechnology imperative

India is expected to contribute about 1/4th of skilled workforce in global nanotechnology industry during the course of next decade, according to an ASSOCHAM-TechSci Research joint study.

“From 2015 onwards, global nanotechnology industry would require about two million professionals and India is expected to contribute about five lakh professionals in the coming years,” noted a study titled ‘Nano India: Policy & Regulation,’ jointly conducted by ASSOCHAM and TechSci Research.

“India needs to introduce nanotechnology concept at primary school level, besides, there is also the need to introduce nano-clusters/parks in the country,” further noted the study.

“India’s contribution in development and application of nanotechnology is expected to increase significantly due to growing investments, strong funding and increasing government initiatives to encourage growth in nanotechnology market,” it added.

In 2011, India’s share in global nanotechnology research publications had reached six per cent from a mere two per cent in the year 2000, noted the study. “With its major contributions in applied physics, material science and macromolecules, India had outpaced several countries like Brazil, Taiwan, the UK and France in terms of research publication.”

“Incentives for research and development, specifying manufacturing standards, infrastructure, cost and financing, weak industry-academia link and others are certain key barriers in commercialization of nanotechnology in India,” said Lt. Gen. Anil Chait, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC, chief of Integrated Defence Staff, Ministry of Defence while inaugurating a national summit on ‘Nano India: Policy & Regulations,’ organized by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in New Delhi today.

“Overall it is the aversion to risk and unwillingness to explore beyond low hanging fruit (which is a significant barrier in enhancing nanotechnology),” said Lt. Gen. Chait.

“Lack of appropriate infrastructure, absence of proper skillset and expert workforce, lack of standardizations, lack of knowledge and significant brain drain are key weaknesses of nanotechnology market in India which is still at a nascent stage,” noted the ASSOCHAM-TechSci Research study.

However, the nanotechnology market in India is likely to witness strong growth on account of increasing government focus on developing and enhancing nanotechnology, the study added. “Besides, growing awareness and contribution by institutions together with increased funding, India is likely to achieve significant growth in nanotechnology.”

Though Government has been highly active in funding nanotechnology development in India, however, the operations need more focus and streamlining as technology has multi-disciplinary nature, hence proper utilization of funds is the need of the hour.

The future of nanotechnology in India is largely dependent on the scale of investment spending and ability to introduce revolutionary products in the market, further noted the study.

“Channelisation of public-private partnership and strategic partnership with international organizations can also accelerate growth and development of nanotechnology market in India,” it added. “Besides, proper policy framework needs to be a key focus point of the government to ensure rapid growth.”

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