The Science & Technology (S&T) Clusters are being established as formal umbrella structures for S&T organizations in various cities to have better synergy while retaining their autonomy.
These are supported by the O/o PSA on the recommendation of the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) to create an Atmanirbhar Bharat through S&T.
These clusters will create strong linkages between existing academic institutions, national & state research laboratories, and other stakeholders like relevant ministries, industry partners, start-ups, MSMEs, state governments, philanthropic foundations, and international organizations.
The report of the High-Level Committee on Developing Science & Technology Clusters in India can be found here.
The three objectives of the S&T Clusters can be described using a pyramid structure as follows: -
1) Creation of a shared ecosystem: The bottom of the pyramid is where each cluster should enable the creation of a shared ecosystem, i.e., a group of 15-20 institutions starts working together as one large institution through a formal umbrella structure so that these institutions can have better synergy, while also retaining their internal autonomy.
A shared ecosystem will entail: -
2) Becoming a regional solution provider: The middle of the pyramid focuses on clusters becoming solution providers to local bodies, State Govt, and industries and creating a regional influence by solving local problems. For this they may partner with local incubators, also connect with state Science & Technology councils and innovation societies. Such problem solving will enable them to wield regional influence through high-quality research, development, and innovation.
3) Becoming nationally and globally competitive: The top of the pyramid is where each cluster will focus on 1-2 domains of key strength and build strong capability to become a national and global leader in these, based on their existing strengths and competitiveness. They must contribute to the national missions of the Government of India and should participate substantially in global mega-science projects and thereby become nationally and globally competitive.
The I-STEM Web Portal is a National Portal that is the gateway for researchers to locate the specific facility(ies) they need for their R&D work and identify the one that is either located closest to them or available the soonest.
It also lists funding opportunities for researchers (updated regularly) which can be found here.