The establishment of Science & Technology (S&T) Clusters is a major initiative under the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC). The PM-STIAC has recommended and endorsed the setting up of S&T Clusters as a means for our scientific enterprise, towards converging individual institutional excellence into collective performance. The S&T Cluster program will work in close coordination with the PM-STIAC. It will align and integrate with the ongoing PM-STIAC missions, national initiatives, and missions of the Government of India, such as the recently approved National Education Policy 2020, the Institutes of Excellence, and so on.
It has been proposed to initiate pilots at four locations of Bengaluru, National Capital Region (NCR)-Delhi, Pune, and Hyderabad; cities that already have a critical mass of S&T focused organizations and institutions, apart from well-developed diverse industries.
For India to rapidly transition into a state of self-sufficiency, for scientific research and development, design, technology and manufacturing, we need to leverage our scientific enterprise, MSMEs, start-ups, philanthropic organizations and large corporations, through S&T Clusters.
The goal is to build capability and capacity to reduce our dependency on imports, across sectors, and create an end-to-end supply chain to become self-sufficient and export capable, for technology-enabled products, in partnership with the industry, civil society, and foundations. The clusters will also enable the creation of global quality standards for Indian products to enable the internationalization of indigenous technologies. Such a comprehensive approach will improve overall outcome efficiency for science, technology, and innovation within existing budgets.
Inclusive of MSMEs, Startups, Import substitution
Deep technology, World class, Made in india
Digital Backbone, Data and Technology, MIS driven
Build capacity and capability for the 21st century
Re-inventing supply chain, meet local & global demand
The S&T clusters will create strong linkages between existing networks of academic institutions, Institutes of National Importance and National and State Research Laboratories, along with the relevant ministries, industry partners, state governments, philanthropic foundations and international institutions of excellence, leading to technological innovation and entrepreneurship, through seamless leveraging of complementary strengths. The S&T Cluster Apex Committee will have the autonomy to propose newer focus areas and more activities with time, based on the feedback received from four clusters.
The clusters will operate on an innovative and self-sustainable business model, ensuring financial participation by all stakeholders. The clusters will aim to achieve financial sustainability within 5 years. The initial seed funding will be provided by the Government, and subsequently clusters will engage with external partners such as industry, philanthropy and other stakeholders for additional funding.
All existing institutions (academic and laboratories) or existing clusters supported by Government of India in the city/ region will become a part of the S&T Cluster.
Each cluster will be supported by a legal entity, which will act as a central pivot and oversee the cluster’s development. The cluster can be formed as a Section 8 organization, trust, or society. Existing societies that have been set up by any participating institution can also be leveraged for this purpose. The cluster will act as an umbrella organization and will include members from all institutions in the cluster.
Each cluster will be headed by a full time dynamic CEO, who shall be selected in consultation with the S&T cluster Apex Committee. The cluster CEO will directly report to the S&T cluster Apex Committee.
The clusters will have a culture of experimentation coupled with acceptance of failure.
These clusters will also engage the general public with science outreach activities.
The clusters will be evaluated and ranked annually based on their performance, through a third party, using parameters as designed and approved by the S&T Cluster Apex Committee, and funding will be discontinued in case of non-performance of clusters. This will be done to allow both competition and collaboration to co-exist and will allow each cluster to share its strength and identify areas of improvement. The evaluation metrics will be a combination of subjective and objective parameters that encourage multi-disciplinary, intra-institutional, inter-institutional, multi-stakeholder, and global collaboration. The ranking will also include a 360-degree feedback collection mechanism from scientists, industry, universities, and other stakeholders in the cluster, for qualitative inputs on the ease of doing science and technology development. Some of the indicative measurable outcomes would include a qualitative and quantitative assessment on: